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Sales Manager – Houston Office
5 years+ equip fin/leasing experience
Player/Coach 3-4 Rep’s, Energy Experience+
Must have track record of overachievement

Controller – So California Office
AR, AP,Tax,Fin-Statement Prep/Internal Controls
Treasury Mgmt/Lease Acct and IT knowledge all++

Please submit resume to

FIRST NATIONAL CAPITAL CORPORATION Is the 5th Largest Privately Held Equipment Finance Company In the United States

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

  Classified Ads---Sales Manager
Vaughn Indicted for defrauding banks, leasing companies
 Sheldon Player Still a Player
  Leasing Sales "Didn't Say Merry Christmas!"
   November New Business Down, not Up as reported by ELFA
    by Christopher Menkin
     Classified Ads---Help Wanted
      Leasing 102 by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP
       The Depreciation Effect
        Top Stories---December 20--December 22
          ZRG Partners Acquires Starting Point Companies
           Salem, Massachusetts---Adopt-a-Dog
News Briefs---
 Wildwood employees get prison for Leasing Ponzi scheme
  New York Airports Open After Heaviest Snows in Six Decades
   East Digs Out After Blizzard Leaves a Trail of Disruption
    Retail Sales Rebound, Beating Forecasts
     Latest Kindle is Amazon's best-selling device, ever
      Where the $200,000 Plus live
       Behind Census Figures: Boom in Nevada, a Story of Bust
        GE Capital Ireland facing collapse over €51m loss
         The China Used Equipment & Remanufacturing Summit 2011

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (collection)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months

 Alabama Town’s Failed Pension Is a Warning
     You May Have Missed---
       Sports Briefs---
        "Gimme that Wine"
    This Day in American History
     Football Poem
       Daily Puzzle
      Weather, USA or specific area
       Traffic Live----

Paul Menzel, CLP, on Banking and Lease Demand in Thursday’s Edition

######## 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. It is considered “bias” as it is the writer’s viewpoint.


Classified Ads---Sales Manager

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

Bayville, NJ
Dedicated individual seeking a account management position, 3 years leasing experience and 15+ years sales experience. Resume furnished upon request,
email Frank at .

Fort Myers, Florida
Very experienced and strong skills with both Captive and Specialty Sales Management. Over 25 years , will relocate and travel---successful and team player.

Free Posting for those seeking employment in Leasing:

All “free” categories “job wanted” ads:


Vaughn Indicted for defrauding banks, leasing companies

United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced a federal grand jury in San Francisco has indicted Charles Robert Vaughn, a/k/a Robert Vaughan, a/k/a Robert Vaughn, of Glen Ellen, California, founder of @VANTAGE.COM dba Planet Organic, with making false statements to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in order to obtain $700,000 in farm loans, and with defrauding North Coast Bank in Santa Rosa, Calif., in obtaining a $100,000 line of credit from the bank.

Reportedly in addition to being charged with obtaining the farm loans through fraud, Vaughn is charged with defrauding North Coast Bank in Santa Rosa by applying for and obtaining a $100,000 line of credit from the bank in 2007. Again using the name Robert Vaughan, and acting again on behalf of his business, Vaughn is charged with making material false statements and omissions to the bank, including falsely representing that his business had just less than $3 million in annual sales, providing fraudulent business tax returns to the bank and failing to disclose that the business had filed for bankruptcy in the same time frame that Vaughn was seeking the line of credit.

His company "leased" equipment from reportedly from over 20 leasing companies including Balboa Capital, Bank of America Leasing, Chesterfield, CIT, First Corp, IFC, GE Capital, Irwin, Leaf, Marlin, Santa Barbara Bank, Manifest, and others. The leases were all reportedly a fake.

Vaughn’s company filed a Chapter 12 bankruptcy plan, and unbeknownst to the Bankruptcy Judge, Robert Vaughn, was an ex-con. His financials were false, in that he claimed that he owned real estate, but it had already been lost, and further claimed $1.4mm in revenue. In reality, after the property was lost, he entered into a side deal to buy it himself. He also lied to the Department of Agriculture and North Bay Bank. Total creditors were well over $2mm. He almost got away with it.

At the hearing on the Chapter 12 Plan, he sheepishly admitted using multiple names, was caught lying on the stand about his business partner who in reality was dead, and using one thousand dollars in government money for a week at the Mark Hopkins Hotel and a $10,000 shopping spree at Victoria's Secret to dress up his lover. He also claimed that he did not know what his previous conviction was for (he forgot, he told the Bankruptcy court).

One of the attorneys in the bankruptcy trial, Tom McCurrin, told Leasing News:

"One of my fondest memories was asking the question about the Victoria's Secret clothing, and watching the Judge's Clerk literally lose a half glass of water through her nose, and wrecking her keyboard when that question was asked and answered. Priceless."

Susan Badger is the Assistant United States Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Rayneisha Booth. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and of the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The lawyers that unraveled, and got Vaughn to lie on the stand at the bankruptcy trial were Ken Greene and Tom McCurnin.

Kenneth C. Greene, Partner
Hamrick & Evans, LLP
10 Universal City Plaza, Suite 2200
Universal City California 91608
Fax: 818-763-763-2309

Tom McCurnin
Barton, Klugman & Oetting
350 South Grand Ave.
Suite 2200
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Direct Phone: (213) 617-6129
Cell (213) 268-8291
Fax: (213) 625-1832

@Vantage Memorandum of Decision:

Grand Jury Indictment:


Sheldon Player Still a Player

There are casinos in Nevada where Sheldon Player is still able to play from Elko to Wendover and others, but perhaps not Las Vegas or the surrounding areas as the Equipment Acquisition Resource Bankruptcy Trustee is seeking money from various casinos when he gambled.

The trustees are still seeking $1.785 million from Wynn casinos, $471,000 from the Rio, $236,500 from the Luxor, and $30,000 from Harrah's.

Equipment Acquisition Resources from October 2005 to October 2009 sent 21 checks to Wynn totaling $1.785 million so Player, Malone, Anstett or others personally could allegedly engage in gambling and gaming activities at one or more of the Wynn casinos. Wynn attorneys claim the money was not the property of Equipment Acquisition Resources, but rather was compensation to its executives Player, Malone and Anstett.

There are other casinos, according to court documents, $4.3 million in payments to the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind., $584,000 in payments to the Ameristar Casino in East Chicago, Ind., and $30,000 to the Palms hotel-casino in Las Vegas. The investigation is still on going and perhaps a settlement will be made as with the IRS.

In the company bankruptcy proceedings whatever equipment existed has been sold, as well as rooms of equipment in various stages also deposed. Those who were asked to take a bid describe it as equipment on top of equipment with dirt and dust everywhere.

In the meantime, it appears a settlement has been reached with the IRS regarding payments made by the company and its three main officers in the ruse that equipment existed as well as profits. One of the props in the scheme was actually paying taxes on alleged phony profits so when creditors asked for a verification of tax returns, they would show the "profits" and taxes paid.

"On nine occasions from October 15, 2007 until December 3, 2008, the Debtor made transfers (the "Transfers") directly to the United States Treasury to pay the taxes of individual owners and officers of the Debtor, particularly Sheldon Player ("Player"), Donna Malone ("Malone"), and Mark Anstett ("Mark"), who filed joint tax returns with his wife Martha Anstett ("Martha"). The aggregate amount of the payments was $4,737,261.36. EAR made eight payments totaling $2,412,973.36 within the two year period prior to the October 23, 2009 bankruptcy filing. One payment in the amount of $2,324,288.00 was outside the two year period prior to the bankruptcy filing but within the four year period prior to the bankruptcy filing."

The settlement is for 65% or $2,412,973.36. They are also seeking the USA will pay $871,608.00 for Count II ("As to Count II, the reversal of the creditors will be $871,608.00 on the account of Player & Malone for 2006 (37.5% of the payment), assuming the USA's Second Defense is overruled.")

The "PLAN ADMINISTRATOR'S MOTION TO APPROVE SETTLEMENT PURSUANT TO RULE 9019 OF THE FEDERAL RULES OF BANKRUTPCY PROCEDURE WITH THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE AND TO BIND SHELDON PLAYER, DONNA MALONE, AND MARK AND MARTHA ANSTETT AND TO EXTEND THE DISPOSITIVE MOTION CUTOFF DATE…Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 9:30 a.m., or as soon thereafter as counsel may be heard, the undersigned will appear before the Honorable John H. Squires, Bankruptcy Judge, or such other judge as may be sitting in his/her stead, in courtroom 680, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois..."

Readers ask why ex-con Player is not in jail, and is out spending money, enjoying life. Evidently he knows how to play his cards.

EAR –IRS Proposed Settlement:

Previous articles:

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



Leasing Sales Didn’t Say “Merry Christmas!”



November New Business Down, Not Up As Reported By ELFA
by Christopher Menkin

(Leasing News Chart)

Did not hear from many captive lessors, but funders, lessors, and brokers told Leasing News business was soft to non-existent. “Appears to be a lack of demand,” many said.

The lack of enthusiasm seemed to carry into December and the passage of the tax package with advantages for companies to acquire equipment was seen for next year, not 2010 as the fact were to take effect equipment had to be installed and accepted this year. Generally I was surprised at the lack of celebration. Everyone was looking forward toward the holidays, especially 2011. It seems they could not wait for this year to be over!

Leasing News avoided negative news stories right before Christmas, such as the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) alleged MFLI-25 report that new business actually dropped from October to $4.5 million.

The chart above under the headline shows a trend in the opposite direction.

While the EFLA headline to the news media on their list bannered 18% above last year, it didn’t tell the full story. Good chamber of commerce spin, for sure, but a half-truth.

The following chart puts the years into perspective regarding new business as reported by ELFA members.

(Leasing News Chart)

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation latest Monthly Confidence Index echoed the mood of leasing executives, going from 65.5% to 64.8%.

Receivables over 30 days increased to 3.2 percent in November from 3.0 percent in October.

MLFI-25 New Business Volume
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image for larger view
(ELFA chart)

Credit approvals decreased a percentage point to 72 percent in November.

Credit Approval Ratios As % of all Decisions Submitted
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image for larger view
(ELFA chart)

Average charge offs decreased also.

Average Losses (Charge-offs) as a % of net receivables
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image for larger view
(ELFA chart)

December has been an extraordinary reporting period, perhaps due to the make-up of the 31 companies reporting.

MLFI-25 New Business Volume
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image for larger view
(ELFA chart)

The question about the 31 reporting companies also has never been resolved, not 25 as reported, and many are different than a year ago in reporting actual numbers (merged, gone out of business.) In fact, if you go back another year, it is even more questionable for actual dollar numbers.

ELFA MLFI-25 Participants

(In the past they have been 26, 27, different companies, and today 31, all compared to previous months with different companies and numbers of companies)

1- ADP Credit Corporation
2- Bancorp South Equipment Finance
3- Bank of America
4- Bank of the West
5- BB&T
6- Canon Financial Services
7- Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation
8- CIT
9- De Lage Landen Financial Services
10- Dell Financial Services
11- EverBank Commercial Finance
12- Fifth Third Bank
13- First American Equipment Finance
14- GreatAmerica
15- Hitachi Credit America
16- HP Financial Services
17- John Deere Financial
18- Key Equipment Finance
19- M&I Equipment Finance
20- Marlin Leasing Corporation
21- Merchants Capital
22- National City Commercial Corp.
23- RBS Asset Finance
24- Regions Equipment Finance
25- Siemens Financial Services
26- Stearns Bank
27- Susquehanna Commercial Finance, Inc
28- US Bancorp
29- Verizon Capital Corp
30- Volvo Financial Services
31- Wells Fargo Equipment Finance

The employee decrease conflicts with the ZRG Index, and again may be from the 31 companies named and not a true cross section:

Total Number of Employees
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image for larger view
(ELFA chart)

The ZRG third quarter months saw increases, but overall down from the second quarter.

(ZRG Partners chart)

Gary DiLillo, President 216-658-5618 or

To learn more about the benefits of
outsourcing personal property tax, please click here.


Leasing Industry Help Wanted

Sales Manager – Houston Office
5 years+ equip fin/leasing experience
Player/Coach 3-4 Rep’s, Energy Experience+
Must have track record of overachievement

Controller – So California Office
AR, AP,Tax,Fin-Statement Prep/Internal Controls
Treasury Mgmt/Lease Acct and IT knowledge all++

Please submit resume to

FIRST NATIONAL CAPITAL CORPORATION Is the 5th Largest Privately Held Equipment Finance Company In the United

Transportation Focused Company seeks Credit Manager. Knowledge of automated scoring as well as
subjective credit underwriting a must.
Compensation commensurate with experience.

Located in the Inland Empire, please email

Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees.

Leasing News Help Wanted Ad Pricing

Help Wanted Web Ad New Programs

Classified Ad Section
(rotates chronological above headlines and
also appears in Classified Ad section.) *

Design work is free. Logo is free as well as company description not to exceed the number of lines of the ad.
Also free: click to a click to a web site or a full description of the position.

15 days in a row:
$395 four lines (a space is a line)
($25 each additional line or space)

30 days in a row:
$595 four lines (a space is a line)
($40 each additional line or space)

Ads are placed in the "Help Wanted' section by category, alphabetical, with the ad with the most lines first in the group. They appear on the web site and in each news edition at the top in a rotation basis per issue.

* Help Wanted” ads  appear in each issue on a chronological basis above the top headline as a courtesy. This position is not available as a paid position, but is generally on a rotation basis.  At the same time, the ad continues in the classified help wanted section in the news edition and web site, so in effect appears twice.

Leasing News reserves the right to refuse advertising, particularly to a company that has appeared in the complaint bulletin board


Leasing 102
by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP

The Depreciation Effect

WOW! The government is allowing business to “expense” capital equipment purchases in 2011. No need to depreciate, just write if all off. I feel like a child standing next to a car with a pervert offering me candy to step into his car.

The thought is that 100% expensing should encourage business to acquire equipment. However it requires two things. A large enough profit to owe a tax to be sheltered and a long term need for the equipment. Looks good on the surface, but it has some long term problems.

It bothers me that they have not considered bringing back the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). ITC was tax forgiveness and accelerated depreciation (100% expense) is tax timing (deferral) which means there will be a day of reckoning when the tax deferral comes home to roost. It is like putting off today what you can pay tomorrow and when tomorrow comes lookout! It also was for American manufactured equipment and software solely, an incentive to buy American.

To begin with, if all the expense is taken this year, what do you use to offset taxes next year? Did business save or invest the saved tax dollars from this year or did they use it for paying down debt or expanding operations? There are a hundred ways to use cash saved from lower taxes, but it may not create the incentive for equipment purchases the government hopes for.

One thing is for sure, trading for new equipment in the future will be hard when without a tax balance the value of the old equipment will require a Hefty tax (recapture) when sold or traded in. Also, Lower tax deductions will create a higher tax bill.

The tax burden in the near future will make up for lack of tax revenues now but I think the government has not considered what that tax burden will mean to the economy as business begins to pay back the taxes that are being pushed into the future. Perhaps they think that is a problem for the next administration.

Most large companies have a tax department that will consider the long term effects of this tax bill and they will carefully plan for the future and may not jump too hard on this band wagon. On the other hand, small businesses without good tax advice may be getting themselves into a tax hole that will cause them cash flow problems in the next few years.

Lessors with a tax appetite (if there are any left) should watch their tax position with care so as to not fall into the same tax trap.

I think it is a shame that we have to spend so much productive time on how to handle our tax burden. The government has become a major expense not only for the taxes it demands but the expense it causes to keep up with it. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider a flat tax.

I fear for leasing unless the accounting profession begins to appreciate how we help our lessees control and manage expenses to put the expense next to the revenue to show a legitimate profit.

With the government playing with taxes and the accounting profession dealing with theory instead of practical matters our business with is looking at hard times.

Mr. Terry Winders, CLP, has been a teacher, consultant, expert witness for the leasing industry for thirty-five years and can be reached at or 502-649-0448

He invites your questions and queries.

Previous #102 Columns:


(This ad is a “trade” for the writing of this column. Opinions
contained in the column are those of Mr. Terry Winders, CLP)


Top Stories---December 20--December 22

Here are the top ten stories opened by readers:

(1) Christmas Card from LEAF Crit DeMent

(2) Why Lease with new Tax Laws?

(3) Wynn responds E.A.R. BK for Sheldon Players Gambling Debts

(4) Bonus depreciation and AMT depreciation relief
Explained by Shawn Halladay

(5) Response: Why Lease with new Tax Laws?

(6) Transition, 2010 (Poem)
by Barry S. Marks, Esq.

(7) Bank of West Parent CEO on 2011

(8) Arkansas Bank buys alleged $22 million fake bonds,
3 Georgia Banks (21st in state); plus record least cost to FDIC

(9) Sales makes it Happen---by Gerry Egan
How to Handle Vendor Points

(10) More on E.A.R./BK Trustee Suit with Las Vegas Casino's

Not Counted Due to Technical Reasons:

We made our goal:

Merry Christmas: Poem by Barry S. Marks


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

ZRG Partners Acquires Starting Point Companies, LLC,
Expanding Product Offerings to Bank Clients

WESTBOROUGH, Mass.---ZRG Partners, a U.S. based global executive search and talent management firm has announced the acquisition of key assets of Starting Point Companies, LLC. Starting Point Companies is a fast-growing advisory firm focused on executive compensation, board governance and director education within community banks.

The acquisition broadens ZRG's offerings for the overall banking marketplace. The ability to deliver a new set of talent management solutions combined with compensation strategies will help each banking client to build and retain their executive management teams. This is especially important for banks involved in or anticipating mergers or acquisitions.

Currently, ZRG provides executive search and talent management solutions to banks on a global basis while SPC specializes in providing executive and board level compensation advisory for banks within the United States. Mike Point, President of Starting Point Companies, will join ZRG in the firm's new Dallas offices and will be in charge of expanding ZRG's banking client relationships nationally while continuing to grow executive compensation and board level advisory services within ZRG.

Larry Hartman, Managing Partner

"The success of our strategic alliance with Starting Point Companies made it clear that this was a good match for both of our organizations,” Larry Hartmann, Managing Partner of ZRG, said. “Adding Mike Point to our senior team gives us additional horsepower to expand ZRG's unique value for clients while continuing to grow our current banking practice". The transaction is scheduled to close in late December 2010.

"The success of our strategic alliance with Starting Point Companies made it clear that this was a good match for both of our organizations. Adding Mike Point to our senior team gives us additional horsepower to expand ZRG's unique value for clients while continuing to grow our current banking practice"

ZRG Partners is a U.S. based, global retained search and talent management firm with a ten year operating history. The firm is regarded as one of the top emerging talent management firms in the financial service space. ZRG operates globally with offices in the U.S., Canada and Asia Pacific and Europe and maintains an active presence in Latin America.

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


Salem, Massachusetts---Adopt-a-Dog

“Luke is a very handsome 2 to 3 year old Lab/Sheppard mix. He is on the average to big side weighing about 70lbs and he is tall and slender and has a very nice shiny, sleek black coat. Luke is such a good boy and gets along with everyone just great. He is playful, bright, funny and so lovable. He loves to fetch the ball but not so good at bringing it back. He knows some basic commands like sit, but could definitely use a brush up course to utilize all of his gently men skills. He does okay on lead, takes treats nicely and knows not to jump on his human. This character of a boy will do well in most situations and has been socialized with men, women, older children and cats. He does need to learn some boundaries with the kitties as he just wants to play with them but does not realize that he outweighs them about 60lbs.

“Luke would be a great dog to take to the local dog park; he would love to go hiking and would make the most awesome running or walking partner. Most of all, he would make the best companion dog with his funny demeanor and bright personality. This guy is a lot of fun, but knows how to calm down and just hang around to lie on his dog bed and chew on a bone. Luke is neutered, heartworm negative, up to date on all vaccinations and is microchipped. Luke is also kept on prevention for heartworm, fleas and ticks. If you would like to adopt Luke, please fill out an online application and request him on the notes section.”


Lucky Lab Rescue and Adoption

We are not a shelter. We are a rescue organization and our dogs are housed at several different foster homes.

Adopt-a-Pet by Leasing Co. State/City

Adopt a Pet\

News Briefs----

Wildwood employees get prison for Leasing Ponzi scheme

New York Airports Open After Heaviest Snows in Six Decades

East Digs Out After Blizzard Leaves a Trail of Disruption

Retail Sales Rebound, Beating Forecasts

Latest Kindle is Amazon's best-selling device, ever

Where the $200,000 Plus live

Behind Census Figures Showing Boom in Nevada, a Story of Bust

GE Capital Ireland facing collapse over €51m loss

The China Used Equipment & Remanufacturing Summit 2011


You May have Missed---

Alabama Town’s Failed Pension Is a Warning



Sports Briefs----

Falcons can't stop Brees at the end, lose 17-14

Obama calls Eagles owner to congratulate him for signing Vick

York says new GM will hire next 49ers coach

John Kenny Receivables Management

• End of Lease Negotiations & Enforcement

• Fraud Investigations
• Credit Investigations • Asset Searches
• Skip-tracing • Third-party Commercial Collections | ph 315-866-1167|

(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for investigations
and background information provided by John Kenny)


California Nuts Briefs---

Santa Clara County fire chief, retiring but not leaving, will draw both salary and pension

Educator pension crunch looms

Say goodbye to 2010, Los Gatos



“Gimme that Wine”

Here’s a bright spot this season: Oregon’s wine

Oprah's Favorite Winery

Gallo headed back to the top

Six detained in chemical wine scandal in China

PA. Auditor General Probes Wine Kiosk Snafu

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Winery Atlas\

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in American History

     1722--Birthday of Elizabeth Lucas Pinckney . Left to manage her father's three plantations in the Carolinas when he was called back to Antigua as military lieutenant general. Not only did she experiment with various crops trying to produce one that would increase the plantations' income - plantations being agricultural businesses, not family farms - she developed a method whereby the touchy indigo plant could be raised in the harsher Carolina climate. The English government was enthusiastic and subsidized its growing as the U.S. government would later subsidize tobacco. Export reached in excess of one million pounds and was a major income source for the entire region. After her marriage, she developed a method for growing silkworms in the Charleston area and manufacturing silk. As a widow she would return to her family's plantations and manage them - successfully, as usual. Two of her sons were prominent in the new United States politics. Her first shipment of 17 pounds of indigo dye caused a furor in London as merchants found it equal to the dye from the French colonies. The English Parliament gave the South Carolina growers a subsidy. France made it a major crime to export indigo seeds but it was too late. Then ELP did the most unusual thing ... and perhaps the most feminist thing: she distributed the seeds from her crop to any colonist planter who wanted them instead of keeping the magic seeds to herself for her other gain. Within five years, the 17 pounds of dye had increased to 40,000 pounds. This output increased in time and became a major source of income for the fledgling United States that desperately needed cash. President George Washington served as one of the pallbearers at her funeral.
    1732 -- The Pennsylvania Gazette carried the first known advertisement for the first issue of Poor Richard's Almanack by Richard Saunders (Benjamin Franklin) for the year 1733. The advertisement promised "many pleasant and witty verses, jests and sayings . . . new fashions, games for kisses . . . men and melons . . . breakfast in bed, &c." America 's most famous almanac, Poor Richard's was published through the year 1758 and has been imitated many times since. From The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin: "In 1732 I first publish'd my Almanack, under the name of Richard Saunders; it was continu'd by me about twenty-five years, commonly call'd Poor Richard's Almanack. I endeavor'd to make it both entertaining and useful, and it accordingly came to be in such demand, that I reap'd considerable profit from it, vending annually near ten thousand. And observing that it was generally read, scarce any neighborhood in the province being without it, I consider'd it as a proper vehicle for conveying instruction among the common people, who bought scarcely any other books; I therefore filled all the little spaces that occurr'd between the remarkable days in the calendar with proverbial sentences, chiefly such as inculcated industry and frugality, as the means of procuring wealth, and thereby securing virtue; it being more difficult for a man in want, to act always honestly, as, to use here one of those proverbs, it is hard for an empty sack to stand upright."
    1793 - Thomas Paine is arrested in France for treason. Though the charges against him were never detailed, he had been tried in absentia on December 26 and convicted. Before moving to France, Paine was an instrumental figure in the American Revolution as the author of Common Sense, writings used by George Washington to inspire the American troops. Paine moved to Paris to become involved with the French Revolution, but the chaotic political climate turned against him, and he was arrested and jailed for crimes against the country. While in prison, he continued to work on The Age of Reason and began an affair with actress Muriel Alette, who had been sentenced to death for being the mistress of a nobleman. Paine's imprisonment in France caused a general uproar in America and future President James Monroe used all of his diplomatic connections to get Paine released in November 1794. Ironically, it wasn't long before Paine came to be despised in the United States, as well. After The Age of Reason was published, he was called an anti-Christ, and his reputation was ruined. Thomas Paine died a poor man in 1809 in New York.
    1832- The first vice-president of the United States to resign was the famous John C. Calhoun, who had served as vice-president of the US under two presidents (John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson ) Mar 4-1825-December 28,1832). Finding himself in growing disagreement with President Jackson, he resigned the office of vice president to fill the vacancy in the Senate caused by the resignation of Robert Young Hayne, senator from South Carolina . He spent most of his subsequent political life as a US Senator from South Carolina , a strong states right and pro-slavery, where he felt he was more effective than being a vice-president under a man he “despised.” advocate.
    1832- In Missouri , St. Louis Academy (founded in 1818) was chartered as St. Louis University . It was the first Catholic university established in the U.S. west of the Allegheny Mountains .
    1837- John A. Pitts and Hiram Abial Pitts of Winthrop, ME, received a patent for a “ machine for threshing or cleaning grain” employing steam. the machine separated grain from the straw and chaff.
    1839 - The third storm in two weeks hit the northeastern U.S. It brought two more feet of snow to Hartford, CT, and Worcester, MA. Whole gales swept the coast causing many wrecks
    1846- Iowa becomes 29 th state. The 29th state's name is derived from an American Indian word meaning ‘the beautiful land'. It is widely thought that Iowa 's nickname, the Hawkeye State , is in honor of Black Hawk, the famous Indian chief who led the Sauk and Fox tribes against the Iowa area settlers in the Black Hawk War of 1832. Iowa City was the first capital of Iowa . 11 years later, Des Moines , the state's largest city, became the permanent capital. The Iowa state bird is the eastern goldfinch, the state flower, the wild rose, and the state motto: “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.”
    1848- Gaslight was turned on in the White House. James Knox Polk was the president.
    1851- The Young Men's Christian Association was organized in the United States in Boston , MA . It was patented after a similar organization started in London on June 6, 1844. The first gymnasium was opened in New York City in 1869, and in the same year, the first separate boys' department was opened in Salem , MA . The first YMCA branch for African-American members was organized in Washington , DC , in 1853 by Anthony Bowen and Jerome Johnson, who served respectively as president and secretary.
    1856-(Thomas) Woodrow Wilson, 28 th president of the US was born at Staunton , Virginia . Twice elected president (1912 and 1916,) it was Wilson who said, “The world must be made safe for democracy, “as he asked the Congress to declare war on Germany , April 2, 1917. His first wife, Ellen, died August 6, 1914, and married Edith Bolling Galt, December 18, 1915. He suffered a paralytic stroke, September 16, 1919, never regaining his health. There were many speculations about who (possibly Mrs. Wilson?) was running the government during his illness. His second term of office ended March 3, 1921, and he died at Washington , DC , Feb. 3, 1924. Wilson was the last president to be born in Virginia , the state where the most presidents of the US were from: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson.
    1867- David Groesbeck and Company, a member of the New York Stock Exchange, became the first stock brokerage to use a telegraph ticker. It was installed by the Gold and Stock Telegraph Company, New York City , on a lease of $6 a week from Daniel Drew, who also provided maintenance. It is considered the first “maintenance lease” in America . ( no option to purchase).
    1869-Labor Day was inaugurated by the Knights of Labor, a workers' organization formed in Philadelphia , PA. the first states to declare Labor Day a state holiday were Oregon , In February 1887; Colorado , in March 1887; and New York , in May 1887. The annual nationwide observance of Labor Day was sponsored by the American Federation of Labor, which resolved in convention at Chicago, IL, On October 7, 1884, “ that the first Monday in September be set aside as a laborer's national holiday.” On June 28, 1894, Congress designed the first Monday in September a legal holiday for federal employees and for the District of Columbia . The first Labor Day parade was held in New York City on September 5, 1882, under the auspices of the Central Labor Union. It featured musical bans and 10,000marchers who carried placards reading “ Less Work and More Pay,” “Less Hours, More Pay.” “Labor Pays All Taxes, “ “Labor creates All Wealth,” “To the Workers Should Belong the Wealth,” and “The Laborer Must Receive and Enjoy the Full Fruit of his Labor.”
    1881- Jess Willard, Boxer born at Pottawatomie County , KS . The towering Willard, 6' 6 ¼” tall, took the heavyweight title from Jack Johnson in a fight oat Havana , Cuba on April 5, 1915. He defended his title only once in four years and then lost it to Jack Dempsey on July 4, 19191. Died at Los Angeles , CA. December 15, 1968.
    1891- Thomas Alva Edison of Menlo Park , New Jersey , received a patent for a “means of transmitting signals electrically.” In the patent, he stated that “signaling between distant points can be carried on by induction without the use of wires connecting such distant points.” Marconi in 1894 experimented with hertzian waves to communicate wireless telegraph and Nathan Stubblefield, claimed he invented it earlier
    1897 - The temperature at Dayville , OR , hit 81 degrees to establish a state record for December
    1903—Pianist/composer Earl “Fatha” Hines Birthday
    1903-Birthday of , Fanny "Bobbie" Rosenfeld - celebrated Canadian track and field athlete, named Canada 's woman athlete of the half-century. In the 1928 Olympics, she won a silver and gold. She excelled in almost every sport from hockey to softball and did it on her own since there were no coaches for women at the time. She became a sports columnist.
    1905-- legendary jazz pianist Earl (Fatha) Hines was born in Pittsburgh. Hines, whose complex rhythms influenced musicians for five decades, began his career in the 1920's. Jazz took a revolutionary turn in that decade because of the recordings he made, both as a solo artist and with Louis Armstrong's Hot Five combo. In the 1930's and '40s, Hines led his own big band, and among those he helped to stardom were Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Charlie Parker and Billy Eckstine. A forgotten figure in the 1950's, he reappeared in the following decade for concerts and recordings, even turning up on rock guitarist Ry Cooder's album "Paradise and Lunch." Earl Hines died of a heart attack at his home in Oakland, California, on April 22nd, 1983.
    1908- Otto Zachow and William Besserdick of Clintonville , WI obtained a patent for a four wheel brake for cars, calling it a “power applying mechanism”, quickly adopted by the car industry who were employing a hand brake against one wheel..
    1912- guitarist Billy Markel born Baltimore , MD
    1921--Singer/Band Leader/Disc Jockey/Musician/Politician Johnny Otis was born in Vallejo , California . I listed to him with "Willie and the Hand Jive" as a disc jockey as I grew up in West Los Angeles , California , saw many of his small and large bank performances, the last at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel. He is a painter/sculptor, and still plays music and appears as on radio every Saturday.
    1924 - Iowa experienced it coldest December morning of record. Morning lows averaged 25 degrees below zero for the 104 weather stations across the state
    1924-- rhythm-and-blues bandleader and singer Johnny Otis was born in Vallejo, California. His first big hit was "Willie and the Hand Jive" in 1958, but he had begun recording in the late 1940's. Otis was also responsible for discovering such artists as Little Esther Phillips, Jackie Wilson, Little Willie John and Hank Ballard. He had a hit radio show in Los Angeles in the late 1950's and 1960's, and kept his band going, moving to Sebastopol, California (Santa Rosa area) where he paints to this day.
    1932---Birthday of actress Nichelle Nichols, first black woman regularly featured on a weekly TV show, activist of great force in NASA's first recruitment drive of minorities and women, but better known to Trekkies as Uhura of the Star Trek series, Whoopi Goldberg in the eulogy of Star Trek originator Gene Roddenberry's funeral with whom Nichols had been lovers said that 25 years earlier she was a kid from the projects who saw Uhura as "The only vision of black people in the future," autobiography Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories (1995).
B. 12-28-1934, Maggie Smith, British screen
    1938- Ziggy Elman cuts “Fralich in Swing.”
    1938---Birthday of Charles Neville (The Neville Brothers)
    1940- Herb Jefferies cuts “Flamingo” with Duke Ellington Band, Chicago
    1944- Leonard Bernstein scores his first big hit when his musical On the Town, featuring the song "New York, New York," opens on Broadway.
    1945- The US Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance and urged its frequent recitation in America 's schools. The pledge was composed in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister. At the time, Bellamy, was chairman of a committee of state school superintendents of education, and several public schools adopted his pledge that year as part of the Columbus Day quadricentennial celebration that year. In 1955, the Knights of Columbus persuaded Congress to add the words “under God” to the pledge.
    1949- 1949--Top Hits
I Can Dream, Can't I? - The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (vocal: Jack Leonard)
A Dreamer's Holiday - Perry Como
Dear Hearts and Gentle People - Bing Crosby
Mule Train - Tennessee Ernie Ford
    1952- The Sonotone Corporation, Elmsford , NY , offered for sale a hearing aid using transistors. It weighed 3.5 ounces and was three inches long.
    1954-Denzel Washington actor ("St. Elsewhere," Glory, Malcolm X), born Mount Vernon , NY .
    1955 - Anchorage , AK , was buried under 17.7 inches of snow in 24 hours, a record for that location.     1958 - Albuquerque , NM , received 14.2 inches of snow to establish a 24 hour record.
    1957--Top Hits
Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley
At the Hop - Danny & the Juniors
Great Balls of Fire - Jerry Lee Lewis
My Special Angel - Bobby Helms
    1957-- "At the Hop" by Danny and the Juniors reached the top of the U-S charts. The song by the Philadelphia street-corner group was originally called "Do the Bop," but the title and lyrics were changed at the suggestion of Dick Clark.
    1958-- Chipmunks (Alvin, Simon & Theodore with David Seville) hit #1
    1959-- Frankie Avalon's "Why" hits #1
    1961-The first airline to carry 100 million passengers was American Airlines, New York City, which selected pioneering aviator Lieutenant General James Harold Doolittle, chairman of the board of Space Technology Laboratories, Los Angeles, as the national symbol of the 100,000,000 th passenger and presented him with a crystal bowl this day.
    1963-The single "Dominique" and its companion LP "The Singing Nun" top the Billboard singles chart and album chart respectively. So far, the 45 has sold over 700,000 copies and the LP, 670,000.
    1965--Top Hits
Over and Over - The Dave Clark Five
I Got You (I Feel Good) - James Brown
The Sounds of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel
Buckaroo - Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
    1967-- Muriel Siebert pays $445,000 plus $7515 initiation fee to become the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.
    1968 - The (double) album named "The Beatles" (called by most, "The White Album") was #1 in the U.S. It was the Beatles' first album on their own Apple label and was #1 for nine weeks. The tracks: "Back in the U.S.S.R.", "Dear Prudence", "Glass Onion", "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da", "Wild Honey Pie", "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Happiness is a Warm Gun", "Martha My Dear", "I'm So Tired", "Blackbird", "Piggies", "Rocky Raccoon", "Don't Pass Me By", "Why Don't We Do It in the Road", "I Will", "Julia", "Birthday", "Yer Blues", "Mother Nature's Son", "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey", "Sexy Sadie", "Helter Skelter", "Long, Long, Long", "Revolution I", "Honey Pie", "Savoy Truffle", "Cry Baby Cry", "Revolution 9", and "Good Night".
    1968-The Doors' "Touch Me" is released. With a guitar intro strongly influenced by The Four Seasons' "C'mon Marianne", the song would reach #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 in Canada, #10 in Australia.
    1968- The first major rock concert on the East Coast, the Miami Pop Festival, takes place, a three-day affair featuring Chuck Berry, Marvin Gaye, The Turtles, Joni Mitchell, Procol Harum, Steppenwolf, Canned Heat, Iron Butterfly, The McCoys, Fleetwood Mac, The Box Tops, Three Dog Night, Pacific Gas and Electric, and The Grateful Dead.
    1973--Top Hits
The Most Beautiful Girl - Charlie Rich
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
Time in a Bottle - Jim Croce
If We Make It Through December - Merle Haggard
    1978- Ohio State University football coach Woody Hayes punched a player from Clemson University during Clemson's 19-15 victory in the Gator Bowl. Hayes was upset that the Buckeyes were losing, but OSU official were upset, too. They fired Hayes for the incident.
    1978--- 30th hat trick in Islander history (Mike Bossy
    1981-The first child born in the United States through in vitro fertilization was Elizabeth Jordan Carr, born at Norfolk Hospital , Norfolk , VA.
    1981--Top Hits
Physical - Olivia Newton-John
Waiting for a Girl like You - Foreigner
Let's Groove - Earth, Wind & Fire
Love in the First Degree – Alabama
   1981-Warner Brothers Records, which includes Elektra and Asylum, follows the lead of RCA and raises its price for 45 rpm singles to $1.99.
    1987 - A winter storm produced heavy snow in the Upper Mississippi Valley and the Upper Great Lakes Region. Up to twenty inches of snow buried southern Minnesota , and 20 to 40 mph northwesterly winds produced snow drifts six feet high, and reduced visibilities to near zero at times in blowing snow. There were a thousand traffic accidents in Michigan during the storm, resulting in thirty-five injuries.
    1989--Top Hits
Another Day in Paradise - Phil Collins
Don't Know Much - Linda Ronstadt (featuring Aaron Neville)
Rhythm Nation - Janet Jackson
A Woman in Love - Ronnie Milsap
    2003 - A severe snow storm hit northern California and southern Oregon. As much as 2 feet of snow fell along Interstate 5 closing a 150-mile stretch of the interstate, stranding hundreds of travelers. Winds from the storm caused power outages to more than 200,000 customers in California and Oregon. One man died of a heart attack after helping other drivers.
     2004 - Los Angeles (downtown) broke a daily rainfall record for the month of December (5.55 inches). This was the third wettest calendar day in Los Angeles since records began in 1877.


American Football Poem

The Road Not Taken

by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.




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