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

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

Archives--December 10, 2010
  How EFI Bilked Sterling/Braas Pleads Guilty
    Classified Ads---Senior Management
Section 179 Vote Expected Today in US Senate
   by Christopher Menkin
Can Lessors Rely on Electronic Signatures?
  By Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor
Sales Make it Happen, by Steve Chriest
  Don't Send Ducks to Eagles School!
    Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted
BBB Leasing Company Ratings
    December 10, 2014
Complaints Bulletin Board BBB Ratings
Small and Medium-Sized Companies
  Play a Very Important Role in US Economy
Chesswood: New US $150 Million Corporate Credit Facility
Custom Built Poker Tables for Christmas
   Built by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP
   Newfoundland Mix
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Adopt-a-Dog
  Bode Ace Menkin Birthday
News Briefs--- 
Nor'easter brings record rain to New York
   -- and West Coast, you're not off the hook
 Congressional Leaders Reach Deal on Spending
  U.S. small business borrowing rises to highest on record
   Citigroup to take $3.5 billion charge this quarter
     U.S. sues Deutsche Bank for alleged tax fraud, seeks $190 million
      Airbus wins November orders and deliveries tally; Boeing leads YTD
    Lender Sends Mixed Signals Radio Shack's BK
  comScore Reports October 2014 U.S. Smartphone Subscriber Market Share
   New York Taxis Could Get Their Own App To Compete With Lyft and Uber
Snyder approves end of Detroit's financial emergency status
 Verizon Says Heavy Promotions Will Dent Otherwise Strong 4th Quarter

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (writer's columns)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months (Be Careful of Doing Business)
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You May have Missed---
   SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer
    Sports Briefs---
      California Nuts Brief---
       "Gimme that Wine"    
          This Day in American History
           Daily Puzzle
               Weather, USA or specific area
                 Traffic Live----

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Archives--December 10, 2010
How EFI Bilked Sterling/Braas Pleads Guilty

Joseph M. Braas, 45, of Lititz, Pennsylvania, is the first of eight to plead guilty in Philadelphia federal court to one count of conspiracy and two counts of mail fraud in the Sterling-EFI Leasing scandal. He faces a 65 year sentence in prison and $2.25 million fine, not counting what the IRS may have in store for him.

Mary C. Stankiewicz, formerly EFI's secretary/treasurer and accounting supervisor, yesterday pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy. She admitted giving auditors "false and misleading" EFI records that had been back-dated, “whited out” or otherwise altered.

The deception began January, 2001, according to court records, and lasted until April, 2007 when it all came to a head as finally discovered by an auditor. From March, 2002, when Sterling Bank purchased the company, the loan portfolio grew on paper from approximately $80 million to approximately $330 million. During the 2006 to 2007 time period, EFI's purported net income accounted for approximately 30% of Sterling's purported net income.

For the first time, this court document describes how the group did it in detail and got away with it for so long (10 pages):

September 13, 2012

The judge ordered Braas to pay $53 million in restitution for money stolen in the scam as part of the group, and sentenced him to 15 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release. As a result of the fraud, Sterling ultimately charged off $281 million of EFI finance receivables, which represented a large majority of EFI's loan portfolio, and about 13 percent of Sterling's total loan portfolio during the period of the fraud.


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Classified Ads---Senior Management

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

Tampa, FL
Executive leader accomplished in leasing operations, finance, sales and marketing seeking new opportunity. Capitalizes on strategic, ideation, communication and analytical strengths to identify opportunities, formulate solutions and articulate strategies that drive increased sales productivity, incremental revenue, operating expense reductions and customer acquisition and retention.

Free Posting for those seeking employment in Leasing:

All “free” categories “job wanted” ads:




Section 179 Vote Expected Today in US Senate
by Christopher Menkin

The U.S. House of Representatives approved 379 to 46 the proposal that will expand the expired Section 179 tax deduction from the current $25,000 to $500,000 and extend the break until the end of 2014.  It was sent to the Senate, where it sits, and then would go to President Obama for his signature.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) predicted the Senate would vote on the bill today, December 10, 2014. It would then be part of a tax package to be sent to President Obama to sign.  This would help those who have purchased or leased "on the come", expecting that there would be a major deduction.  However, to make a decision with only two weeks left in the year, and considering equipment delivery and acceptance in 2014, it may not help many.

The deduction applies to equipment leases. "Leasing equipment and/or software with the Section 179 deduction in mind is a preferred financial strategy for many businesses, as it can significantly help with not only cash flow, but with profits as well," according to

 "The main benefit of a non-tax capital lease is that you can still take full advantage of the Section 179 Deduction, yet make smaller payments. With a non-tax capital lease you can acquire and write-off up to $25,000 worth of equipment this year, without actually spending $25,000 this year.

"The obvious advantage to leasing or financing equipment and/or software and then taking the Section 179 Deduction is the fact that you can deduct the full amount of the equipment and/or software, without paying the full amount this year. The amount you save in taxes can actually exceed the payments, making this a very bottom-line friendly deduction," according to a report.

The addition of software to the items covered by the Section 179 deduction comes with a couple of caveats; it can't be "custom code," meaning you can't write off software that's been specially designed for your business.

"Off-the-shelf computer software placed in service during the tax year is qualifying property for purposes of the Section 179 Deduction. This is computer software that is readily available for purchase by the general public, is subject to a nonexclusive license, and has not been substantially modified," according to "It includes any program designed to cause a computer to perform a desired function. However, a database or similar item is not considered computer software unless it is in the public domain and is incidental to the operation of otherwise qualifying software.

There is no doubt the tax deduction would be a great help to small business, to employment, to equipment manufacturers, bankers, lessors, and all those involved in the process, including increased production. It certainly will boost business in 2015!




Can Lessors Rely on Electronic Signatures?
By Tom McCurnin
Leasing News Legal Editor

Electronic Signatures Are Becoming More Popular, But Compliance With the Uniform Electronic Signature Act Is Not.  Just Because a Lessor Thinks It Can Rely Upon an Electronic Signature Doesn’t Mean Its Legal

J.B.B. Investment Partners, Ltd. v. Fair, __Cal.Rptr.3d __, 2014 WL 6852097 (2014). 

Electronic signatures are popping up everywhere.  I’ve seen them on lawsuits, discovery verifications, escrow documents, and closing documents for larger mergers.  Today’s case is about a plaintiff who thought he had a valid electronic signature, but didn’t.  It’s a shame people actually don’t read the applicable statute and follow it.  The facts follow. 

R. Thomas Fair, an attorney and inactive member of the California State Bar operated two limited liability companies, Boulevard and Cameron.  Silvester Rabic and Jonathan Buckheit invested monies in the two limited liability companies and discovered fraud on the part of Mr. Fair, and threatened a lawsuit.

Fair, in an attempt to avoid the lawsuit, sent a series of emails to Rabic and Buckheit agreeing to settle the matter for $362,810.  Rabic and Buckheit dropped their lawsuit, but Fair balked with signing the paperwork.

Rabic and Buckheit filed suit and filed a motion to enforce the settlement agreement, contending that the email communication “I agree” to certain settlement terms was an “electronic signature” and thus the parties had an enforceable settlement agreement.  The trial court concluded that there was an electronic signature and an enforceable settlement agreement, ordering defendants to pay plaintiffs $362,810.  

Fair appealed. 

On appeal the California Court of Appeals held that none of the parties were aware of the Uniform Electronic Signature Act, and simplistically assumed, that because Fair admitted that the email signature was his, the printed signature on the email was therefore an “electronic signature” within the meaning of UETA. 

The Court also held that that it does not show that Fair printed his name at the end of his e-mail with any intent to formalize an electronic transaction. Indeed, substantial evidence in the record refutes such a finding.  Although the parties drafted (but did not sign) a settlement agreement, the unsigned agreement stated that it may be signed by the use of EchoSign, DocuSign, or such other commercially available electronic signature software which results in confirmed signatures delivered electronically. 

Consequently, the court vacated the judgment. 

What are the lessons here?

First, most states and federal courts have adopted a form of the Uniform Electronic Signature Act.  If a lessor wants the lessee (or the lessor) to be bound by electronic signatures, then the agreement must so provide. 

Second, any such electronic signature must be  “an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with an electronic record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the electronic record.  Typically, the electronic signature will have an internet hyperlink to Docusign or a certification by Docusign that the signature is in fact the signature of the signer. 

Third, although an email chain between commercial parties or merchants doesn’t seem too far afield from telegrams in the 19th century (which could be construed as a contract), the fact remains that there are specific statutory requirements for the electronic signature to be enforceable.  Those requirements were not followed here. 

The bottom line is that lessors, if they want to use electronic signatures, need to have the provisions in their agreement and have some method by Docusign or Echosign to actually verify the signature.  The failure to do so might result in a deal which is simply not enforceable. Emails are generally not the form of agreements envisioned by the UETA and are not the forms included in these electronic signature platforms.

Electronic Signature Case JBB

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

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

Previous Tom McCurnin Articles:




Leasing Industry Help Wanted



Sales Make it Happen
by Steve Chriest

Don't Send Ducks to Eagle School!

Assuming you've hired a salesperson based on the results of a validated selection test, it is now imperative to place the new employee in the right position on the team.

I once heard someone admonish sales managers: "Don't send your ducks to eagle school!" It just won't work. Unlike eagles, which are skilled predators hard-wired with a hunter's instinct, ducks are friendly creatures. You send the ducks out hunting, they find a rabbit and they make friends with it! You then yell to the ducks, "No, no, re-read page twenty-one of your hunting manual!"

The same thing happens when you send the wrong salespeople on a hunting expedition for new prospects. They make friends with potential customers, buy them lunch, treat them to sporting events, and shower them with expensive gifts, all in the hope of winning business through friendship. But the new business seldom materializes. In frustration, you yell, "No, no, bring in the orders, close the prospects, close the prospects!"

Nearly 2500 years ago in his essay on The Art of War, Sun Tzu, the great Chinese military thinker admonished, "Do not demand accomplishment of those who have no talent." He continued, "Do not charge people to do what they cannot do. Select them and give them responsibilities commensurate with their abilities." This wisdom has been largely lost on leaders who manage sales organizations.

Talent can't be trained. You either can or cannot sing like an American Idol. In the world of selling, the characteristics of great strategic account managers—by definition—limit their success in new business development. Likewise, great business development salespeople rarely have what it takes to become great strategic account managers. Both require different skills and different talents! Yet somehow sales leaders believe that talent in one area naturally translates into an ability to perform equally well in other areas. 

About the author: Steve Chriest is the founder of Selling UpTM (, a sales consulting firm specializing in sales improvement for organizations of all types and sizes in a variety of industries. He is also the author of Selling The E-Suite, The Proven System for Reaching and Selling Senior Executives and Five Minute Financial Analyst, Basic CREDIT & Analysis Tools for Non-Accountants. He was the CEO of a very successful leasing company and executive at a major company. You can reach Steve

Sales Makes It Happen Articles:  


BBB Leasing Company Ratings
December 10, 2014

(Last ratings September 10, 2014)

A to D-
Onset Financial, Inc., South Jordan, Utah

Not Rated to A+
Bankers Capital, Northborough, Massachusetts

Not Rated to "Believed to Be Out of Business"
Tri Star Capital, Santa Ana, California
(Note: company in wind down, no longer active)



--Accredited 12/16/1997

21st Century Leasing, San Diego, California 

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

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

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

Alliance Funding Group, Orange, California

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

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

Bankers Capital

BSB Leasing, Englewood, Colorado

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

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

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

CSI Leasing, St. Louis, Missouri 

De Lage Landen Financial Services, Incorporated, Wayne, Pennsylvania

Direct Capital, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Enterprise Capital Partners dba Enterprise Leasing, Spokane, Washington

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leasing Innovations, Inc., Solano Beach, California

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

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

Mazuma Capital Corp., Salt Lake City, Utah  

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

Orion First Financial, Gig Harbor, Washington

--Accredited since 09/02/1999
P&L Capital, Omaha, Nebraska 68137

Pawnee Leasing, Fort Collins, Colorado

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

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

Radiance Capital, Tacoma, Washington

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

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

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

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

TCF Equipment Finance, Minnetonka, Minnesota

Tetra Financial Group, Salt Lake city, Utah

United Leasing, Evansville, Indiana


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

Blue Bridge Financial, LLC, Buffalo, New York

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

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

Varilease Finance, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah


Dakota Financial, LLC., Los Angeles, California
(Note no complaints, no reason for the downgrade)
“Length of time business has been operating.
No complaints filed with BBB.
BBB has sufficient background information on this business.”

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

Platinum Financial, Orange, California


LEAF Financial Corporation, Philadelphia, PA


TimePayment Corporation


Onset Financial, South Jordan, Utah

Not Rated

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

Atel Capital

Business Leasing NorthWest, Seattle, California

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

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

Newport Financial Partners, Newport Beach, California

Somerset Capital Group, Milford, Connecticut

Studebaker-Worthington Leasing Corp., Jericho, New York

Susquehanna Commercial Finance, Pottstown, Pennsylvania

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

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

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



Complaints Bulletin Board BBB Ratings

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

Also may appear on Evergreen Abuse List:

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

Complaints Bulletin Board



This Jobs Chart Makes the S&P 500 Look Small

The S&P 500 consists of 500 of the largest publicly-traded US corporations.

It includes extremely valuable companies like Exxon Mobil and Apple. Many of these names are massive employers like Wal-Mart, which has around 2.2 million people on its payroll.

Many folks consider the S&P 500 to be a decent bellwether of the economy.

But in the context of the US labor market, the S&P 500 is small.

This pie chart comes to us from Deutsche Bank's Torsten Slok. According to Slok's data, the total payrolls of S&P 500 companies would represent just roughly 15% of US nonfarm payrolls, which currently stands at around 140 million.

"Small and medium-sized companies play a very important role in the US economy," Slok says.

This is good perspective as these smaller companies tend to be more aggressive in their hiring.


• Contract Negotiations • Fraud Investigations 
• Credit Investigations • Skip-tracing 
• Third-party Commercial Collections
John Kenny 
Receivables Management

For flat fee or commissions basis | ph 315-866-1167|

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


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

Chesswood Announces New US$150 Million Corporate Credit Facility

Senior Facility Expands Access to Capital
and Replaces Pawnee Facility

TORONTO, ONTARIO-- - Chesswood Group Limited ("Chesswood") (TSX:CHW) announced today that it has entered into a new three year, US$150 million, revolving senior secured credit facility. The facility also includes a US$50 million accordion feature which would expand the facility to US$200 million, if exercised.

The new credit facility will support growth in finance receivables, provide for Chesswood's working capital needs and for general corporate purposes. This new corporate credit facility replaces the US$105 million revolving credit facility of Pawnee Leasing, and allows Chesswood to manage the allocation of capital to its various financial services businesses in Canada and the U.S., internally. Chesswood used approximately US$94.0 million of its availability under this new credit facility to repay and retire the Pawnee Leasing credit facility.

Barry Shafran
President, Chesswood Group

"The additional liquidity from our expanded facility provides us with greater capacity, in support of our multiple growth initiatives," stated Barry Shafran, Chesswood's President. "This new facility, available in U.S. or Canadian dollars, also improves our financial flexibility by centralizing treasury management and making the provision of capital to individual businesses far easier", added Shafran.

The credit facility is led by Royal Bank of Canada and includes a syndicate of leading Canadian and U.S. financial institutions, including BBVA Compass as syndication agent.

About Chesswood Group Limited

Chesswood Group Limited is a financial services company with operating businesses in both Canada and the U.S.

To learn more about Chesswood Group Limited, visit

The separate websites of Chesswood Group Limited's operating businesses are at,,,, and

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



Custom Built Poker Tables for Christmas
Built by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP

Well-known leasing lecturer, sales trainer, and legal expert, Terry Winders’, CLP, hobby is not only playing poker, but building poker tables.

He built one for himself, and when his poker friends came over to play, they wanted him to build one. Now he builds them not only as a hobby, but a side-line business.

“They are all solid walnut except the base board," he says. "They are therefore very heavy. I sell the plain ones for $2450, the one with a bumper all the way around for $2695 and the one with the red bumper and chip holders for $2995. I haven't changed the price in years as I enjoy building them.

"The color of the bumpers and the color of the felt can be any color the person wants....The purchaser must pay for shipping....and the chairs are not included."

Bumper all around

Chip holder and bumpers version

He has built other styles and different versions, but the three above are the most basic.

For more information, call Mr. Terry Winders, CLP, at 502-649-0448 or email him at


Newfoundland Mix
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Adopt-a-Dog

ID#: D 1410305712
Sex: Female
Color: Unknown
Age: Adult

Bella's Info...
I am already spayed and up to date with shots.

Bella's Story...
If interested in adopting this animal, please contact the Lancaster County SPCA, 599 Chesapeake Street, Lancaster PA 17602, or call us at (717) 917-6979.

Monday through Saturday - 10am - 7pm
Sunday - 11am - 6pm

848 South Prince St
Lancaster, PA 17603


Adopt a Pet



Bode Ace Menkin Birthday

Born Madera, California
December 10, 2005

(I took him to the office every work day, when I had an office away from home.  Now he is with me most of the day at my office at home.  We both go for a walk for an hour a day, when it is not raining.  He walks off leash, listens to both voice and hand signals, as well as knows my habits well, especially waiting while I talk to people we meet along the way. He puts up with me.
  Kit Menkin).


News Briefs----

Nor'easter brings record rain to New York
   -- and West Coast, you're not off the hook 

Congressional Leaders Reach Deal on Spending

U.S. small business borrowing rises to highest on record

Citigroup to take $3.5 billion charge this quarter

U.S. sues Deutsche Bank for alleged tax fraud,
 seeks $190 million

Airbus wins November orders and deliveries tally;
  Boeing leads YTD

Lender Sends Mixed Signals Radio Shack's BK

comScore Reports October 2014 U.S. Smartphone
    Subscriber Market Share 

New York City's Taxis Could Get Their Own App
  To Compete With Lyft And Uber

Snyder approves end of Detroit's financial emergency status;
  Kevyn Orr steps down

Verizon Says Heavy Promotions Will Dent Otherwise Strong 4th Quarter




--You May Have Missed It

Which City Has The Most Unpredictable Weather?


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

Best and Worst Fish Choices


Football Poem

You Must Not Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than

It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
Whe he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out -

The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.





Sports Briefs----

Cubs sign free-agent ace Jon Lester

Panthers QB Cam Newton suffers back injury in car accident 

Dallas QB Tony Romo explains why he plays hurt at this point in his career

Kawakami: When Jim Harbaugh goes away, 49ers problems will remain

Harbaugh insulted by Kap analogy, interview ends abruptly 


California Nuts Briefs---

Golden 1 credit union will send $18 million back to its members 

Richmond police chief a prominent participant in protest against police violence

Save California Hospitals--Daughters of Charity


“Gimme that Wine”

Ridge Vineyards, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District criticized for 'sweetheart' land deal

Consumer Wine Trends Enjoying Wine

The Hess Collection Debuts Refined Quality Statement

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in American History

    1672 – The first postal route between cities was the route between New York City and Boston, MA. Governor Francisco Lovelace of New York announced that monthly service would be inaugurated on January 1, 1673. The first post rider left New York City on January 22, 1673, and arrived in Boston three weeks later. This was the origin of the Boston Post Road that goes through NYC into Westchester County and up to Boston.  Most of this road is now known as US 1.
        1690 - The Massachusetts Bay Colony became the first American colonial government to borrow money.
    1776 - The cash strapped Continental Congress authorized a loan of $5 million from France, to be used for the purchasing of supplies and construction of cruisers. The length of the loan was indefinite. Bonds were sold at par. The rate of interest was 5 percent, payable annually. The loan was received on June 4, 1777. The final redemption was made on December 31, 1793, when the balance due was merged into the general account of the French debt. Alexander Hamilton was Secretary of The Treasury between September 11, 1789 and January 31, 1795 and obtained loans from the Bank of New York and Bank of North America. The interest rate was six percent.
    1787 - Birthday of Thomas Gallaudet at Philadelphia, PA.   A hearing educator who, with Laurent Clerc, founded the first public school for deaf people, Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons (now the American School for the Deaf), at Hartford, CT,  on Apr 15, 1817. Gallaudet died Sept 9, 1851, at Hartford, CT. Gallaudet University, for the hearing impaired, in Washington, DC was named in his honor.
    1819 – African-American Tom Molineux had a wide following by the time he left for England in 1810 to fight the English champion Tom Cribb on this day. Molineux grew up in slavery, history records, on a plantation in Virginia, and was said to have won his freedom by winning boxing bouts arranged by slave owners. He was very popular and the favorite to win in the English championship fight. Although he knocked Cribb out in the 23rd round, he was falsely accused of using lead weights in his gloves, and the fight continued, ending in a victory for Cribb in the 40th round.
    1817 - Mississippi became the 20th state.
    1830 - Birthday of one of America's greatest poets, Emily Dickinson, at Amherst, MA. She was reclusive, mysterious, and frail in health. Seven of her poems were published during her life, but after her death, on May 1 1886, at Amherst, MA, her sister Lavinia discovered almost 2,000 more poems written on the backs of envelopes and other scraps of paper locked in her bureau. They were published gradually over 50 years, beginning in 1890. The little-known Emily Dickinson who was born, lived and died at Amherst, now is recognized as one of the most original poets of the English-speaking world.
    1845 - President James Polk makes a bold move to radically expand the burgeoning United States. Polk gave Congressman John Slidell the go-ahead to settle a border dispute concerning Texas, as well as to purchase New Mexico and California, from Mexico. As per Polk's demand, Slidell anted up $5 million for New Mexico and $25 million for California.  However, Mexico refused the offer, emboldening the president to marshal a war effort in the name of "re-annexing" the territory. We then annexed California and other land from Mexico with troops in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
    1850 - Birthday of Jennie Augusta Brownscombe at Honesdale, PA.  A painter, specialist in scenes of early U.S. history, she was sought by magazine and calendar publishers because of her meticulous perspective and realism. Huge numbers of reproductions of her paintings were also sold. Most buyers never knew her name. In all, she copyrighted more than 100 paintings. She lived simply with one companion/servant and died at 85.
    1851 - Birthday of Melville Louis Kossuth Dewey, American librarian and inventor of the Dewey decimal book classification system, at Adams Center, NY.  He was an advocate of spelling reform, urged use of the metric system and was interested in many other education reforms. Dewey died at Lake Placid, Florida, Dec 26, 1931
    1852 - 10,000 people turned out to watch the first legal hanging in San Francisco. Jose Forniz was hanged from gallows built on the slope of Russian Hill for the murder of Jose Attari. The crime which inaugurated public executions was commonplace. A Spaniard named Jose Foriniz struck down Attari, an unknown Mexican in Pleasant Valley, stabbing him with a dagger for, as he claimed, attempting to rob him. The case was tried before Judge Lake, with H. H. Byrne, District Attorney, as prosecutor, and Judge H. S. Brown and Colonel James for the defense.  After a very prompt trial, Foriniz was sentenced to be hanged two months later. The execution took place on Russian Hill, much to the indignation of the cemetery wherein, among others, rested the bones of Don Vicente Nunez. It was the oldest burying-place for the city. That did not deter some three thousand people from attending, parents taking children to see the unusual sight, and women on foot and in carriages forcing their way to the front. Between 12 and 1 o’clock the condemned man was taken to the scaffold in a wagon drawn by four black horses, escorted by the California Guard. The Marion Rifles under Captain Schaeffer kept the crowd back from the scaffold. The man died game, after a farewell speech, in which he said:  “The Americans are good people; they have ever treated me well and kindly; I thank them for it. I have nothing but love and kindly feelings for all. Farewell, people of San Francisco. World, farewell!”
    1861 – The Confederate States of America accepted a rival state government's pronouncement that declared Kentucky to be the 13th state of the Confederacy.
    1864 - Union General William T. Sherman completes his "March to the Sea" when he arrives in front of Savannah, Georgia. Since mid-November, Sherman's army had been sweeping from Atlanta across the state to the south and east towards Savannah, one of the last Confederate seaports still unoccupied by Union forces. Along the way, Sherman destroyed farms and railroads, burned storehouses, and fed his army off the land. In his own words, Sherman intended to "make Georgia howl," a plan that was approved by President Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant, general-in-chief of the Union armies. The city of Savannah was fortified and defended by 10,000 Confederates under the command of General William Hardee. The Rebels flooded the rice fields around Savannah, so only a few narrow causeways provided access to the city. Sherman's army was running low on supplies and he had not made contact with supply ships off the coast. Sherman's army had been completely cut off from the North, and only the reports of destruction provided any evidence of its whereabouts. Sherman directed General Oliver O. Howard to the coast to locate friendly ships. Howard dispatched Captain William Duncan and two comrades to contact the Union fleet, but nothing was heard of the trio for several days. Duncan located a Union gunboat that carried him to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Supply ships were sent to Savannah, and Duncan continued on to Washington to deliver news of the successful "March to the Sea" to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. For ten days, Hardee held out as Sherman prepared for an attack. Realizing the futility of losing his force entirely, Hardee fled the city on December 20 and slipped northward to fight another day.
    1869 - Women in Wyoming received the right to vote. Originally expressed as a mean of attracting women to this state where men overwhelming outnumbered the opposite sex, equality was a theme to be repeated over and over again as Wyoming became the first to grant women many equal rights.
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    1869 – Kappa Sigma Fraternity was founded at the University of Virginia.
    1873 - Birthday of Janet Scudder, an American sculptor, in Terre Haute, Ind. Studied with Frederick MacMonnies in Paris. She is known for her medallions and relief portraits and especially for her fountains, usually with childish figures conceived in a playful manner. Notable examples of her art are the "Frog Fountain" in the Metropolitan Museum, New York; the "Fighting Boy Fountain" in the Chicago Art Institute; and "The Sun Goddess" on the facade of the Brooklyn Institute Museum. Miss Scudder received medals at Chicago in 1893, St. Louis in 1904, and San Francisco in 1915.
    1884 – Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is published.
    1896 – In the first intercollegiate basketball game, Wesleyan beat Yale, 4-3.
    1898 - The “Treaty of Paris” was signed, which officially ended the Spanish-American War. American and Spanish ambassadors met at Paris, France, to negotiate a treaty. Under the terms of this treaty, Spain granted the US the Philippine Islands and the islands of Guam and Puerto Rico, and agreed to withdraw from Cuba. Senatorial debate over the treaty centered on the move by the US toward imperialism by acquiring the Philippines. A vote was taken Feb 6, 1899, and the treaty passed by a one-vote margin. President William McKinley signed the treaty Feb 10, 1899. The once-proud Spanish empire was virtually dissolved as the United States took over much of Spain’s overseas holdings. Puerto Rico and Guam were ceded to the United States, the Philippines were bought for $20 million, and Cuba became a U.S. protectorate. Philippine insurgents who fought against Spanish rule during the war immediately turned their guns against the new occupiers, and 10 times more U.S. troops died suppressing the Philippines than in defeating Spain.
    1899 – Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity was founded at CCNY.
    1901 – The first Nobel Peace Prizes were awarded to Jean Henri Dunant and Frederic Passy.
    1903 – The Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to Pierre and Marie Curie
    1904 - The New York Police Department, New York City, appointed the first two motorcycle police officers, Anthony L. Howe and Eugene Case.  They were assigned to the police headquarters in The Bronx and Manhattan.
    1905 - "The Gift of the Magi," a short story by William Sydney Porter, 43, was first published. Known by his pen name, O. Henry, Porter's writings were characterized by trick endings, making him a master of short story telling.
    1906 – The first American awarded the Nobel Peace Prize was President Theodore Roosevelt for his role in the mediation of the Russo-Japanese War.
    1911 – One of television’s first news anchors, Chet Huntley, was born in Caldwell, MT.  With David Brinkley, he co-anchored NBC’s evening news program, “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” for 14 years beginning in 1956.  Their catchphrase closing of "Good night, Chet" - "Good night, David... and good night for NBC News" is remembered almost as much as the high quality of their onscreen work.  He died in Montana in 1974.
    1914 - Birthday of Dorothy Lamour, born Mary Leta Dorothy Slaton, in New Orleans, LA.   Singer-actor and wearer of a sarong in many of her movies. She is most renowned for her "road" films with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, and “Hurricane” (1937). One of the big questions was what held up the sarongs - she said muscle control had a lot to do with it. During the Second World War, she auctioned two of her sarongs as part of fund-raising efforts that collected more than $2 million for the war effort. She was a native of New Orleans and never saw the South Pacific until she was 70 when she said it looked as pretty as the back lot of Paramount. Died Los Angeles, CA, 22 September 1996
    1915 - 1,000,000th model T Ford left the assembly line.
    1919 – The National League outlawed the spitball for all new pitchers while grandfathering it for existing Major Leaguers.
    1922 - Pete Henry kicked the longest known NFL drop-kicked field goal, 45 yards.
    1924 – Major League Baseball reached agreement on the permanent rotation of World Series games with each league getting games 1, 2, 6, 7 in alternating years.  That would change in 2005 when it was agreed that League that wins the All-Star Game will have home field advantage.
    1927 – The Grand Ole Opry made its first broadcast on radio from Nashville.
    1928 – Dan Blocker was born Bobby Dan Davis Blocker in DeKalb, TX.  Blocker had a fledgling TV career with supporting roles in several television series, mostly westerns.  Blocker's big break came in 1959, when he was cast as Hoss Cartwright on the long-running NBC television series, “Bonanza” and played the role until his death.  Despite several popular myths as to the mysterious death of Blocker, On May 13, 1972, Blocker died in Los Angeles of a pulmonary embolism following gall bladder surgery.
    1930 - Duke Ellington and His Orchestra record "Mood Indigo”
    1931 - The first Nobel Peace Prize awarded to an American woman went to Jane Addams, the pioneering social worker who founded Hull House, in Chicago, Ill, to serve the city's poor residents. She received the award jointly with Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University, for her leading role in the women's peace movement. She chaired the Woman's Peace Party in 1915, presided over the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom from 1919 to 1929, and helped to found the American Civil Liberties Union in 1920.
    1932 - Birthday of bass player Bob Cranshaw, Evanston, Ill.
    1938 - Filming finally begins on “Gone with the Wind” after years of delay. Producer David O. Selznick had not yet cast an actress to play the leading role of Scarlett O'Hara, so the first day's shooting was of the burning of Atlanta, which didn't require close footage of Scarlett.
    1938 - Pearl S. Buck becomes the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
    1941 - Jimmy Dorsey Band records “Tangerine.” Decca 4123
    1941 - 4,000 Japanese troops land on the Philippine Islands, while Japanese aircraft sink the British warships Prince of Wales and Repulse. Guam, an American-controlled territory, was also seized. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill finally exclaims, "We have lost control of the sea." The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 was only one step in a larger plan to dominate the Pacific. That plan involved knocking out first American, then British, naval opposition. Japanese bombing raids on Guam, Midway Island, and Wake Island followed the attack on the American fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor. American airfields there were destroyed, as were Clark and Iba airfields in the Philippines, wiping out more than half of the United States' aircraft dedicated to the Far East. These bombing raids were followed up, on December 10, by 2,000 Japanese troops that landed on the Philippine island of Luzon in the north, and another 2,000 that landed at Vigan on the western coast. And in Guam, 700 Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces invaded and occupied the American-controlled military outpost of Guam after only a 25-minute military engagement, resulting in the capture of 500 Americans soldiers. The United States was not alone in its struggle for the Pacific. Great Britain had also declared war on the Empire of Japan on December 8. The next day, Japan occupied the capital of Thailand and then landed in the Malay Peninsula, which could not be repulsed by the outmatched Australian and Indian troops. Britain responded by dispatching Force Z, their Royal Navy unit dedicated to supporting Singapore, when Japanese bombers spotted Z's battleship, the Prince of Wales, and its sister ship, the Repulse, sailing for Kuantan on the eastern coast of the Malay Peninsula, believing erroneously that the Japanese had just put troops ashore there. The bombers rained down torpedo bombs on the British warships, sinking them and killing 840 men. "In all the war, I have never received a more direct shock," Churchill lamented. And the Japanese were far from finished: The humiliation of the United States in the Philippines and a more extensive occupation of Indochina and the South Pacific were still to come.
    1941 – Child actor Tommy Rettig was born in Queens, NYC.  He is best remembered for portraying the character "Jeff Miller" in the first three seasons of CBS‘ “Lassie” from 1954 to 1957, later seen in syndicated re-runs as “Jeff's Collie”.  Rettig died in 1996.
    1941 – Chad Stuart, of Chad & Jeremy, was born David Stuart Chadwick at Windermere, Cumbria in the UK.  Together they had a role in the British invasion into America’s rock scene with “Yesterday’s Gone”, “A Summer Song” and “Willow Weep for Me”
    1945 - Preston Tucker reveals plan to produce the Torpedo, a new 150 MPH car
    1946 - The temperature at New York City soared to 70 degrees.
    1946 – “The Big Train” Walter Johnson died in DC.  He played his entire 21-year baseball career for the Washington Senators (1907–1927). He later served as their manager (1929-32) and for the Cleveland Indians (1933-5).  One of the most celebrated and dominating players in baseball history, Johnson established several pitching records, some of which remain unbroken. He remains by far the all-time career leader in shutouts with 110, second in wins with 417, and fourth in complete games with 531. Upon his retirement, he held the career record in strikeouts with 3,508 and was the only player in the 3,000 strikeout club for over 50 years until Bob Gibson recorded his 3,000th strikeout in 1974. Johnson led the league in strikeouts a Major League record 12 times—one more than current strikeout leader Nolan Ryan—including a record eight consecutive seasons.  Johnson was one of the first five players elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1036 with Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner.  Johnson’s gentle nature was legendary, and to this day he is held up as an example of good sportsmanship, while his name has become synonymous with friendly competition.  Johnson was born in Humboldt, KS in 1887.
    1946 - Damon Runyon died in the NYC about which he wrote so much.  Best known for his short stories celebrating the world of Broadway in New York City that grew out of the Prohibition era. To New Yorkers of his generation, a "Damon Runyon character" evoked a distinctive social type from the Brooklyn or Midtown demi-monde. The adjective "Runyonesque" refers to this type of character as well as to the type of situations and dialog that Runyon depicted.  He spun humorous and sentimental tales of gamblers, hustlers, actors, and gangsters.  He was born Alfred Damon Runyan in Manhattan, KS.
    1948 - United Nations passes Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    1949 - Fats Domino recorded his first tracks for Imperial Records. One of those songs was called "The Fat Man", which later became his nickname.
    1950 - Dr. Ralph Johnson Bunche became the first African-American awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Bunche was awarded the prize for his efforts in mediation between Israel and neighboring Arab states in 1949.
    1950 - PAGE, JOHN U. D., Medal of Honor.
Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, X Corps Artillery, while attached to the 52d Transportation Truck Battalion. Place and date: Near Chosin Reservoir, Korea, 29 November to 10 December 1950. Entered service at: St. Paul, Minn. Born: 8 February 1904, Malahi Island, Luzon, Philippine Islands. G.O. No.: 21, 25 April 1957. Citation: Lt. Col. Page, a member of X Corps Artillery, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty in a series of exploits. On 29 November, Lt. Col. Page left X Corps Headquarters at Hamhung with the mission of establishing traffic control on the main supply route to 1st Marine Division positions and those of some Army elements on the Chosin Reservoir plateau. Having completed his mission Lt. Col. Page was free to return to the safety of Hamhung but chose to remain on the plateau to aid an isolated signal station, thus being cut off from elements of the marine division. After rescuing his jeep driver by breaking up an ambush near a destroyed bridge, Lt. Col. Page reached the lines of a surrounded marine garrison at Koto-ri. He then voluntarily developed and trained a reserve force of assorted army troops trapped with the marines. By exemplary leadership and tireless devotion he made an effective tactical unit available. In order that casualties might be evacuated, an airstrip was improvised on frozen ground partly outside of the Koto-ri defense perimeter which was continually under enemy attack. During 2 such attacks, Lt. Col. Page exposed himself on the airstrip to direct fire on the enemy, and twice mounted the rear deck of a tank, manning the machine gun on the turret to drive the enemy back into a no man’s land. On 3 December while being flown low over enemy lines in a light observation plane, Lt. Col. Page dropped hand grenades on Chinese positions and sprayed foxholes with automatic fire from his carbine. After 10 days of constant fighting, the marine and army units in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir had succeeded in gathering at the edge of the plateau and Lt. Col. Page was flown to Hamhung to arrange for artillery support of the beleaguered troops attempting to break out. Again Lt. Col. Page refused an opportunity to remain in safety and returned to give every assistance to his comrades. As the column slowly moved south Lt. Col. Page joined the rear guard. When it neared the entrance to a narrow pass it came under frequent attacks on both flanks. Mounting an abandoned tank Lt. Col. Page manned the machine gun, braved heavy return fire, and covered the passing vehicles until the danger diminished. Later when another attack threatened his section of the convoy, then in the middle of the pass, Lt. Col. Page took a machine gun to the hillside and delivered effective counter fire, remaining exposed while men and vehicles passed through the ambuscade. On the night of 10 December the convoy reached the bottom of the pass but was halted by a strong enemy force at the front and on both flanks. Deadly small-arms fire poured into the column. Realizing the danger to the column as it lay motionless, Lt. Col. Page fought his way to the head of the column and plunged forward into the heart of the hostile position. His intrepid action so surprised the enemy that their ranks became disordered and suffered heavy casualties. Heedless of his safety, as he had been throughout the preceding 10 days, Lt. Col. Page remained forward, fiercely engaging the enemy single-handed until mortally wounded. By his valiant and aggressive spirit Lt. Col. Page enabled friendly forces to stand off the enemy. His outstanding courage, unswerving devotion to duty, and supreme self-sacrifice reflect great credit upon Lt. Col. Page and are in the highest tradition of the military service.
    1953 - With an investment of $7,600, Hugh Hefner published the first "Playboy" magazine. There is no date printed on the first issue, now a collector's item. The reason, according to "Hef," is that he doubted anyone would expect a second issue to be printed. Included in this first issue: A classic, nude, calendar photo of actress Marilyn Monroe.  My next door neighbor was a college classmate and joined the company as their accountant. He says their main income came from selling the mailing lists of subscribers to others until advertising came in later.
    1953 - Harry Belafonte debuted on Broadway in "Almanac" at the Imperial Theatre. Critics hailed Belafonte's performance as “electrifyingly sincere.” Also starring in the show: Hermione Gingold, Billy DeWolfe, Polly Bergen and Orson Bean.
    1954 – The Philadelphia Phillies agreed to purchase Connie Mack Stadium.
    1955 - Top Hits
“Sixteen Tons” - Tennessee Ernie Ford
“Memories are Made of This” - Dean Martin
“Nuttin' for Christmas” - Barry Gordon
“Love, Love, Love” - Webb Pierce
    1955 - "The Big Surprise" on NBC-TV awarded the largest amount of money given away on television. Mrs. Ethel Park Richardson of Los Angeles, CA may have needed an armored truck to carry away her $100,000 in cash.
    1955 – “Mighty Mouse Playhouse” premieres on television.  “…here I come to save the day, Mighty Mouse is on his way…”
    1958 – The University of Pittsburgh agreed to purchase Forbes Field from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
    1961 – Former Heisman Trophy winner and first draft pick, Billy Cannon of the Houston Oilers of the American Football League, gained a total of 373 yards against the New York Titans.  The Oilers are now the Tennessee Titans and the New York Titans became the New York Jets upon a change of ownership…wait, it’ll come to you.
    1963 - Top Hits
“Dominique” - The Singing Nun
“Everybody” - Tommy Roe
“Louie Louie” - The Kingsmen
“Love's Gonna Live Here” - Buck Owens
    1963 - Donny Osmond makes his debut with The Osmonds on NBC's “The Andy Williams Show”.
    1964 - Rev. Martin Luther King became a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace. He was the youngest person to have earned the award.
    1964 – Celebrity chef Bobby Flay was born in NYC. “Boy Meets Grill,” “Iron Chef.”
    1965 - Bill Graham holds a second benefit for SF Mime Troupe, at The Fillmore (first time there) at Fillmore and Geary in The City.  3,500 turn out. The Warlocks become “The Grateful Dead,” and debuted with the new name at the Fillmore Auditorium. The Jefferson Airplane, The Great Society, the John Handy Quintet, the Mystery Trend, and Sam Thomas also appeared.
    1966 - The Beach Boys made a one-week stop at the top of the "Billboard" Hot 100 as "Good Vibrations" made it to #1. It was the third #1 hit the group scored. The others were "I Get Around" and "Help Me, Rhonda". This Brian Wilson masterpiece, at a cost of $16,000, was the most expensive single ever produced in music history up to that time.
    1967 - A previously unrecorded group called The Steve Miller Blues Band signs with Capitol Records for an unheard of $750,000. Capitol persuades the group to drop the "Blues" from its name.
    1967 - Otis Redding and four members of the Bar-Kays (Otis' backup group) were killed in the crash of a private plane near Madison, Wisconsin. Redding was 26 years old. His signature song, "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" was recorded three days before his death. It was #1 for four weeks beginning February 10, 1968. Redding was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. The Bar-Kays biggest hit was in July, 1967: "Soul Finger". James Alexander, bass player for the group, was not on the plane. Ben Cauley, trumpet player, survived the crash. The group played for a time with various new members.
    1969 - "Suspicious Minds" becomes Elvis Presley's 48th Gold Record. At last count, he had 53.
    1970 - The defense opens its case in the murder trial of Lt. William Calley. Charged with six counts of premeditated murder, Calley was a platoon leader in Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade (Light) of the 23rd (America) Division. He was tried because of his leadership role in the My Lai massacres. On March 16, 1968, Calley led his troops to murder innocent Vietnamese civilians living in a cluster of hamlets located in Son Tinh District in Quang Ngai Province in the northern coastal lowlands. Citing "superior's orders," Defense Attorney George Lattimer contended that Capt. Ernest Medina, Calley's company commander, told his men that they were finally going to fight the enemy. He reportedly ordered "every living thing" killed. Lattimer also cited poor training of the platoon, the rage of the men who had seen their buddies killed, and the expectation of fierce resistance as additional factors contributing to the incident. The lawyer also charged that higher commanders on the ground and in the air observed the episode but did nothing. Despite Lattimer's argument, Calley was found guilty of murdering 22 civilians and sentenced to life imprisonment. His sentence was reduced to 20 years by the Court of Military Appeals and further reduced to 10 years by the Secretary of the Army. Proclaimed a "scapegoat" by much of the public, Calley was paroled by President Richard Nixon in 1974, after serving about a third of his 10-year sentence.
    1971 - Top Hits
“Family Affair” - Sly & The Family Stone
“Have You Seen Her” - Chi-Lites
“Got to Be There” - Michael Jackson
“Kiss an Angel Good Mornin' “ - Charley Pride
    1971 - William H. Rehnquist was confirmed by the Senate, 68-26, as U.S. Supreme Court Justice. He replaced Justice John Harlan who resigned in September, 1971. Rehnquist joined the Court on January 7, 1972, the same day as Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr.
    1971 - In one of the worst deals ever made, the Mets trade Nolan Ryan and three prospects to the Angels for six time all-star third baseman Jim Fregosi (Serra HS, San Mateo). The fireballer from Texas went on to set the all-time strikeout record (5,714), pitch 7 no-hitters, and become a member of the Hall of Fame while Fregosi provided little help for New York.
    1972 - The longest non-scoring pass in NFL history was made as Jim Hart of the St. Louis Cardinals passed from his own one-yard-line to Bobby Joe Moore, known now as Ahmad Rashad, who was tackled on the Los Angeles Rams' one-yard-line. The pass officially went for 98 yards.
    1974 - Representative Wilbur D. Mills, Democrat from Arkansas, resigns as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee in the aftermath of the first truly public sex scandal in American politics.
    1974 – Space probe Helios 1 was launched by the U.S. and Germany.  It would later make the closest flyby of the Sun.
    1975 - "The Who by Numbers", which contains the hit single "Squeeze Box", earns the Who another Gold record.
    1977 - In only his second year of riding, Steve Cauthen became the first jockey to win $6 million in a single season. Cauthen was dubbed ‘The Six Million Dollar Man', and ‘Stevie Wonder' by his admirers and was named 1977 Sportsman of the Year by "Sports Illustrated", the Associated Press, "ABC's Wide World of Sports" and "The Sporting News".
    1979 - Kool and the Gang's "Ladies Night" is certified gold
    1979 - Top Hits
“Babe” - Styx
“Still” - Commodores
“Please Don't Go” - K.C. & The Sunshine Band
“I Cheated Me Right Out of You” - Moe Bandy
    1980 - Rep. John W. Jenrette, D-S.C., resigned to avoid being expelled from the House following his conviction on charges related to the FBI's Abscam investigation.  The investigation also ensnared NJ Senator Harrison Williams and DC Mayor Marion Barry.
    1982 - Heavyweight Michael Dokes knocked out Mike Weaver at 1:03 of the first round to win the WBA heavyweight title in Las Vegas.
    1983 - Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson started a six week run at #1 on the Billboard singles chart with "Say Say Say". It was Jackson's 10th chart topper, including solo and with The Jacksons, and was McCartney's 29th, including solo and with The Beatles.
    1983 – In the final NFL game at New York’s Shea Stadium, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the New York Jets 34-7.  This left the Buffalo Bills as the only NFL team that actually plays its games in New York.  The Jets moved to Giants Stadium in NJ for its home games beginning in the 1984 season.
    1984 – A bill to balance the federal budget was passed in Congress.         
    1985 - The R.H. Donnelley Corporation announced plans to bring full color to its phone books, with red, blue and green ... along with the traditional Yellow Pages; and it wasn't long before ads printed in the Yellow Pages began sprouting up with red, blue and green accents (which cost more than the traditional, black-only print).
    1986 – F Dominique Wilkins of the Atlanta Hawks scored 57 against the Chicago Bulls.
    1987 - Top Hits
“Heaven is a Place on Earth” - Belinda Carlisle
“Faith” - George Michael
“Should've Known Better” - Richard Marx
“Somebody Lied” - Ricky Van Shelton
    1988 - Bill Champlin's vocals helped Chicago attain their third and final number one single when "Look Away" hit the top of the Billboard chart. It was one of three Top Ten hits from the "Chicago 19" album, along with "I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love" and "You're Not Alone".
    1989 - Seattle wide receiver Steve Largent makes his NFL record 100th touchdown catch in the Seahawks' 24-17 win at Cincinnati.  The record would be obliterated across the 1990s and 2000s by Hall of Famer Jerry Rice who has 208.
    1989 - Heavy snow fell across the northern and central mountains of Colorado, with 24 inches reported at Steamboat Springs. Six to twelve inches of snow fell in the Denver and Boulder area delaying plane flights and snarling traffic. Heavy snow also spread across the Central Plains into the Mississippi Valley. Winner, South Dakota received 11 inches of snow, and more than ten inches of snow was reported north of Sioux City, IA.
    1991 - The U.S. Supreme Court struck down New York's "Son of Sam Law" that forced criminals' profits for selling their stories to be seized and given to their victims. The High Court held that the New York law was inconsistent with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
    1991 - Alan Freed, the disc jockey credited with giving ‘Rock and Roll' its name, was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Freed died Jan 20, 1965.)
    1991 – I.M. Pei received $5 million for the design of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  
    1991 – Howie Spira sentenced to 2 years in prison for trying to extort money from Yankees owner George Steinbrenner after Steinbrenner contacted Spira in an attempt to dig up dirt on Yankees’ star Dave Winfield.  This led to Steinbrenner’s suspension from baseball during which time the baseball people took charge of the team.  This period saw the signing of the “Core Four”…Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada…who would go on to lead the Yankees to five World Series championships and 12 consecutive playoff appearance under Hall of Fame manager Joe Torre, from 1995 through 2007.
    1992 - A slow-moving Nor'easter storm batters the northeast U.S. coast killing 19 people.
    1993 - Top Hits
“Again” - Janet Jackson
“I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)” - Meat Loaf
“All That She Wants” - Ace Of Base
“Hero” - Mariah Carey
“Shoop” - Salt-N-Pepa
    1994 - Kenny G's "Miracles: The Holiday Album" was number one in the U.S. It became the best-selling Christmas album in history, selling over 8 million albums as of 2000. The tracks: "Winter Wonderland", "White Christmas", "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", "Silent Night", "Greensleeves", "Miracles", "Little Drummer Boy", "The Chanukah Song", "Silver Bells", "Away in a Manger" and "Brahms Lullaby".
    1995 - Worst snowstorm in Buffalo history drops 37.9" in 24 hours, breaking the previous record of 25.3" in 1982.  The storm began Dec 9 at 7 PM. Because of the use of all open spaces, including golf courses in which to dump snow plowed from streets and parking lots, little golf was played in 1995 in the area as the snow did not fully melt until autumn.  On December 26-29, 2001, they would get 80 inches of snow. 
    1995 - NASA scientists received the first data from the space probe Galileo -- a message beamed over 2.3 billion miles (3.7 billion kilometers).
    1998 - After 24 years and 1,071 appearances, Dennis Eckersley, 44, who has pitched in more major league games than any other player retires as an active player.  It was Manager Tony LaRussa’s conversion of Eckersley, previously a starter, to a 9th inning only closer that revolutionized the game and how managers used relievers.  Previously, it was common for top relievers like Rollie Fingers, Bruce Sutter, Tug McGraw, Sparky Lyle and Goose Gossage, to pitch as many as the final four innings and usually more than one to shut down the opposition and close out the game.
    1998 - Top Hits
“I’ m Your Angel” - R. Kelly
“Nobody’ s Supposed To Be Here” - Deborah Cox
“Lately” - Divine
“Doo Wop (That Thing)” - Lauryn Hill
    2002 - Former President Jimmy Carter accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his diplomacy in the Middle East in the 1970s.
    2007 - Former Vice President Al Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize with a call for humanity to rise up against a looming climate crisis.
    2007 - NFL star Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison for bankrolling a dogfighting operation and killing dogs that underperformed.
    2009 - President Barack Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize with a humble acknowledgment of his scant accomplishments and a robust defense of the U.S. at war.
    2010 – The FAA announced it has no clear record of ownership or records of access for over 119,000 private planes
    2012 - Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper, emboldened by the passage of a voter-approved amendment to the state constitution, declared marijuana legal for recreational use. 
    2013 - General Motors appointed Mary Barra CEO who became the first female CEO of an automotive company.



The object is to insert the numbers in the boxes to satisfy only one condition: each row, column and 3x3 box must contain the digits 1 through 9 exactly once. What could be simpler?





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