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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!


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

Element Financial Buys GE Capital
  Tom Depping Purchases Dallas Mavericks
      Credit Union Founded for Leasing Industry
         Classified Ads---Senior Management
Placard---Advanced Planning….
BBB Leasing Company Ratings
  March 31, 2014
Complaints Bulletin Board BBB Ratings
February, 2015  "The List"
--- Mergers, Acquisitions & Changes
"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"--
Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted
Sixth Response
 "Didn't Confirm Accuracy of Allegation Published"
Please Add Me to Mailing List
 Subscription is Free
This indicator makes it clear that wage growth
  is coming
Don’t be Fooled, IRS Warns
 Phone Scams Continue to be Serious Threat Nationwide
Leasing Leaders to Discuss the Chinese Leasing Industry
in the Economic Slowdown June 10-12, Beijing
Chinese Shar-Pei, German Shepherd
Toronto, Canada  Adopt-a-Dog
 Classified ads—Investigator
News Briefs---
Owners in Discussions to Sell Dutch Auto Leasing Firm LeasePlan
China Regulatory Brief: Lifted Restrictions on
Foreign-Invested Financial Leasing Companies
Bankruptcy judge approves RadioShack asset sale

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (writer's columns)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months (Be Careful of Doing Business)
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You May have Missed---
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######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release” and was not written by Leasing News nor information verified, but from the source noted. When an article is signed by the writer, it is considered a “by line.” It reflects the opinion and research of the writer.

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Element Financial Buys GE Capital

Exceeding its borrowing power as well as investor, reaching a new plateau, Steven K. Hudson, Chairman and CEO of Element Financial Corporation, announced the addition of GE Capital to its portfolio.

Steven K. Hudson
Chairman and CEO

"GE has been in the mode to get out of its consumer and commercial lending business, and sold off GE Capital to Element," Hudson said. "They will keep the division that finances GE equipment, but all third party originations and business will not be accomplished by Element Financial."

The terms and conditions were not revealed, but it appears the transaction will occur by April 31, 2015.


Tom Depping Purchases Dallas Mavericks

Ascentium Capital Chief Financial Officer Tom Depping purchases the Dallas Maverick’s Basketball Franchise from Mark Cuban for an undisclosed dollar amount, reported to be more than the $2 billion Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft, paid for the Los Angeles Clippers.

In addition to Ascentium Capital, Depping is the founder of Vision Sports with his Partner Hal Pastner, with headquarters in Kingwood, Texas and Las Vegas. Vision Sports is the largest producer of high school basketball tournaments in the country.

“I’m taking the same view as our major investor Steve Ballmer, and getting more into professional sports as both a great recreation and business investment," said Depping. "This is going to be great, and I will bring my success I have had a Sierra Cities and Ascentium, letting the coaches coach, not micro-managing or getting into actual games, but being the chief cheerleader and provider of full support as Balmer is to all his enterprises. Go Mavericks!”

Ascentium Capital, as a direct lender, specializes in providing equipment financing and leasing solutions that drive growth and profit for equipment manufacturers, distributors as well as direct financing to businesses nationwide. The company is backed by the strength of leading private investment firms Vulcan Capital and LKCM Capital Group, LLC. 


(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for appraisals and equipment valuations provided by Ed Castagna)


Credit Union Founded for Leasing Industry

The Credit Union for Leasing Professional in the Leasing Industry has opened its first office in Portland, Oregon, California, with plans to open other offices in cities through the United States.

Offered to those in the leasing industry, or retired in the industry, are free checking accounts, free ATM charges, auto loans and leases at 2%, no money down, and real estate mortgages at 3% - no money down, no points, no additional fees. Also offered are reverse leases for auto's and mortgages.  Free debit cards to CULP members. Open weekends plus internet access.

Contact Rosanne Wilson, CLFP, BPB, CULP President:


Classified Ads---Senior Management 

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

Now sober, and working my program. 45 years as president
major leasing companies (many of them).  Have flip phone,
fax machine, expert in DOS, although lost my driver’s
license. Will relocate to any warm state. Contact:

---April  Fools---



BBB Leasing Company Ratings
March 31, 2014


New at the BBB Franchises, in seeking a company, it brings you to "Accredited Business" search. This is a paid service, similar to Angie's List. If the company is not located here, goes to a state locator, which brings up state BBB locations to email or to telephone. franchises most often go to a list of business categories. “Leasing” is not included, but "small business loans" and "loans" are included, and most leasing companies not in "accredited" may be found here.

There are some states where the searcher is invited to find the branch franchise in the state and to contact them by telephone or email. This is a major change from last year when there was a main site that did a search by state and brought up all companies, whether “accredited” or not.

Perhaps the new approach is to allow the member to post their rating
and that they are “BBB Business Accredited.”

(Last ratings December 10, 2014)
From A+ to C+

Mazuma Capital Corp., Salt Lake City, Utah  

From A to A+

--Accredited since 12/13/1999
Balboa Capital Corporation, Irvine, California

--Accredited since 12/15/2014
Blue Bridge Financial, LLC, Buffalo, New York

---Accredited 8/12/2010
Navitas Lease Finance Corp
., Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Varilease Finance, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah

From A- to A+

Dakota Financial, LLC., Los Angeles, California 

Equilease Financial Services, Norwalk, CT (now part of North Mill Equipment Finance, a subsidiary of Colford Capital. North Mill Capital is rated A+).
From B to A+

LEAF Financial Corporation, Philadelphia, PA

From C+  to A+

TimePayment Corporation 

From D- to C+

Onset Financial, South Jordan, Utah 

From Non-Rated to A+

Business Leasing NorthWest, Seattle, California
(But 12 closed complaints)

Somerset Capital Group, Milford, Connecticut

No Longer in Business
--Accredited 8/10/2011
Five Point Capital, San Diego, California


Full List

--Accredited 12/16/1997
21st Century Leasing, San Diego, California

ACC Capital, Midvale, Utah
Closed, lenders running off portfolio residuals, according to Loni Lowder, president.

--Accredited 9/10/2000
Advantage Leasing Corporation Milwaukee, Wisconsin

--Accredited 4/01/2002
Allegiant Partners, San Rafael, California

Alliance Funding Group, Orange, California

--Accredited 9/01/2008
Arvest Bank Leasing, Fayetteville, Arkansas

--Accredited 8/27/1999
Axis Capital, Grand Island, Nebraska  

--Accredited since 12/13/1999
Balboa Capital Corporation, Irvine, California

Bankers Capital

BSB Leasing, Englewood, Colorado 

Business Leasing NorthWest, Seattle, California
(But 12 closed complaints)

 ---Accredited since 6/03/2011
Channel Partners, Maple Grove, Minnesota

--Accredited 6/20/1996
Charter Capital, Scottsdale, Arizona

---Accredited since 7/23/2013
CMS Funding, Wayne, New Jersey

--Accredited 4/6/2010
Cornerstone Medical & Technology Finance, Lees Summit, Missouri, -lees-summit-mo-99153606

CSI Leasing, St. Louis, Missouri

Dakota Financial, LLC., Los Angeles, California

De Lage Landen Financial Services, Incorporated, Wayne, Pennsylvania

Direct Capital, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Enterprise Capital Partners dba Enterprise Leasing, Spokane, Washington   

Equilease Financial Services, Norwalk, CT (now part of North Mill Equipment Finance, a subsidiary of Colford Capital. North Mill Capital is rated A+).

--Accredited 3/10/2011
Financial Pacific, Federal Way, Washington

--Accredited 8/10/2011
Five Point Capital, San Diego, California

--Accredited 12/27/2010
Great America Leasing, Cedar Rapid, Iowa

--Accredited 8/19/2011
iFinancial Group, San Clemente, California

---Accredited since 7/29/2013
Innovative Leasing Services, Inc. Carlsbad, California carlsbad-ca-10008827/

--Accredited 7/20/2011
Jules & Associates, Los Angeles, California

---Accredited 1/2/1993
Key Equipment Finance aka KeyBank Headquarters Location

LEAF Financial Corporation, Philadelphia, PA

--Accredited 5/9/2003
Lease Corporation of America, Troy, Michigan

Accredited since 08/01/1997
Lease $mart, Oro Valley, Arizona  85737 

Leasing Innovations, Inc., Solano Beach, California

--Accredited 1/10/2013
Manufacturers' Lease Plans, Inc., Phoenix, Arizona

---Accredited 2/22/2011
Marlin Leasing, Mount Laurel, New Jersey

---Accredited 8/12/2010
Navitas Lease Finance Corp
., Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

---Accredited since 08/09/2007
North Mill Capital, LLC, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Orion First Financial, Gig Harbor, Washington

Accredited since 09/02/1999
P&L Capital, Omaha, Nebraska

Pawnee Leasing, Fort Collins, Colorado

---Accredited since 08/21/2007
Portfolio Financial Servicing Company, Portland, Oregon

---Accredited 8/20/2009
Providence Capital Funding, Brea, California

Radiance Capital, Tacoma, Washington

Somerset Capital Group, Milford, Connecticut

---Accredited 03/03/1979
Steelcase Financial Services, Grand Rapids, Michigan

---Accredited 3/11/2005
Strada Capital Corporation, Laguna Hills, California

---Accredited 12/19/2007
Summit Funding Group, Cincinnati, Ohio    

--Accredited 7/13/2001
Taycor Financial, Los Angeles, California

TCF Equipment Finance, Minnetonka, Minnesota

Tetra Financial Group, Salt Lake city, Utah

TimePayment Corporation

United Leasing, Evansville, Indiana

US Business Funding, Santa Ana, California
(12 closed complaints)

Varilease Finance, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah


Southern California Leasing, Tustin, California
“Factors that lowered the rating for Southern California Leasing Incorporated include:
BBB does not have a clear understanding of this business”


Platinum Financial, Orange, California

C +

Mazuma Capital Corp., Salt Lake City, Utah

Onset Financial, South Jordan, Utah

NOT Rated

(Formerly Accredited 2/10/2007)
Ability Capital Solutions, Long Beach, California

Atel Capital

Icon Capital Group, Harrison, New York (Icon Capital now into gas and oil).

(Formerly Accredited 12/13/2007)
Matrix Business Capital, Long Beach, California

Newport Financial Partners, Newport Beach, California

Studebaker-Worthington Leasing Corp., Jericho, New York

Susquehanna Commercial Finance, Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Note: Many banks and financial Institutions with leasing entities evidently do not have their leasing divisions separated from bank and financial institutions ratings. No rating was found on the leasing divisions.

Find your company's BBB listing by going to and using your zip code first for the right division.

To list your company in the next listing, please email rating to




Complaints Bulletin Board BBB Ratings

The following companies appear on the Leasing News
“Complaints” Bulletin Board:

Also may appear on Evergreen Abuse List

Ability Capital Solutions, Long Beach, California: Not Rated
ACC Capital, Midvale, Utah: A+
Balboa Capital, Irvine, California: A+
                   Blue Bridge Financial, LLC, Buffalo, New York: A+
De Lage Landen, Wayne, Pennsylvania: A+
iFinancial Group, San Clemente, California: A+
Integrity Financial Groups, Murray, Utah   Warning
Leasing Innovations, Inc., Solano Beach, California: A+
Liberty Capital, Aliso Viejo, California  N/R
MAC Financial Services, Scottsdale, Arizona: A+
Marlin Leasing, Mount Laurel, New Jersey A+
Jules and Associates, Los Angeles, California: A+
Matrix Business Capital, Long Beach, California: Not Rated
Newport Financial Partners, Newport Beach, California: N/R
Onset Financial, South Jordan, Utah  C+
Platinum Financial, Orange, California: A-
Proviso Financial Services, Coquitlam, British Columbia: N/R
Radiance Capital, Tacoma, Washington: A+
Tetra Financial Group, Salt Lake City, Utah A+

Complaints Bulletin Board

Receivables Management LLC

John Kenny

• End of Lease Negotiations & Enforcement 
• Third-Party Commercial Collections | ph 315-866-1167|

(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for investigative
reporting provided by John Kenny)


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

Advantage Funding, Lake Success, New York (02/15)
Ed Kaye is no longer with company, Marubeni America bought him fully out.

Chesswood Group, Toronto, Canada (02/15) Purchases Blue Chip Leasing
Corporation and EcoHome Financial

Warren Capital, Novato, CA (02/15)  Receiver and Attorneys nearly $577,000 for Fees for Six Weeks of Work

Equipment Acquisition Resources, Palatine, IL. (02/15) EAR President Mark Anstett Pleads Guilty

Leasing Innovations, Solano Beach, California (02/15) Broker wins small claims court case re: unpaid commission







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.


Sixth Response
"Didn't Confirm Accuracy of Allegation Published"

"Leasing News published the second report, concerning La Paz Community Health Care Center, Inc., without taking care to confirm the accuracy." (1)

The complaint was quite thorough and documented, including this statement:

"Matrix Business Capital failed to finalize our lease agreement within the 20 days required by the contract. Again, it became evident that they did not have the ability to negotiate this lease. Therefore, if I was wrong I agreed to give Mr. Acosta until February 3, 2009 to execute a final lease document, and simply fund the transaction. It is worth noting that if approval was not obtained by Mr. Acosta by December 22, 2009, he violated the terms of the contract and should have returned the deposit based upon my initial written request. The time for excuses and on-going bantering is now over…period.

"Brian Acosta’s other allegations are neither worth my time nor effort in formulating a response. I actually had trouble reading his elusive style of pros. He is very talented at stretching the truth, however, I am more than confident that this organization will repeat this practice, and this time when the phone bill is not paid there will be no more excuses.

"I am highly upset with the time I personally wasted trying to close a relatively small leasing transaction with Matrix. We are a busy multi-million dollar outpatient hospital, and my goal was simple; I needed to purchase two handicap vehicles. Matrix Business Capital’s integrity and character will be self-evident when and if I receive my deposit back. If they do not return the deposit I will let the industry be the judge." (2)

Basil P. Casteleyn, Jr.
Chief of Staff
La Paz CHHC, Inc.

Contacted on March 29, 2015, Mr. Casteleyn, Jr. responded:
"This is 100% accurate Kit.  What else can I help you with?"

  1. New Cease and Desist Attorney Demand
    Delete Leasing News Bulletin Board Complaints or Else!
  2. Matrix Business Capital, Long Beach, California
    Bulletin Board Complaint


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



Add me to mailing list
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Thank you, 
Leasing News Editorial


This indicator makes it clear that wage growth
is coming

by Akin Oyedale, Business Insider

There's little doubt the US job market is on fire.

Economists forecast Friday's jobs report will show the economy added over 200,000 jobs for a 13th straight month in March.

But the one laggard in the labor market story has been wage growth. Last week, Deutsche Bank's Torsten Sløk highlighted six charts arguing wage growth is definitely coming.

And in a note Tuesday, Deutsche Bank's Joseph LaVorgna writes that the short-term unemployment rate — representing those who have been out of work for 6 months or less — points to wage growth finally coming around.

LaVorgna writes:

“Importantly, if this narrower measure of unemployment declines by the same amount it has averaged over the last five years, we will be at 3.4% by the end of this year. The reason this matters is that underlying wage pressure may be largely a function of what happens to short-term unemployed. Once the unemployment rate among people out of work less than six months falls to an extremely low level, as it recently has, employers may be forced to bid up increasingly scarce skilled labor.”

LaVorgna adds that there was only one other instance since the second half of the 1960s, when short-term unemployment averaged 3.4%, that the unemployment rate among people out of work for less than six months was lower (it averaged 3.6% from 1999-2000).



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

Don’t be Fooled, IRS Warns
Phone Scams Continue to be Serious Threat Nationwide

(I have gotten two of these telephone calls, so be aware
it can happen to you. Editor Kit Menkin)

WASHINGTON — The IRS warns taxpayers not to be fooled by the tricks scammers use to take advantage of those they target. Scammers use fake names, provide bogus IRS badge numbers and alter caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS is calling.

With the final two weeks of the filing season about to begin and millions preparing their returns, taxpayers should be alert.

"This is no April Fool's joke. Everyone should be on the lookout for threatening calls from people faking IRS phone numbers and demands for immediate payment," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. "These are scams. I urge taxpayers to stay vigilant and remain aware of the constantly changing tactics used by these criminals.”

As the filing season nears its end, there has been a surge of phone scams where scam artists threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other threats.

They often leave “urgent” callback requests and sometimes prey on the most vulnerable people, such as the elderly, newly arrived immigrants and those whose first language is not English. Scammers have been known to impersonate agents from IRS Criminal Investigation as well.

Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do.

The IRS will not:

    Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
    Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
    Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
    Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
    Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:

    If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
    If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484 or report it online at the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting Page.
    If you’ve been targeted by this scam, also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their FTC Complaint Assistant at If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

Remember, too, the IRS does not use email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue involving bills or refunds. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to and type “scam” in the search box.

Additional information about tax scams is available on IRS social media sites, including YouTube and Tumblr, where people can search “scam” to find the related posts.



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

Leasing Leaders to Discuss the Chinese Leasing Industry
in the Economic Slowdown June 10-12, Beijing

As China's GDP slows down to its lowest since 1990, the country's top equipment vendors and financial leasing companies are to meet with government officials and industry associations in order to discuss the best practices to surviving in the current economic climate which is going through a period of profound change.

Indeed, despite the challenges facing the Chinese economy, the leasing industry here has maintained steady growth with total turnover rising from RMB 2.1 trillion in December 2013 to RMB 2.35 trillion in March 2014 to RMB.

Despite this, at the end of the third quarter of 2014, the value of assets held by China's leasing companies rose 45 percent to 1.22 trillion yuan ($196.91 billion) from the end of the first quarter of 2013. This comes a year after the global regulations known as BASEL III were put in place that forced Chinese banks to meet higher capital adequacy rules. This may be an indication that lessors are increasingly exposing banks to underperforming industries and exposing them to an increasing amount of risk.

All of these issues, and more, are to be thrashed out at the 8th China Leasing Summit 2015 on June 10-12, 2015 at the Crowne Plaza Beijing. This summit is part of Duxes' venerable Leasing Series which has gone from strength to strength for over seven years and has included speakers from China's leasing regulatory bodies, industry associations and the business' leasing individuals.

Not only will the summit provide a comprehensive analysis of the latest changes in government policy and market developments but will provide applicable solutions to fleet leasing, the new energy vehicles market and establishing a captive leasing company. In short, this is the event to attend to get all the important information, meet influential people and, to run a successful and profitable leasing business in China.

For further information, contact:
Ms. Rainie Shi
Tel: +86 21 5258 8005 Ext. 8107

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



Chinese Shar-Pei, German Shepherd
Toronto, Canada  Adopt-a-Dog

Size: Medium
Colour:       Brown/Black
Spayed: Yes
Declawed: No
Site: Toronto Humane Society
Location: Fosters
Intake Date: 11/15/2013

 "Dainty Darling"

If you have been looking for a beautiful, friendly dog to call your new best friend look no further than Pilsner. She has a few special needs, but that does not stop her from enjoying life to the fullest. If you have a flexible schedule and enjoy a calm, relaxed lifestyle Pilsner could be the dog of your dreams!

From Pilsner's foster parents:
"Pilsner has been with us for almost a year. She went for one meet and greet but she was not adopted. I suppose part of the reason for this is because she is "special needs" and that can sound scary to many people. The reality is that Pilsner gets one small pill a day, which she gobbles up in a bit of dog food and she gets a B12 shot once a month. The shot is not hard to administer and Pilsner looks forward to it because she gets a treat when she is done. She usually gets up once through the night for a bathroom break but we are all tucked back in bed in about 5 minutes. The real question people interested in Pilsner should be asking is 'if these people can keep her healthy and happy why couldn't we?' She will need some time to adjust into a new forever home, but with patience and love it won't take long."

“Please note: In order to ensure a smooth and successful adoption, please remember to check all the basic requirements for adopting before coming in to the shelter. Thank you and we hope to see you soon!

This pet also comes with 6 weeks of pre-paid pet health insurance.
For more information please visit or call 1-866-600-2445.

Monday to Friday11am - 6pm (animal viewing until 7pm)
Saturday and Sunday10am - 5pm (animal viewing until 6pm)

Toronto Humane Society
or (416) 392-2273 ext. 2102


Adopt a Pet



Classified ads—Investigator

Leasing Industry Outsourcing
(Providing Services and Products)

Los Angeles - Licensed Private Investigators, specializing Collateral Recovery Field Investigation for the Lending industry since 1998 - Our clients include Banks, Credit Unions, Automotive and Equipment Collections, Investigations & Asset Recovery Midwest:
Tierra Investigations & Consultants, LLC
Commercial collections, repossessions, bankruptcy fraud, theft & conversion claims.  
605-647-1700 Fax 605-647-0534

All "Outsourcing" Classified ads (advertisers are both requested
and responsible to keep their free ads up to date:

How to Post a free "Outsourcing" classified ad:



News Briefs----

Owners in Discussions to Sell Dutch Auto Leasing Firm LeasePlan 

China Regulatory Brief: Lifted Restrictions on Foreign-Invested Financial Leasing Companies

Bankruptcy judge approves RadioShack asset sale



--You May Have Missed It

Student Loan Calculator


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

How to Stop a Migraine in Its Tracks
Triggers & Treatments for Migraine Pain


Spring Poem

Written in early spring

        by William Wadsworth

I heard a thousand blended notes
While in a grove I sat reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What Man has made of Man.

Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower,
The periwinkle trail'd its wreaths;
And 'tis my faith, that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopp'd and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure, -
But the least motion which they made
It seem'd a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature's holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What Man has made of Man?



Sports Briefs----

Jameis Winston's appearance at FSU pro day
   weigh-in gets attention

Alameda County joining Oakland officials on stadium talks,
  but Raiders still silent


California Nuts Briefs---

15 Instagram Photos That Make Facebook’s New Building Look More Fun Than Your Workplace

California sales tax rates going higher

Sales taxes hit 10 percent in Hayward, San Leandro, Union City, Albany and
El Cerrito

How the Gravenstein Highway got its name

What San Francisco looked like 100 years ago


“Gimme that Wine”

30,000 Bottles of Fake Wine Seized in Taiwan

Why Sommeliers Matter More Than Wine Scores

Dogs trained to sniff out phylloxera vine disease

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in American History

    1621 - The first Colonial treaty with the Native Americans was a defensive alliance made on Strawberry Hill, Plymouth, MA, between Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoags, and the Plymouth colonists, acting in behalf of King James I. They promised not to “doe hurt” to one another. If a Wampanoag broke the law, he was sent to Plymouth for punishment; if a colonist was the offender, he was sent to the Wampanaogs. The agreement in all its parts was kept by both parties for more than half a century.
    1634 - The first bridge built in the US spanned the Neponset River between Milton and Dorchester, MA. The authority to build the bridge and an adjoining mill was issued to Israel Stoughton by the Massachusetts General Court.
    1786 - A heavy snowstorm hit, bringing 12 inches from New Jersey to New Hampshire and prolonging winter into spring. This strong storm caused gale force winds and high tides. Five piers of the Charles Bridge were destroyed at Boston, Massachusetts.
    1789 - The U.S. House of Representatives held its first full meeting in New York City and elected Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania as its first Speaker.
    1807 - The famous "1807 spring storm" buried interior New England in snow and caused a great tide along the coast. Danville, Vermont received 30 inches of new snow, bringing their snow cover amount to 60 inches.
   1826 - Captain Samuel Morey of Orford, NH, received a patent on an internal-combustion engine, called “a gas or vapor engine” by its inventor. His engine had two cylinders, 180 degree cranks, poppet valves, a carburetor, an electric spark, and a water cooling device. He employed the vapor of spirits of turpentine and common air. A small tin dish contained the spirits, and the only heat he used was from a common table lamp. A rotary movement was obtained by means of a crank and flywheel, as in a steam engine.
    1833 – The Convention of 1833, a political gathering of settlers in Mexican Texas to help draft a series of petitions to the Mexican government, and a successor to the Convention of 1832, whose requests had not been addressed by the Mexican government, began in San Felipe de Austin.  William H. Wharton presided over the meeting. Although the convention's agenda largely mirrored that of the Convention of 1832, delegates also agreed to pursue independent statehood for the province, which was at the time part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. Under the guidance of Sam Houston, former governor of Tennessee, a committee drafted a state constitution to submit to the Mexican Congress. The proposed constitution was largely patterned on US political principles, yet retained several Spanish customs. Delegates also requested customs exemptions and asked that a ban on immigration into Texas be lifted.  Some residents complained that this convention, like its predecessor, was illegal. Nevertheless, Stephen F. Austin journeyed to Mexico City to present the petitions to the government. Frustrated with the lack of progress, in October, Austin wrote a letter encouraging Texans to form their own state government. This letter was forwarded to the Mexican government and Austin was imprisoned in early 1834. During his imprisonment, the Mexican federal and state legislatures passed a series of measures to placate the colonists, including the introduction of trial by jury. Austin acknowledged that "[e]very evil complained of has been remedied."
     1841 - Brook Farm, history's most famous utopian community, is founded near West Roxbury, Massachusetts. Its primary appeal was to young Bostonians who shrank from the materialism of American life and the community was a refuge for dozens of transcendentalists, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathanial Hawthorne.
    1844 - Stuart Perry of New York City received a patent for both air-and water-cooled types and used turpentine gases as fuel. He called it a “gas engine.”
    1847 - Michigan becomes first state to abolish the death penalty.
    1853 - Prior to this date, the fire department of cities was composed of volunteers exclusively. The first department to be paid a salary was organized in Cincinnati, Ohio, through the efforts of Miles Greenwood. Members of the company received $60 a year, lieutenants $100, captains $150, pipe men and drivers, $365. The chief engineer received $1,000 a year and assistant engineers $300. 
    1865 - After withdrawing to Five Forks, VA, Confederate troops under George Pickett were defeated and cut off by Union troops. This defeat, according to many military historians, sealed the immediate fate of Robert E. Lee's armies at Petersburg and Richmond. Some 5000 Confederates prisoners were taken. On Apr 2, Lee informed Confederate President Jefferson Davis that he would have to evacuate Richmond. Davis and his cabinet fled by train to Danville, VA.
    1866 - Congress overrides President Andrew Johnson's veto of Civil Rights Bill, giving equal rights to all men born in the US, except Indians.
    1877 - Birthday of Dr. Aurelia Henry Reinhardt in San Francisco.  She was the first woman elected moderator (the titular head) of the Unitarian Association (1940).  She was President of Mills College (1916) in Oakland, CA, the third oldest women's college in the U.S.  Died 1948.
    1883 - Birthday of early movie great Lon Chaney in Colorado Springs, CO.  He is regarded as one of the most versatile and powerful actors of early cinema, renowned for his characterizations of tortured, often grotesque and afflicted characters, and his groundbreaking artistry with makeup.  Chaney is known for his starring roles in such silent horror films as “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1923) and ”The Phantom of the Opera” (1925). His ability to transform himself using makeup techniques he developed earned him the nickname "The Man of a Thousand Faces".
    1887 - Thomas Edison devises a telephone design that becomes the basis for his later claim to the invention of the microphone.
    1889 - The first investment trust was the New York Stock Trust, New York City, a general portfolio statutory trust, with 50,000 shares at $10 each.
    1891 - The Wrigley Company was founded in Chicago.
    1895 - Vocalist Alberta Hunter was born in Memphis, Tennessee. One of the great ladies of the golden age of jazz, singer and composer, she gave up a very successful career to become a nurse. She practiced for 20 years and then made a show business comeback at age 82, packing them into New York nightclubs.
    1897 - Pianist Emma “Sweet” Barrett was born in New Orleans, LA
    1897 - Vocalist Lucille (Lucille Anderson) Bogan was born in Amory, MS
    1901 – Birthday of Whittaker Chambers, born Jay Vivian Chambers in Philadelphia.  An American writer and editor.  After his early years as a Communist Party USA member and Soviet spy, he renounced communism, became an outspoken opponent, and testified at Alger Hiss’ perjury and espionage trial. He described both events in his book “Witness”, published in 1952.  He died of a heart attack in 1961.  In 1984, President Reagan posthumously awarded Chambers the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for his contribution to "the century's epic struggle between freedom and totalitarianism.”
    1903 - Jackie Martin’s birthday.  Photographer-journalist, first official photographer of the U.S. Women's Army Corps (Auxiliary), first woman to be elected to the White House Photographers Association (1941), first woman art and photographic editor, and first woman sports editor, in addition to a distinguished newspaper career.
    1909 – Eddy Duchin was born in Cambridge, MA.  He was a popular American pianist and bandleader of the 1930s and 1940s, famous for his engaging onstage personality, his elegant piano style, and his fight against leukemia from which he died in NYC in 1951.
    1910 – Saxophonist Harry Carney’s birthday in Boston.  His virtuosity on the baritone sax influenced generations of subsequent players. He also performed on clarinet and bass clarinet, as well as alto sax in the early years of his career. Mainly known for his 45-year tenure in Duke Ellington’s Orchestra, Carney's strong, steady saxophone often served as the anchor of Duke's music.  Carney died in 1974.
    1922 - Pianist Duke Jordan’s birthday, born Irving Sidney Jordan in Brooklyn, NY.  An imaginative and gifted pianist, Jordan was a regular member of Charlie Parker’s so-called "classic quintet" (1947–48), featuring Miles Davis.  He died in 2006.

    1922 – William Manchester was born in Attleboro, MA.  His father served in the Marine Corps during World War I. After his father's death, and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he likewise enlisted in the Marine Corps.  He fought on Guadalcanal and was awarded a Purple Heart.  In 1947, Manchester went to work as a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. There he met journalist H.L. Mencken, who became and friend and mentor,  and became the subject of Manchester's master's thesis and first book, “Disturber of the Peace”.  His best-selling book, “The Death of a President” (1967), is a detailed account of the assassination of President Kennedy, who had been the subject of an earlier book by Manchester. In 1963, Manchester was commissioned by the Kennedy family to write the book.  Manchester, who retraced the movements of President Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald before the assassination, concluded, based on his study of Oswald's psychology and their similar training as Marine sharpshooters, that Oswald had acted alone.  Manchester died in 2004.
    1923 - Residents in the eastern U.S. awoke on "April Fool's Day" to bitterly cold temperatures. The mercury plunged to -34 degrees at Bergland, MI and to 16 degrees in Georgia.
    1924 – Hitler was sentenced to five years in jail for his participation in the "Beer Hall Putsch". However, he spent only nine months in jail, during which he wrote “Mein Kampf”.
    1929 – Former Michigan Head Football Coach Bo Schembechler was born Glenn Edward Schembechler, Jr. in Barberton, OH.
    1932 - 500 school children, most with haggard faces and in tattered clothes, parade through Chicago's downtown section to the Board of Education offices to demand that the school system provide them with food.
    1933 – Debbie Reynolds was born Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso.
    1934 – Jim Ed Brown, of the group, The Browns, was born in Sparkman, AR.  In 1959, The Browns scored their biggest hit when their folk-pop single “The Three Bells” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop and country charts. The song also peaked at No. 10 on Billboard's Rhythm and Blues listing. Remakes of the pop hits "Scarlet Ribbons" and "The Old Lamplighter" continued the hit streak, reaching the top 15 on Billboard's Pop and Country surveys. The trio had moderate successes on the country music charts for seven years thereafter. In 1963, they joined the Grand Ole Opry and in 1967 the group disbanded.
    1934 – One of the original Mets, Rod Kanehl was born in Wichita, KS.  Kanehl hit the first grand slam in Mets history on July 6, 1962 at the Polo Grounds in NYC.
    1935 - General Electric Co. announces the first radio tube made of metal. Metal tubes were smaller and lighter than the glass vacuum tubes used in earlier radios and they improved short-wave radio reception. Radio had started to catch on as an entertainment medium in the 1920s, and its popularity grew until the rise of television in the early 1940s.
    1936 - Vivian (Vickie) Adelberg Rudow’s birthday.  American composer, first woman to win first prize with straight 10s in the 14th International Electoacoustic Music Competition, Bourges, France, the largest and most important electronic music competition in the world. Her composition was “With Love”, a live cello, dialogue, and prepared tape. In 1977, her Kaddish won first prize in the International Double Reed Society Composition contest, solo division. She was the first Maryland composer to have her orchestral piece, “Force III”, performed in the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore (1982). Founder and artistic director/producer of Res Musica Baltimore, Inc. (now Res Music America, Inc.) (1980-1991), promoting music by American living composers. Produced 52 concerts and 22 Res Musica youth concerts for the Baltimore City Public Schools.
    1939 – Knuckleballing Hall of Famer Phil Niekro was born in Blaine, OH.  He was inducted into the Hall in 1997. Niekro's 318 career victories are the most by a knuckleball pitcher and he ranks 16th on the overall all-time wins list.  He also won the Gold Glove Award five times. Niekro pitched for 20 seasons for the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves.
    1940 - New York governor Herbert Lehman signed a bill legalizing pari-mutuel wagering at the state’s racetracks and outlawing bookmaking.
    1940 – Ali McGraw was born Elizabeth Alice McGraw in Pound Ridge, NY.
    1941 – A military coup overthrew the regime of ‘Abd al-Ilah and installed Rashid Ali as Prime Minister of Iraq.
    1942 - Cootie Williams Band records monk’s “Epistrophy,” Chicago, IL.
    1942 - Birthday of Samuel Delany in Harlem. Science fiction writer, composer, musician, social critic. Husband (1961-1980) of poet Marilyn Hacker, he remains active on the circuit today.
    1945 - The Battle of Okinawa began on Easter Sunday.  The US 10th Army began Operation Iceberg, the invasion of the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa. Ground troops numbering 180,000 plus 368,000 men in support services made a total of 548,000 troops involved--the biggest amphibious operation of the Pacific war.
    1946 - An 8.6 earthquake near the Aleutian Islands created a tsunami that struck the Hawaiian Islands killing 159, mostly in Hilo.
    1949 - The first television variety show series with an African-American cast was “Happy Pappy,” on WENR-TV, Chicago, IL. The program featured Ray Grant as master of ceremonies, the Four Vagabonds, and Modern Modes, and guests.
    1949 – Jimmy Cliff was born James Chambers in St. James, Jamaica.  A reggae musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer and actor, he is the only living musician to hold the Order of Merit, the highest honor that can be granted by the Jamaican government for achievements in the arts and sciences.
    1950 – Associate Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was born in Trenton, NJ.
    1953 - The first educational television station sponsored by a city was WQED, Channel 13, Pittsburgh, PA, and went on the air today. A second education channel, WQEX, Channel 16, was granted a license on July 16, 1958, making Pittsburgh the first city with two educational television stations.
    1954 - U.S. Air Force Academy was founded in Colorado. President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill authorizing the establishment of an Air Force Academy, similar to West Point and Annapolis. On July 11, 1955, the first class was sworn in at Lowry Air Force Base. The academy moved to a permanent site near Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1958.
    1955 - Top Hits
“The Ballad of Davy Crockett” - Bill Hayes
“Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” - Perez Prado
“Dance with Me Henry (Wallflower)” - Georgia Gibbs
“In the Jailhouse Now” - Webb Pierce
    1955 - Elvis Presley's fourth single, a cover of Arthur Gunter's "Baby, Let's Play House." backed with "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone," is released. Later in the month, Presley with Bill Black and Scotty Moore, head off to New York to audition for "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts," as has Pat Boone. Presley is rejected and Boone will win first place
    1955 - George Martin became head of A&R for Parlophone, which will lead to his producing the Beatles seven years later when they are signed to the label.
    1956 - Chet Huntley began his successful news career with NBC. He started as a reporter and analyst of the Sunday news series, "Outlook". Soon, he would be teamed with David Brinkley for election coverage. The duo would click and become co-anchors of "The Huntley-Brinkley Report" nightly on NBC with Huntley presenting news from the New York studio while Brinkley reported from Washington, DC. John Chancellor, who would become the sole anchor of the "NBC Nightly News" years later, was also a part of the broadcast giving comment and analysis on the day’s top news. Huntley and Brinkley closed each news broadcast with the trademark, “Good night Chet. Good night David”. And Tom Brokaw later added, “Good night from NBC News.”
    1956 - Elvis shoots a scene from “The Rainmaker” for his screen test at Paramount Studios in Hollywood.  Presley will eventually be passed over for this film, and his role taken by Burt Lancaster. Still impressed, however, Paramount and director Hal Wallis sign Elvis to a seven-year contract five days later.    
    1957 - Elvis Presley played two concerts before 23,000 people at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. Presley performed outside the US only four times in his career - the two concerts in Toronto, one the next night in Ottawa and a later performance in Vancouver.
    1957 - Cadence Records releases the Everly Brothers' "Bye Bye Love," a song rejected by 30 labels before Cadence picked it up. It will go to #2 on the pop chart and #1 on the Country & Western chart
    1957 - Frankie Lymon became the youngest act to ever headline London's Palladium when he performed there with the Teenagers
    1959 - Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon released "Tallahassee Lassie"
    1960 - The Boston Patriots of the American Football League made Wall Street history by becoming the first professional sports team to issue public stock.
    1960 - In Miami's Fontainebleu Hotel, Elvis Presley tapes his post-Army comeback special, Frank Sinatra's “Welcome Home, Elvis”, also starring Sammy Davis Jr., Nancy Sinatra, Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford. Elvis sings "Fame and Fortune" and "Stuck on You," as well as Sinatra's own "Witchcraft." Frank responds by singing "Love Me Tender."
    1960 - The first weather satellite, TIROS-1, was launched from Cape Canaveral.
    1961 - The Beatles begin their second, more successful string of gigs in Hamburg, the first of 92 nights at the Top Ten Club in the notorious Reeperbahn section of town. The lads will play seven hours a night, eight on weekends, with 15 minute breaks each hour, resulting in 503 total hours of live performance in just over three months. While in Germany, occasional member Stu Sutcliffe has his hair styled by his girlfriend, band photographer Astrid Kirchherr, into what would later be adopted by all band members as the "mop top."
    1963 - "The Doctors" premiered on NBC on the same day as ABC's long-running soap "General Hospital," providing viewers with a double dose of medical drama. The show was set at Hope Memorial Hospital and began as an anthology series that was subsequently transformed into a serial in 1964. Created by Orin Tovrov, "The Doctors" ran for 19 years. Ellen Burstyn, Anna Stuart, Nancy Pinkerton, Jonathan Hogan, Julia Duffy and Alec Baldwin are some of its famous alums.
    1963 - Longest newspaper strike in US history ends. The nine major papers in New York City ceased publication over 100 days ago.
    1963 - Top Hits
“He’s So Fine” - The Chiffons
“South Street” - The Orlons
“Rhythm of the Rain” - The Cascades
“Still” - Bill Anderson
    1963 - “General Hospital," premiered on TV.  ABC's longest-running soap revolves around the denizens of fictional Port Charles, NY. "GH" was created by Doris and Frank Hursley. John Beradino, who was with the show from the beginning until his death in May 1996, played the role of Dr. Steve Hardy, upstanding director of medicine and pillar of the community. In the '80s, story lines became unusual with plots involving international espionage, mob activity and aliens. The wedding of super couple Luke and Laura (Anthony Geary and Genie Francis) was a ratings topper. By the '90s, stories moved away from high-powered action to more conventional romance. Many actors received their big break on the show, including Demi Moore, Janine Turner, Jack Wagner, Richard Dean Anderson, Rick Springfield, John Stamos, Emma Samms, Mark Hamill, Finola Hughes, Ricky Martin and Tia Carrere.
    1967 – The Department of Transportation began as a cabinet-level department.
    1969 - The Beach Boys left the Capitol label, suing them for over $2 million in back royalties and announcing their intention to start their own label, Brother.
    1970 – “Woodstock”, the acclaimed musical documentary of the happening, premiered in Hollywood.
    1970 - Radio and television ads for cigarettes were banned by legislation signed by President Nixon. The ban went into effect Jan 1, 1971.
    1970 - BEIKIRCH, GARY B., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces. Place and date: Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam, 1 April 1970. Entered service at: Buffalo, N.Y. Born: 29 August 1947, Rochester, N.Y. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Beikirch, medical aid man, Detachment B-24, Company B, distinguished himself during the defense of Camp Dak Seang. The allied defenders suffered a number of casualties as a result of an intense, devastating attack launched by the enemy from well-concealed positions surrounding the camp. Sgt. Beikirch, with complete disregard for his personal safety, moved unhesitatingly through the withering enemy fire to his fallen comrades, applied first aid to their wounds and assisted them to the medical aid station. When informed that a seriously injured American officer was lying in an exposed position, Sgt. Beikirch ran immediately through the hail of fire. Although he was wounded seriously by fragments from an exploding enemy mortar shell, Sgt. Beikirch carried the officer to a medical aid station. Ignoring his own serious injuries, Sgt. Beikirch left the relative safety of the medical bunker to search for and evacuate other men who had been injured. He was again wounded as he dragged a critically injured Vietnamese soldier to the medical bunker while simultaneously applying mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to sustain his life. Sgt. Beikirch again refused treatment and continued his search for other casualties until he collapsed. Only then did he permit himself to be treated. Sgt. Beikirch's complete devotion to the welfare of his comrades, at the risk of his life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
    1970 - LEMON, PETER C., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company E, 2d Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. place and date: Tay Ninh province, Republic of Vietnam, 1 April 1970. Entered service at: Tawas City, Mich. Born: 5 June 1950, Toronto, Canada. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Lemon (then Sp4c.), Company E, distinguished himself while serving as an assistant machine gunner during the defense of Fire Support Base Illingworth. When the base came under heavy enemy attack, Sgt. Lemon engaged a numerically superior enemy with machine gun and rifle fire from his defensive position until both weapons malfunctioned. He then used hand grenades to fend off the intensified enemy attack launched in his direction. After eliminating all but 1 of the enemy soldiers in the immediate vicinity, he pursued and disposed of the remaining soldier in hand-to-hand combat. Despite fragment wounds from an exploding grenade, Sgt. Lemon regained his position, carried a more seriously wounded comrade to an aid station, and, as he returned, was wounded a second time by enemy fire. Disregarding his personal injuries, he moved to his position through a hail of small arms and grenade fire. Sgt. Lemon immediately realized that the defensive sector was in danger of being overrun by the enemy and unhesitatingly assaulted the enemy soldiers by throwing hand grenades and engaging in hand-to-hand combat. He was wounded yet a third time, but his determined efforts successfully drove the enemy from the position. Securing an operable machine gun, Sgt. Lemon stood atop an embankment fully exposed to enemy fire, and placed effective fire upon the enemy until he collapsed from his multiple wounds and exhaustion. After regaining consciousness at the aid station, he refused medical evacuation until his more seriously wounded comrades had been evacuated. Sgt. Lemon's gallantry and extraordinary heroism, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
    1970 - After one year as an American League expansion team, the Seattle Pilots moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers. Automobile dealer Bud Selig purchased the team for $10.8 million.
    1970 - Ringo Starr entered Abbey Road alone for what would be the very last Beatles session, overdubbing percussion on "The Long and Winding Road," "Across The Universe," and "I Me Mine." Producer Phil Spector wrapped things up by applying strings to all three.
    1971 - Top Hits
“Me and Bobby McGee” - Janis Joplin
“Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)” - The Temptations
“Proud Mary” - Ike & Tina Turner
“After the Fire is Gone” - Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn
    1971 - Six months after his death, Jimi Hendrix's "The Cry of Love" goes gold. It is the last LP on which the guitarist was a willing participant and some say it might have gone higher than #3 had it not been for an LP by another deceased rock star, "Pearl," by Janis Joplin.
    1972 - The Major League Baseball Players Association went on strike for the first time, with the principal issue being contributions to the major league pension plan. The strike lasted 12 days and wiped out 86 regular season games.
    1976 - Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville" is released.
    1976 - Apple Computer was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne to sell the Apple I personal computer kit. The kits were computers single handedly designed and hand-built by Wozniak and were first shown to the public at the Homebrew Computer Club. The Apple I was sold as a motherboard (with CPU, RAM, and basic textual-video chips), which is less than what is now considered a complete personal computer. The Apple I went on sale in July 1976 and was market-priced at $666.66 ($2,763 in 2015 dollars, adjusted for inflation).  Apple was incorporated January 3, 1977, without Wayne, who sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak for $800.   Apple is the world’s second-largest information technology company by revenue after Samsung Electronics, and the world’s third-largest mobile phone maker. On November 25, 2014, in addition to being the largest publicly-traded corporation in the world by market capitalization, Apple became the first U.S. company to be valued at over $700 billion. As of 2014, Apple employs 72,800 permanent full-time employees, maintains 437 retail stores in fifteen countries, and operates the online Apple Store and iTunes Store, the latter of which is the world's largest music retailer.  Apple's worldwide annual revenue in 2014 totaled $182 billion (FY end October 2014).
    1976 – Conrail took over operations from seven bankrupt railroads in the northeast… Penn Central, Ann Arbor Railroad, Erie Lackawanna Railway, Lehigh Valley Railroad, Reading Company, Central Railroad of New Jersey,  and Lehigh and Hudson River Railway.
    1979 - Top Hits
“Tragedy” - Bee Gees
“What a Fool Believes” - The Doobie Brothers
“Sultans of Swing” - Dire Straits
“I Just Fall in Love Again” - Anne Murray
    1979 – Iran became an Islamic republic by a 99% vote, officially overthrowing the Shah.
    1985 - In one of the greatest upsets in NCAA basketball tournament history, the Villanova University Wildcats upset the Hoyas of Georgetown University, 66-64, in the championship game. The Wildcats shot lights out in one of the more torrid shooting display in NCAA Tournament history.  They made 70% of their shots from the field and converted 22 of 27 free throws.
    1985 - David Lee Roth quit Van Halen shortly after releasing his version of The Beach Boys', "California Girls", which featured Carl Wilson on background vocals. Roth's record actually sold slightly better than the original. He was replaced by Sammy Hagar later in the year.
    1985 - The long-awaited album, "We Are the World", was finally released. Eight rock stars donated previously unreleased material for the LP. With sales in excess of 20 million copies, it is one of the fewer than 30 all-time singles to have sold at least 10 million copies worldwide. The song, "We Are the World", was number five, and moving up, on the "Billboard" magazine pop singles chart this day. The promotion and merchandise aided the success of "We Are the World" and raised over $63 million for humanitarian aid in Africa and the US.
    1986 - In Washington State, 35,000 employees in female-dominated jobs began receiving $41 million in pay equity payments.
    1987 - 45 cities in the southeastern US reported new record low temperatures for the date. Morning lows of 37 degrees at Apalachicola, Florida, 34 degrees at Jacksonville, Florida, 30 degrees at Macon, Georgia, and 22 degrees at Knoxville, Tennessee were records for the month of April.
    1987 - Top Hits
Lean on Me - Club Nouveau
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now - Starship
Tonight, Tonight, Tonight - Genesis
Small Town Girl - Steve Wariner
    1988 - A major winter storm battered the western high plains. Rye, Colorado was buried under 34 inches of snow. 19 inches was measured at Sharon Springs, Kansas and up to 17 inches fell in the Oklahoma panhandle
    1990 - Los Angeles Lakers Michael Cooper and Byron Scott appeared on an LA radio show and were informed during the broadcast that they had been traded to the Los Angeles Clippers for Benoit Benjamin and Jeff Martin. Lakers teammate Mychal Thompson called the show to say that the two wouldn’t be missed. Host Joe McConnell then reminded his guests and his listeners that it was April Fools’ Day.
    1990 - Thunderstorms produced severe weather in Texas, from southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana to southern Georgia, and from northern South Carolina to the Upper Ohio Valley during the day and evening. Thunderstorms spawned a tornado at Evergreen, AL, and there were more than eighty reports of large hail and damaging winds. Thunderstorms produced baseball size hail north of Bastrop, LA, and produced damaging winds which injured one person west of Meridian, MS.
    1993 - Thousands of people stood in the rain at a pro-environment rally in Portland, Oregon. Neil Young, David Crosby, Kenny Loggins and the Wilson Sisters were among the performers.
    1994 - Top Hits
“The Sign” - Ace of Base
“Bump N Grind” - R. Kelly
“Without You/Never Forget You” - Mariah Carey
“The Power of Love”- Celine Dion
    1996 - Rallying from a 6-0 deficit, the Mets beat the Cardinals, 7-6, making it the biggest Opening Day comeback of the century.
    1997 - Setting a record for the most runs scored in one inning of an Opening Day contest this century, the Padres score 11 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning en route to a 12-5 rout of Mets. Chris Gomez, Rickey Henderson and Quilvio Veras lead the attack with back-to-back-to-back home runs.
    1999 - Top Hits
“Believe” - Cher
“Heartbreak Hotel” - Whitney Houston Feat. Faith Evans
“Every Morning” - Sugar Ray
“What’s It Gonna Be?” - Busta Rhymes Featuring Jane
    2001 - In the first major league game ever played Puerto Rico, the Blue Jays defeat the Rangers, 8-1 in the major league season opener. Making his Texas debut, $252 million shortstop Alex Rodriguez gets the season's first hit and scores the first run, but also makes a throwing error on his first chance.
    2001 – A Navy surveillance jet collided with a Chinese fighter jet. The Navy crew made an emergency landing in Hainan and was detained.
    2002 - Maryland defeated Indiana 64-52 in the championship game to win their first ever and only national championship.
    2003 - Top Hits
“In Da Club” - 50 Cent
“Ignition” - R. Kelly
“Miss You” - Aaliyah
“All I Have” - Jennifer Lopez Featuring LL Cool J

NCAA Basketball Champions This Date
    1985 - Villanova
    1992 - Duke
    1996 - Kentucky
    2002 - Maryland



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