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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Today's Leasing News Headlines

Sale of Marlin Expected 1st Quarter, 2022, Depending on
  Sale of Marlin Bank, Other Regulations and Requirements
     President/CEO Hilzinger Expected to Retire after Completion
Small Business Owners Struggle
    to Find Qualified Workers
The Top US Companies, Ranked by
    Ecommerce Sales 2021
Leasing Industry Ads
    Top Sales Positions Available
Sales Make it Happen by Scott Wheeler, CLFP
    Now is the Time to "Thrive"
The U.S. Cities with the Most Homeless People
    Largest Number of People experiencing homelessness in 2020
Breakthrough Infections Rare Among Those Vaccinated
    Chart with Statistics
New York Company Says Device Can Identify
    Drivers Impaired by Cannabis
Atlantic Union Equipment Finance Continues to Grow,
    Attracts Leading Industry Expertise
Webster Bank Announces $10 Billion Merger Plan,
    to Open Stamford HQ
Shepherd & Labrador Retriever
    Palo Alto, California  Adopt-a-Dog
Q2 2021 Equipment Leasing & Finance Industry
    Snapshot Now Available
News Briefs---
The post-pandemic spending spree has begun
     Here are 6 things Americans are buying
Unemployment Is High
     Why Are Businesses Struggling to Hire?
GATX Reports First Quarter Income $36.5 Million
    Fleet Utilization was 97.8%
As pandemic recedes, global warming resumes
    Plus more updates in the drive to curb COVID-19

You May have Missed---
California Wine Country hotels reopen
    but struggle to rehire workers

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists
| Features (wrilter's columns)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months (Be Careful of Doing Business)
Leasing News Icon for Android Mobile Device

  Sports Brief----
   California Nuts Brief---
    "Gimme that Wine"
     This Day in History
       Daily Puzzle
         Weather, USA or specific area
          Traffic Live----

######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release,” it was not written by Leasing News nor has the information been verified. The source noted. When an article is signed by the writer, it is considered a “byline.” It reflects the opinion and research of the writer.


Sale of Marlin Expected 1st Quarter, 2022, Depending on
Sale of Marlin Bank, Other Regulations and Requirements
President/CEO Hilzinger Expected to Retire after Completion

Marlin Business’ Services (NASDAQ-Marlin) has entered into a, definitive agreement with HPS Investment Partners LLC through its European Asset Value Funds, to acquire all outstanding shared in an all-cash transaction of $23.50 per share. This is a 65% premium over the closing price of Marlin's common stock of $14.26 on April 16, 2021.

In a press release, it was stated, "The closing of the transaction is subject to various customary closing conditions, including regulatory and shareholder approvals, as well as the condition that Marlin Business Bank affect a “de-banking” and cease operations as a bank.  Subject to satisfaction of all closing conditions, of which there can be no assurances that they will occur, the Company believes the transaction would likely close in the first quarter of 2022.  In connection with the transaction, Red Mountain Capital Partners and certain of its affiliates, have signed a Voting Agreement whereby Red Mountain Capital Partners has agreed to vote in favor of the transaction.  The aggregate consideration paid by certain funds managed by HPS to Marlin shareholders may be reduced if the total costs in connection with the de-banking of Marlin Business Bank exceed $8 million. At this time, the Company does not expect this provision to have a material impact on the consideration received.  Following the closing, Marlin will become a privately held company and shares of Marlin will no longer be listed on NASDAQ."

"First Quarter 2021 Results
The Company expects to release its results of operations for the quarter ended March 31, 2021 on April 29, 2021, but will not conduct a conference call in connection with the release of its quarterly results."

Proxy Statement Pursuant to Section 14(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Amendment No. )

Jeffrey Hilzinger, President & Chief Organizer

"We also believe that the Company will be able to improve its underlying competitiveness and execute its strategy more effectively without the governance and regulatory costs of being a publicly traded bank holding company."  (1)

(page 4)


Rumor: Hilzinger will be retiring after the completion of the sale.  He joined Marlin in June, 2016, making this statement in perhaps his first report (2):

"I've been on the job for nearly two months and bring a fresh perspective to Marlin coupled with many years of relevant experience. I've spent my entire 35-year career in the commercial finance industry, including the last four years as President of EverBank Commercial Finance, a business that my team and I grew to a $4 billion diversified commercial finance platform. Before that, I co-founded US Express Leasing, a small ticket vendor finance startup that merged with Tygris Commercial Finance Group and ultimately merged with EverBank to form the basis of what is now EverBank Commercial Finance.

"Prior to this, I've spent more than 20 years at Heller Financial under a variety of leadership positions. In each of my roles, I developed a deep appreciation for the middle market and the importance that access to credit has on small and mid-sized business’s ability to grow. I look forward to working with the Marlin team, as we deepen our commitment to helping small and mid-sized businesses grow while also taking advantage of a dynamic and rapidly changing commercial finance marketplace."

(1) Schedule 14A Information (7 pages)

(2) Introducing Jeff Hilzinger, President and CEO/His Plans
    Marlin Business Services Earnings Conference Call

LinkedIn Biography:

Full report (120 pages)

The Spark


Small Business Owners Struggle
to Find Qualified Workers

“Main Street is doing better as state and local restrictions are eased but it is finding qualified labor is a critical issue for small businesses nationwide,” says NFIB Chief Economist, Bill Dunkelberg. “Small business owners are competing with the pandemic and increased unemployment benefits that are keeping some workers out of the labor force. However, owners remain determined to hire workers and grow their business.”

According to NFIB’s most recent small business optimism report, main street businesses increased employment by 0.42 workers per firm on average over the past few months. However, 42% (seasonally adjusted) had job openings that they were unable to fill in the current period, 20 percentage points higher than NFIB’s 48-year historical average reading of 22%.

Overall, more than half of the small business owners polled reported hiring or trying to hire new employees in March. However, 91% found few or no “qualified” applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. 34% said that they required skilled workers (up 1 percentage point from February) and 19% said they have openings for unskilled labor (up 3 percentage points).

Owners, frustrated with the limited availability of qualified and willing workers, have begun raising compensation to compete against unemployment benefits. A net 28% of small business owners polled by NFIB said they increased compensation to incentivize qualified candidates. Additionally, a net 17% plan to raise compensation in the next three months.

“Small businesses are clearly hiring [...] and would hire more if more qualified applicants showed up,” adds Dunkelberg. “Still, total employment is about 7 million lower than in 2020 February.”

Coleman Reports
28081 Marguerite Pkwy. #4525
Mission Viejo, CA 92690




Leasing Industry Help Wanted



Sales Make it Happen by Scott Wheeler, CLFP

Now is the Time to "Thrive"

Thrive (verb):
1) to prosper; be fortunate or successful
2) to grow or develop vigorously

Originators in the commercial equipment leasing and finance industry have every opportunity to prosper in 2021. They must be willing to grow and develop their business vigorously. Now is the time to stretch your goals, seek new "blue oceans," and develop your business thoughtfully. Many originators should be applauded for their success over the past quarter and year. Some originators have taken their good fortune to the next level and are building sustainable relationships for long term success.

A top originator explained his success as follows:

  • Over the past year, I have learned that I could increase my results by 5% to 10% by reacting to current opportunities that landed on my desk, because of past relationships and hard work.
  • However, I could increase my results by 30% or more by going deep and creating key relationships with a few well aligned vendors and end-users that could help me develop my expertise. By improving my personal knowledge and developing my own skill sets, I can offer more value and resources to my clients.
  • I transitioned from being a transactional participant to a long-term relationship-oriented resource for my vendors and end-users. I had to walk away from less productive opportunities to pursue larger more meaningful relationships that had the ability to provide a significant flow of business that fully aligns with my capabilities.
  • I am working hard and smart. I am well positioned and am providing more value than ever before.
  • At all times, I have one or two major projects that are aligned with my current activity but could lead me into new business channels.
  • I am growing professionally and personally. I thoroughly enjoy my career and am excited about the new opportunities which I know will develop throughout 2021.

Every originator has the ability to thrive in the commercial equipment leasing and finance industry. The difference between average production and superior results is a personal choice. Every day that you choose to grow and develop your personal value proposition is a step toward sustainable and meaningful success.

Don't wait...Thrive

Order via Amazon:

Scott A. Wheeler, CLFP
Wheeler Business Consulting
1314 Marquis Ct.
Fallston, Maryland 21047
Phone: 410 877 0428
Fax: 410 877 8161

Sales Makes it Happen articles:


Over half a million Americans are currently homeless. After a period of progress and decline, the U.S. homeless population has increased slightly by two percent according to a report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It now stands at 580,466 with 61 percent of that total living in sheltered accommodation. The national increase is primarily due to a leap in the unsheltered homeless population.

More than half of all unsheltered homeless people in the U.S. - some 51 percent - are in California. (Note in News Briefs: L.A. plans to spend nearly $1 billion to address homeless. Editor) That's nearly nine times as many as the state with the second-highest total of unsheltered homeless which is Texas. Homelessness is primarily an urban issue and more than half of the homeless population is scattered across the country's 50 biggest cities. Nearly a quarter of them live in just two cities - New York and Los Angeles. Despite its considerable homeless population, New York can at least claim that the vast majority of its rough sleepers are given sheltered accommodation with only 5 percent estimated to be living on the streets. The same cannot be said of the state of California where 70 percent of all homeless people are unsheltered.

The following infographic shows the top-10 worst cities for homelessness across the U.S. with New York in first place with 77,943. It's important to mention that in this comparison, the data is broken down by CoC - those are Continuums of Care - that are local planning bodies coordinating responses to the issue. Los Angeles is in second place with over 63,700 while Seattle/King County comes a distant third with 11,751.

By Niall McCarthy, Statista


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided its first public data about breakthrough Covid-19 cases to CNN and it shows that vaccines have been highly effective at reducing infections, hospitalizations and death. As of last week, around 78.5 million Americans had been fully vaccinated and the CDC's data states that 5,800 cases of Covid-19 occurred among fully vaccinated people, 396 of whom required hospitalization with 74 deaths recorded. The trends mirror those of Israel which has reported a handful of infections among its fully vaccinated population with a successful vaccine rollout resulting in both cases and hospitalizations collapsing in recent weeks.

While breakthrough cases have been expected as no vaccine is 100 percent effective, the number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths represent an extremely small share of the total number of people fully vaccinated. With 78.5 million Americans fully vaccinated, the share of breakthrough cases amounts to just 0.0074 percent. It is important to note, however, that the majority of those breakthrough cases likely occurred several weeks ago when the total number of people fully vaccinated was lower. Nevertheless, the data is proof that vaccines are performing well in real-life situations and away from clinical trials.

CNN has reported that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was 95 percent effective in preventing symptomatic disease in clinical trials. Earlier in April, the company reported that its jab was 91 percent effective against symptomatic Covid-19 for six months based on real-life data. The situation was similar with regards to Moderna and their vaccine was 94 percent effective in trials and 90 percent effective in real-life. Johnson & Johnson's shot had 66 percent efficacy in trials and 72 percent in full use over the last few weeks. The CDC states that breakthrough infections were seen in across all ages eligible for vaccination but that 40 percent occurred in people aged 60 and over.

By Niall McCarthy, Statista


New York Company Says Device Can Identify
Drivers Impaired by Cannabis

As more states across the United States decriminalize or legalize recreational and medicinal cannabis, concerns about cannabis impairment have been floated, with some of the opinion that the plant’s legalization will bring about increased dangerous driving.

Various studies have been conducted on marijuana and driving while impaired. So far, it has been determined that knowing whether a driver’s ability has been impaired by cannabis is a distinctly different task than determining whether an individual has been driving with too much alcohol in their bloodstream. This is mainly because THC, which is the main active chemical in cannabis, can stay in an individual’s system for weeks. Its presence does not mean that the person recently consumed cannabis.

Cognivue, a company that was bought in 2018 by businessman Tom Golisano, is convinced that its computerized cognitive testing device may be a solution to this issue. The company, which was founded in 2005, designs and develops a proprietary cognitive assessment device that is largely used in medical settings. The device was the first device that measures cognitive impairment to be approved for use by the FDA.

According to company officials, a grant from the NIH’s National Eye Institute helped fund its initial research for the device, which was created after more than a decade of research. Cognivue’s clinical account manager Kristin Weber explained that the device had been clinically validated more than once, noting that the company’s objective is to become validated globally.

Company officials have already scheduled meetings with state legislators to notify them of the device, given that the process of testing its effectiveness is currently ongoing.

Last year, the firm tested the device in Philadelphia on 130 drug-impaired people and have scheduled a clinical test at the Green Lab in Denver, Colorado, in June of this year. Weber stated that the company chose Colorado because the state has had legalized marijuana longer than any other state in the country while the lab that was chosen happens to be the leading consultant for the marijuana industry.

Cognivue hopes that the tests prove the device’s reliability, which would allow law enforcement to begin using them as early as this year.  The device has been designed to eliminate biases, such as sociological and physical, that may come with cognitive testing. It tests various traits, including visual and mobile responses.

As intended, the police would need to transport an individual suspected of impairment to the station, before administering the cognitive test. Weber asserted that the company wanted to address public safety issues while also making sure that individuals who are using cannabis responsibly and legally are not punished.




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

Atlantic Union Equipment Finance Continues to Grow,
Attracts Leading Industry Expertise

Richmond, Va.,  – Atlantic Union Bank announces the expansion of the Atlantic Union Equipment Finance team to meet the growing and diverse needs of its clients.

Jule Kreyling, president of Atlantic Union Equipment Finance, said, “Since our start in 2019, we’ve quickly established a customer-centric reputation in the market, which not only helps us differentiate ourselves from other equipment lenders and lessors, but also helps attract top talent who value that same business philosophy.

“Our new teammates, bring industry-leading expertise, have a strong client focus and will allow us to grow within our Mid-Atlantic footprint as well as nationally.”
Building out an already strong team, Atlantic Union Equipment Finance is excited to welcome its newest teammates.  Joining the team recently are:

Destry Toney, VP, Regional Director of Sales, Washington  – Destry has 25 years of experience as a senior financial services professional with an extensive background in originations, product structuring, relationship lending and portfolio acquisition.

Mike Johnson, VP, Regional Director of Sales, Southeast  Mike has more than 35 years of industry experience in both equipment finance and asset-based lending, ranging from business development, credit and underwriting, and audit among others.

Daryl Coupe, VP, Regional Director of Sales, Pennsylvania - Daryl brings a wealth of commercial and equipment finance experience and industry knowledge, most recently in food processing.

Steffanie Ragland, VP, Documentation Manager – Steffanie has 35 years of experience as a commercial finance industry professional with expertise in documentation and funding.

Tina Oliver, VP, Senior Credit Underwriter – Tina has over 28 years in the financial services industry with a variety of expertise, including in underwriting.

Jeremy Simmons, Commercial Credit Underwriter – Jeremy is an underwriting professional with experience in commercial middle market and equipment finance portfolio management.
Atlantic Union Equipment Finance provides a wide variety of equipment finance solutions to commercial and corporate clients. This includes providing financing for equipment assets including marine, tractors, trailers, buses, construction, manufacturing and medical, among other types of equipment.

Visit Atlantic Union Equipment Finance to learn more.

About Atlantic Union Bankshares Corporation
Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Atlantic Union Bankshares Corporation (Nasdaq: AUB) is the holding company for Atlantic Union Bank. Atlantic Union Bank has 129 branches and approximately 150 ATMs located throughout Virginia, and in portions of Maryland and North Carolina. Atlantic Union Bank Wealth Management is a brand name used by Atlantic Union Bank and certain affiliates when providing trust, wealth management, private banking, and investment advisory products and services. Certain non-bank affiliates of Atlantic Union Bank include: Old Dominion Capital Management, Inc., and its subsidiary, Outfitter Advisors, Ltd., and Dixon, Hubard, Feinour, & Brown, Inc., which provide investment advisory services; Atlantic Union Financial Consultants, LLC, which provides brokerage services; and Union Insurance Group, LLC, which offers various lines of insurance products.

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


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

Webster Bank Announces $10 Billion Merger Plan,
to Open Stamford HQ

The parent company of Webster Bank announces it will merge with the parent company of Sterling National Bank in an all-stock deal worth about $10.3 billion.

The new company will locate its headquarters in Stamford — an agreement that marks the second blockbuster transaction this year for Connecticut’s banking sector.

Waterbury-based Webster Financial Corp.’s union with the Pearl River, N.Y.-based Sterling Bancorp would create a bank with about $63 billion in total assets, $52 billion in deposits and more than 200 branch locations in the northeast U.S. The merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The combined company will keep the Webster name. It will “have a continued multi-campus presence in the greater New York City area and Waterbury,” in addition to the new Stamford headquarters, the companies said in their announcement. They did not specify the address of the Stamford headquarters, but since 2018 Webster has maintained offices at 200 Elm St., in the city’s downtown.

John Ciulla, Webster’s CEO, Chairman and President, said, “We are bringing together two high-performing organizations with strong cultural and business model alignment to create a powerhouse northeast bank.

“This combination provides exceptional financial benefits and enables us to more aggressively invest in key businesses and activities to enhance value for our customers, our communities, our shareholders and our bankers.”

Ciulla, would serve as CEO and president of the combined company until 24 months after the deal’s closing, at which point he would become chairman, president and CEO.

Sterling CEO and President Jack Kopnisky would serve as executive chairman of the combined company for 24 months after the deal’s closing and would then continue in a consulting role for another 12 months.

The combined company's executive management team would include executives from both companies. Its board of directors would have 15 directors, consisting of eight from Webster and seven from Sterling.

Sterling CEO and President Jack Kopnisky, commented, “We are excited to combine the best of both companies to create an industry leader.

 “Webster and Sterling have much in common: distinguished client service, diversity of revenue, funding sources and assets, and disciplined capital allocation. The increased capabilities and scale of our two organizations are attractive propositions for our clients, communities, shareholders and colleagues.”

Also Monday, Webster announced earnings of about $106 million for the first quarter of 2021, compared with a bottom line of some $36 million in the same period last year.

With more than 110 branches statewide at last report, Webster’s branch count is comparable to that of Bank of America for the largest footprint in Connecticut after Bridgeport-based People’s United Bank.

Webster ranked third for deposits in Connecticut branches, at $23.3 billion as of June 2020, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

In the 2020 fiscal year, Webster employed about 300 Waterbury-based employees, ranking as the city’s third-largest corporate employer after Stop & Shop and Walmart, according to the city’s latest annual financial report.

The Webster-Sterling deal follows the announcement in February that M&T Bank would acquire People’s United’s parent company for about $7.6 billion.

If completed, the combination of People’s United and M&T would form one of the dozen-largest banks in the country. Buffalo, N.Y.-based M&T vowed to keep People’s United’s Bridgeport headquarters as its New England regional office.

On Monday, M&T reported $447 million in profits in the first quarter, a 5 percent drop from the fourth quarter of 2020 but up two-thirds from the first quarter of last year when the pandemic hit.

Connecticut banks are coming off a year in which they generated the third-highest profits in their history, despite the struggles of borrowers, such as borrowers, hit hard by revenue losses during the pandemic.

Source: Stamford Advocate/Secured Finance Network

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


Shepherd & Labrador Retriever
Palo Alto, California  Adopt-a-Dog

Medium Size
House Trained
Good with Home
other dogs, children
Vaccinations Up-to-date

Magpie is a 1-year-old Shepherd x Labrador mix who weighs 49 lbs. She was a rescue from Mexico, where we work with a fabulous organization that rescues the abandoned, abused, and neglected who are often discarded. Our wonderful partners step in, save them, and we work together to find them the best homes. Magpie is a mellow sweetie who loves to snooze! She may just be the calm, adorable, lazy morning companion you've been searching for.
Magpie will usually sleep in as long you want! Some mornings, her foster wakes her up around 7:30 am; other mornings, Magpie is happy to sleep until 10 am! She is a lazy girl who values lots of beauty sleep. If it were up to her, she would just nap next to her foster parent all day. She has started going for short walks once or twice a day to get her used to it, but she would definitely rather stay home.

Without a doubt, Magpie's favorite times of the day are breakfast and dinner. Nothing gets her tail wagging like a good meal. She is such a sweetheart with people. She is on the nervous side but always wants to greet people. Once you give her a few pets, or better yet some treats, she will happily be your friend. Food is definitely the way into this girl's heart. She loves to be with her person and picks one person to follow around. She can always be found in whatever comfy spot is closest to her foster parent. When people come over, she wants to be part of it. However, she is not at all the kind of dog who is all over guests. She says a very calm hello and then settles down nearby. She loves a good scratch and a belly rub but is not demanding or needy.

Slowly Magpie is revealing her goofy side, whether she is happily rolling on her back or doing the rare zoomie around the house. It seems like more of this will show up with time. She has only barked a few times, although she is a big talker, especially when she is stressed. She whines and grumbles to try and communicate. She would occasionally play with toys with her puppies, but since they left, she hasn't shown interest. It's definitely possible she might learn at some point as she gains confidence in herself. She would wrestle and chase her pups gently, so with a dog she knows and feels safe with she might learn to play.

Magpie has been working on getting comfortable on a leash and out in the world. She started off extremely scared of her leash and would run and hide in her bed shaking. She still doesn't love it, but she has made very quick progress and no longer panics. She is pretty happy walking around the cul-de-sac where she feels safe and is even starting to enjoy it. Once she goes past her block, things are a little scarier, but she is an absolute trooper and is quickly gaining confidence. She gets very startled by trucks, bikes, leaf blowers - anything that has quick movement or makes loud noises. Treats throughout the walk help. She is starting to stop and sniff at bushes, with patience and more practice, it's likely she will soon learn to enjoy being out and about. She listens extremely well.

Magpie can get stressed when she sees dogs on walks, so she will need a confident, calm person who will be a strong role model and teach her that other dogs are nothing to fear. She listens well, so it is easy to get her to pay attention to you and not the dogs.

Magpie is completely house trained and lets herself out or scratches at the door. She is very clever and learns quickly. She is comfortable going in a crate but hasn't really spent much time in one yet. She has been left alone with access to the whole house for up to four hours; she will cry a little at first, then goes to sleep on her bed.
Magpie is only an option for those who have had a dog of their own before. If there are children in the home they need to be over the age of 10.

Doggie Protective Services
Palo Alto, California

Application Process



Q2 2021 Equipment Leasing & Finance Industry
Snapshot Now Available

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation has released the Q2 2021 Equipment Leasing & Finance Industry Snapshot, an indispensable information resource for industry participants. Designed for use in executive briefings and presentations, the presentation slide deck summarizes the current conditions and projections for the U.S. economy and equipment finance industry with clear, easy-to-digest charts and short narratives of key trends.
Among the range of details in the new release:
•  The U.S. economy expanded at a 4.3% annualized pace in Q4 2020, but was still 2.4% below its level at the end of 2019. Growth in Q4 was driven by robust business investment, residential investment, and consumer spending.

• Overall, the Foundation projects the U.S. economy will grow by 5.7% in 2021.

•  Economic tailwinds for growth this year include:

  • Historic stimulus, record-high savings rates, and below-trend spending, which should provide a substantial lift to consumer spending as the economy reopens this summer.
  • The housing sector, which is benefitting from stable demand drivers like remote work and increased Millennial homeownership.

•  Economic headwinds include:

  • Uneven global recovery if major trading partners like Europe struggle with vaccination efforts, which will result in weak demand for U.S. exports and drag on markets such as oil & gas and industrial equipment.
  • A weak U.S. labor market despite regaining almost half of jobs lost during the pandemic.

•  Additional factors to watch include:

  • Vaccine rollout and new strains of COVID.
  • Inflationary pressures
  • Infrastructure spending bill

•  Equipment investment will likely accelerate in 2021 with improving vaccination rates and the need to invest for the new post-COVID normal. Equipment and software investment is projected to expand by a robust 11.2% in 2021.

•   New business volume growth reported in ELFA’s Monthly Leasing and Finance Index rebounded at a strong 9% yearly pace in February, the first YOY improvement since the beginning of the pandemic.
Prepared by Keybridge Research and updated quarterly, the snapshot is available for free download at



News Briefs---

The post-pandemic spending spree has begun
     Here are 6 things Americans are buying

Unemployment Is High
     Why Are Businesses Struggling to Hire?

GATX Reports First Quarter Income $36.5 Million
    Fleet Utilization was 97.8%

As pandemic recedes, global warming resumes.
    Plus more updates in the drive to curb COVID-19 


You May Have Missed---

California Wine Country hotels reopen
    but struggle to rehire workers


Sports Briefs---

Inspiration, respect and admiration: NFL world
    reacts to Alex Smith's retirement from football

Study suggests NFL crowds may have led to coronavirus spikes

Celebrate Alex Smith's resilience as the former 49ers QB calls it a career

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes 'ahead of schedule'
    after offseason surgery to repair a turf toe


California Nuts Briefs---

L.A. plans nearly $1 billion in spending to address
    homelessness under Garcetti plan

Work from home forever? After COVID,
    Californians want to ditch daily commutes, survey says

House Judge orders L.A. city and county to provide shelter
     for everyone on skid row by fall

Highway 1 through Big Sur will reopen this Friday,
     ahead of schedule



“Gimme that Wine”

Winery DTC Shipments Up 16% in Value

Free Wine App

Wine Prices by vintage


This Day in History

    1649 - The Toleration Act was passed by the Maryland Assembly. It protected Roman Catholics within the American colony against Protestant harassment, which had been rising as Oliver Cromwell's power in England increased. 
    1782 - The Presidio, overlooking San Francisco, is erected by the Spanish to subdue Indians interfering with mail transmissions along El Camino Real.
    1801 - Birthday of M.T. Hunter (d. 1887), Essex County, Virginia, one of the South's most pro-slavery congressmen and leaders.
    1828 - Noah Webster published the first American dictionary. It took grammarian and Editor Noah Webster nearly 20 years to complete his two-volume dictionary of more than 35,000 entries.
    1836 - Battle of San Jacinto, in which Texas won independence from Mexico. A 570-foot monument, dedicated on the 101st anniversary of the battle, marks the site on the banks of the San Jacinto River, about 20 miles from present city of Houston, TX, where General Sam Houston's Texans decisively defeated the Mexican forces led by Santa Ana in the final battle between Texas and Mexico.
    1838 - American naturalist, explorer, conservationist and author John Muir (d. 1914) birthday, born at Dunbar, Scotland. He immigrated to the US in 1849, where he urged establishment of national parks and profoundly influenced US forest conservation. The 550-acre Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County (Mill Valley) is named after him. In 1892, he and several other early preservationists formed the Sierra Club. Muir served as the club president for 22 years, tirelessly advocating the importance of preserving wilderness as a place where thousands of "tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people" could find spiritual and physical rejuvenation. It is hard to overestimate Muir's influence in fostering modern concepts of wilderness appreciation and protection. However, in practical terms, Muir and the Sierra Club lost several of their battles to protect the wilderness. From 1908 to 1913, Muir fought fervently against the proposed construction of the Hetch Hetchy dam in Yosemite National Park, which was being built to provide a reservoir of water for the city of San Francisco. Muir railed against his opponents, calling them "temple destroyers" and "devotees of raging commercialism," but to no avail--the dam was built and water covers the Hetch Hetchy Valley today. He was also considered to be a very prejudice person and a school in his name was to be changed in San Francisco, despite
his conservation activities.
    1856 - The first railroad bridge over the Mississippi River opened with the first crossing of a locomotive. The train belonged to the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad Company, commonly known as the Rock Island Line. The bridge ran between Rock Island, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa.
    1865 - Abraham Lincoln's funeral train leaves Washington with hundreds of thousands of people surrounding the railroad tracks of his journey.
    1869 - President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Brigadier General Ely Samuel Park, who served as his military secretary during the Civil War, to the post of commissioner of Indian Affairs. He was the first Native American Indian ever appointed to be superintendent of Indian Affairs.
    1878 - Captain David B. Kenyon of Engine Company No. 21, New York City, installed the first firehouse pole. A hole was cut in an upper floor to accommodate a greased pole three inches wide that extended between the two stories, to enable the firemen to slide down the pole instead of using the stairs.
    1887 – Hall of Fame manager Joe McCarthy (d. 1978) was born in Philadelphia.  McCarthy will become the first manager to win pennants with both National and American league teams and will win nine league titles overall and seven World Series championships. He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977.  McCarthy’s Yankee teams of the 1930s with Gehrig, DiMaggio, Dickey, and Gomez, became the first to win four consecutive World Series (1936-39).  McCarthy's career winning percentages in both the regular season (.615) and postseason (.698, all in the World Series) are the highest in history. His 2,125 career victories rank eighth all-time and he ranks first all-time for the Yankees with 1,460 wins. 
    1895 - In New York City, Woodville Latham demonstrated the first moving picture projected on a screen.
    1897 - Birthday of A. W. Tozer (d. 1963), La Jose, PA. One of the most popular and influential pastors to come out of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, Tozer was also a prolific writer.  His best-known publications include "The Pursuit of God" (1948) and "The Root of Righteousness" (1955).
    1898 - Using the sinking of battleship Maine as rallying cry, the US declares war on Spain in a successful attempt to acquire colonies seeking to win independence from Spain. The US gains Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines with plans to annex the independent nation of Hawai'i later that year.
    1914 - US marines occupy Vera Cruz México, stay 6 months.
    1918 - German flying ace Baron Manfred von Richtofen was shot down and killed during the battle of the Somme. The 'Red Baron," so named for the color of his Fokker triplane, was credited with 80 kills in less than two years. Royal Flying Corp pilots recovered his body and the Allies buried him with full military honors.
    1916 - Birthday of record owner, but better known as DJ "Huntin' with Hunter," Hunter Hancock (d. 2004), Uvalde, Texas.  I remember listening to him when I went to University High School, West Los Angeles, California.
    1922 - Guitarist Mundell Lowe (d. 2017) birthday, Shady Grove, MS.

    1924 - Birthday of singer Clara Ward (d. 1973), Philadelphia, PA
    1924 - Birthday of Ira Louvin (d. 1965), who formed a gospel and bluegrass duo with his brother Charlie, was born in Rainesville, Alabama. The Louvin Brothers first gained notice in the 1950s with their talking gospel songs, such as "Satan Is Real" and "Make Him a Soldier." Their secular hits included "When I Stop Dreaming" and "I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby." "Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself," a song written by the Louvin Brothers, remains popular among bluegrass groups. Ira Louvin died in a car crash in Jefferson City, Missouri on June 20th, 1965.
    1944 - Birthday of Cathie Black, Chicago.  U.S. publisher, who was president of Hearst Magazines, the world's largest publisher of monthly magazines with readership of nearly 125 million. Among the magazines under her overall direction were Cosmopolitan and Esquire.
    1945 - INOUYE, DANIEL K. Medal of Honor
Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force. Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement. Before the enemy could retaliate, he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest. Although wounded by a sniper’s bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured. By his gallant, aggressive tactics and by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge. Second Lieutenant Inouye’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.  A US Senator from Hawaii from 1963 until his death in 2012, Inouye was the first Japanese American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and the first Japanese American to serve in the U.S. Senate.  Inouye was a posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Among other public structures, Honolulu International Airport has since been renamed Danial K. Inouye International Airport in his honor.
    1945 - MAY, MARTIN O.  Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 307th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division. Place and date: legusuku-Yama, Ie Shima, Ryukyu Islands, 19-21 April 1945. Entered service at: Phillipsburg, N.J. Birth: Phillipsburg, N.J. G.O. No: 9, 25 January 1946. Citation: He gallantly maintained a 3-day stand in the face of terrible odds when American troops fought for possession of the rugged slopes of legusuku-Yama on Ie Shima, Ryukyu Islands. After placing his heavy machinegun in an advantageous yet vulnerable position on a ridge to support riflemen, he became the target of fierce mortar and small arms fire from counterattacking Japanese. He repulsed this assault by sweeping the enemy with accurate bursts while explosions and ricocheting bullets threw blinding dust and dirt about him. He broke up a second counterattack by hurling grenades into the midst of the enemy forces, and then refused to withdraw, volunteering to maintain his post and cover the movement of American riflemen as they reorganized to meet any further hostile action. The major effort of the enemy did not develop until the morning of 21 April. It found Pfc. May still supporting the rifle company in the face of devastating rifle, machinegun, and mortar fire. While many of the friendly troops about him became casualties, he continued to fire his machinegun until he was severely wounded and his gun rendered useless by the burst of a mortar shell. Refusing to withdraw from the violent action, he blasted fanatical Japanese troops with hand grenades until wounded again, this time mortally. By his intrepidity and the extreme tenacity with which he held firm until death against overwhelming forces, Pfc. May killed at least 16 Japanese, was largely responsible for maintaining the American lines, and inspired his comrades to efforts which later resulted in complete victory and seizure of the mountain stronghold.
    1945 - One of the world's first great R&B labels, Modern Records, is formed by Saul and Jules Bihari in Los Angeles. It would prove to be the launching pad for everyone from John Lee Hooker to Etta James.
    1947 - Birthday of new wave performer Iggy Pop, whose real name is James Jewel Osterberg, was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Pop and his band the Stooges, formed in 1968, are now considered forerunners to the punk rock movement. He earned notoriety for his wild concert performances, which included flinging himself into audiences and smearing his body with anything handy, from peanut butter to blood.
    1948 - First Polaroid camera sold in US and becomes obsolete with the popularity of the digital camera at the turn of the 20th century.
    1951 - Les Paul and Mary Ford's "How High the Moon" hits #1.
    1951 - Top Hits
If - Perry Como
Mockingbird Hill - Les Paul & Mary Ford
Would I Love You - Patti Page
The Rhumba Boogie - Hank Snow
    1956 - "Heartbreak Hotel," Elvis Presley's first single for RCA Victor, went to number one in the US. It stayed in the top spot for eight weeks, becoming his first million-seller.
    1958 - The Platters' "Twilight Time" hits #1
    1959 - Top Hits
Come Softly to Me - The Fleetwoods
I Need Your Love Tonight - Elvis Presley
(Now and Then There's) A Fool Such as I - Elvis Presley
White Lightning - George Jones
    1960 - Dick Clark, described as "the single most influential person" in the pop music business, testifies before a congressional committee investigating payola. He admits he had a financial interest in 27% of the records he played on his show in a 28-month period. But unlike his rival, Alan Freed, Clark was exonerated of any wrongdoing and went on building entertainment empires among the most influential in the world.
    1961 - The Beatles debut at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England.
    1962 - Elvis Presley's "Good Luck Charm" hits #1
    1963 - The Beatles went to the Crawdaddy Club in London to see the Rolling Stones. Impressed with the Stones, the Beatles recommended them to their former publicist Andrew Loog Oldham. Oldham became manager of the Rolling Stones.
    1966 - President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966 presented the Medal of Honor awarded posthumously in the Vietnam War to the first African American soldier, Private First Class Milton Lee Olive, III, Company B, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade, who was killed when he grabbed an enemy grenade and fell on it to save the lives of four companions.
    1966 – The Chicago Cubs make one of the best trades in franchise history, acquiring future Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkin from the Philadelphia Phillies in a five-player deal. The Cubs surrender pitchers Bob Buhl and Larry Jackson, outfielder Adolfo Phillips, and first baseman John Herrnstein.  He went on to win 20 games six consecutive seasons, from 1967-72. He is the only pitcher in history to have struck out more than 3,000 batters (3,192) while allowing fewer than 1,000 walks (997).
    1967 - MARTINI, GARY W.  Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company F, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Binh Son, Republic of Vietnam, 21 April 1967. Entered service at: Portland, Oregon. Born: 21 September 1948, Lexington, Va. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On 21 April 1967, during Operation UNION* elements of Company F, conducting offensive operations at Binh Son, encountered a firmly entrenched enemy force and immediately deployed to engage them. The marines in Pfc. Martini's platoon assaulted across an open rice paddy to within 20 meters of the enemy trench line where they were suddenly struck by hand grenades, intense small arms, automatic weapons, and mortar fire. The enemy onslaught killed 14 and wounded 18 marines, pinning the remainder of the platoon down behind a low paddy dike. In the face of imminent danger, Pfc. Martini immediately crawled over the dike to a forward open area within 15 meters of the enemy position where, continuously exposed to the hostile fire, he hurled hand grenades, killing several of the enemy. Crawling back through the intense fire, he rejoined his platoon which had moved to the relative safety of a trench line. From this position he observed several of his wounded comrades lying helpless in the fire-swept paddy. Although he knew that 1 man had been killed attempting to assist the wounded, Pfc. Martini raced through the open area and dragged a comrade back to a friendly position. In spite of a serious wound received during this first daring rescue, he again braved the unrelenting fury of the enemy fire to aid another companion Lying wounded only 20 meters in front of the enemy trench line. As he reached the fallen marine, he received a mortal wound, but disregarding his own condition, he began to drag the marine toward his platoon's position. Observing men from his unit attempting to leave the security of their position to aid him, concerned only for their safety, he called to them to remain under cover, and through a final supreme effort, moved his injured comrade to where he could be pulled to safety, before he fell, succumbing to his wounds. Stouthearted and indomitable, Pfc. Martini unhesitatingly yielded his life to save 2 of his comrades and insure the safety of the remainder of his platoon. His outstanding courage, valiant fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty reflected the highest credit upon himself, the Marine Corps, and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
    1967 - Top Hits
Somethin' Stupid - Nancy Sinatra & Frank Sinatra
This is My Song - Petula Clark
A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You - The Monkees
Lonely Again - Eddy Arnold
    1967 - Severe thunderstorms spawned 48 tornadoes in the Upper Midwest. Hardest hit was northern Illinois where sixteen tornadoes touched down during the afternoon and evening hours causing fifty million dollars damage. On that Friday afternoon tornadoes struck Belvidere IL, and the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn, killing 57 persons.
    1969 - Rock singer Janis Joplin gave one of her greatest performances at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The show was attended by a glittering array of British rock performers. A year-and-a-half later, on October 4th, 1970, Joplin was dead of a drug overdose. She had just finished recording her album "Pearl," which contained her first number-one single, Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGhee."
    1970 - Elton John makes his stage debut as a solo act when he opens for T. Rex, Spooky Tooth, and Jackie Lomax at the Roundhouse in London.
    1971 - "Sticky Fingers," the Rolling Stones' first album for their own label, Rolling Stones Records, was released.
    1973 - Tony Orlando and Dawn's "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" hits #1
    1973 - Alice Cooper had the #1 album in the US with "Billion Dollar Babies." The LP also topped the chart in the UK.
    1975 - Top Hits
Philadelphia Freedom - The Elton John Band
(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song - B.J. Thomas
He Don't Love You (Like I Love You) - Tony Orlando & Dawn
Always Wanting You - Merle Haggard
    1975 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song," B.J. Thomas. The song has the longest title of any No. 1 single.
    1976 - A Cadillac convertible, the ‘last' American-made rag top automobile, came off the assembly line at GM's production facility in Detroit, Michigan, ending a tradition starting in 1916. A few years later, Chrysler Corporation, headed by Lee Iacocca, began producing soft-top cars again. Ford then brought back the convertible Mustang and GM returned with the convertible Pontiac Sunbird and a smaller Cadillac version.  In the late 1980s, US and foreign automakers reintroduced convertibles with good success.
    1976 - Ex-Raspberries lead singer Eric Carmen enters the pop chart with his first and biggest solo smash, "All by Myself." It peaks at #2.
    1977 – “Annie,” a musical based on Harold Gray's comic strip “Little Orphan Annie,” debuted on Broadway. The play received rave reviews, and Dorothy Louden, who played the sinister orphanage matron, received a Tony for Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy for her performance.
    1977 - ABC airs Frank Sinatra's TV special Frank Sinatra and Friends, featuring guest stars Natalie Cole and John Denver.
    1979 - Amii Stewart's "Knock on Wood" hits #1
    1980 - The temperature at International Falls, MN hit 90 degrees.
    1980 - Birthday of Football Quarterback Antonio Ramiro "Tony" Romo, San Diego, California, raised in Burlington, Wisconsin. He played college football at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. He went undrafted during the 2003 NFL Draft; he joined the Dallas Cowboys in summer training camp, sitting third on the depth chart. After Vinny Testaverde's tenure in Dallas ended in 2005, the Cowboys signed veteran quarterback Drew Bledsoe, the eighth starting quarterback for the Cowboys since 2000. Elevated to the Cowboys' #2 quarterback in 2005. He eventually took over the starting quarterback role from Drew Bledsoe during half time against the New York Giants on October 23, 2006. Romo finished the 2009 season as the first quarterback in team history to take every snap for a full season. He also passed his own mark for single season passing yardage, with 4,483 yards, and became the first Cowboys quarterback to throw 20+ touchdowns and less than ten interceptions in a season. His eight 300 yard games was also a team record, surpassing his own record from 2007. His 1.6% interception percentage tied a team record, and his career interception percentage is now the lowest in franchise history.  Romo retired after the 2016 season when a preseason back injury caused him to lose his starting position to backup Dak Prescott. Upon retiring, he was hired by CBS Sports to become the lead color analyst for their NFL telecasts, joining Jim Nantz in the broadcast booth. The “New Yorker” has called him a "genius of football commentary." In February 2020, Romo renewed his contract with CBS through at least 2022, with the network reportedly paying him $17 million per year, which would make Romo one of the highest-paid personnel in sports broadcasting and "the highest-paid NFL analyst in television history."
    1983 - Top Hits
Billy Jean - Michael Jackson
Come on Eileen - Dexys Midnight Runners
Mr. Roboto - Styx
Dixieland Delight - Alabama
    1984 - Michael Jackson's album "Thriller" slipped from number 1 to number 3 on the pop album charts after 37 weeks at #1, setting a record in for the longest run at the top.
    1984 - David Palmer pitched the fourth shortened, perfect game in the history of Major League baseball. Palmer was taking the Montreal Expos to a 4-0 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals when the home plate umpire called the game after five innings due to rain. Until that point, Palmer had made 57 pitches.
    1987 - For the first time, the United States Postal Service offered special occasion stamps. Among the messages offered were: “Happy Birthday,” “Get Well” and others.
    1988 - After having had just twelve rainouts in the previous twenty-six years at Dodger Stadium, a third day of heavy rain in southern California rained out a double-header at Dodger Stadium which had been scheduled due to rainouts the previous two days.
    1989 - The temperature at Las Animas, CO., soared to 100 degrees to establish a state record for April. Twenty-two cities in the central and southwestern U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. Eight cities equaled or exceeded previous April records.
    1991 - Top Hits
You're in Love - Wilson Phillips
Baby Baby - Amy Grant
Joyride - Roxette
Down Home – Alabama
    1993 - Bill Kreutzmann, drummer for the Grateful Dead, spots a 17-year-old surfer foundering in a riptide near Mendocino, CA and dives in, saving his life.
    1995 - The FBI arrested former soldier Timothy McVeigh at an Oklahoma jail where he had spent two days on minor traffic and weapons charges; he was charged in connection with the Oklahoma City bombing two days earlier in which over 200 people were killed by a truck bomb that exploded in front of a Federal building
    1997 - The ashes of 1960s LSD guru Timothy Leary and "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry were blasted into space in the world's first space funeral.
    1999 - Elvis Crespo is the big winner at Billboard's Latin Music Awards. The merengue star picks up four trophies, tying him with Selena for the most wins at one show. Crespo takes three awards in the tropical/salsa category - album of the year, male; album of the year, new artist; and hot Latin track of the year - as well as the prize for Latin dance maxi-single.
    1999 - Brooks & Dunn debut their newest video, "South of Santa Fe," while internet site simultaneously streams the video using Microsoft Windows Media technology. It is the first time that a country video debuts simultaneously on TV and the Internet.
    2000 - In Cincinnati, the Dodgers/Reds game is delayed for 27 minutes as the umpires' equipment was accidentally shipped to New York. Replacement gear is secured from a downtown store but due to heavy traffic a police escort is needed to get the goods to Cinergy Field.
    2002 - Atlanta shortstop Rafael Furcal ties a major league record, which was most previously done by White Sox outfielder Lance Johnson in 1995, by hitting three triples in a game. The last time a Braves' player hit three three-baggers in one contest was on June 13, 1956 when Danny O'Connell accomplished the feat.
   2012 - In an otherwise mediocre 7-year career, Chicago White Sox pitcher Philip Humber, pitched the 21st perfect game in MLB history, defeating the Seattle Mariners.  It was also the third perfect game in team history.
    2014 - 118th Boston Marathon. The marathon begins in the rural New England town of Hopkinton, winds through eight cities and towns and finishes near downtown Boston. Always, the first Monday in April. 37,755 participants. Athletes qualify by meeting time standards that correspond to age. Est. Attendance: 1,000,000. Sue’s daughter Sara has run in the Boston Marathon.



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