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

Monday, December 29, 2014

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

Southern CA Broker Pretending to be a Vendor
   Plus Lease Police Alert
  Colleagues of Clay Stephens Stunned at the News
          Accused of $23 Million Ponzi Scheme
      Classified Ads---Senior Management
Real Companies, Real Guarantors – All Fraud
    By Bernie Boettigheimer, CLP
Top Stories:  December 22--December 24
   Opened Most by Readers of Leasing News
Sales Make it Happen by Robert Teichman, CLP
  Moving Up-Selling into the Middle Market
    “I Want to Move”
Career Crossroad---By Emily Fitzpatrick/RII
   Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted
 Leasing 102 by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP
   Lessor Ownership Risk
Arizona Court Lets Dishonest Koss CFO’s Fraud
Sue American Express for Conversation
  By Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor
This is why Square is Going to Miss Starbucks
 --A Lot!  Chart
Former Auto Leasing Company Owner Sentenced
 to Two Years for Auto Leases and Frauds
   Hound Cross/Australian Cattledog
    Novato, California
   Classified Ads---
    ZipRecruiter Added to Employment Web Sites
News Briefs---
Illinois ends 2014 with 91 fewer bank branches
 2014 was an active year for bank M&A in Kansas City
  Will Bill Cooper Sell TCF Bank--If the Price is Right
   Ten Who Had a Good Year in Banking
    Jazz great Buddy DeFranco dies at age 91

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Southern CA Broker Pretending to be a Vendor
Plus Lease Police Alert

Leasing News has received information about a leasing broker in Southern California pretending to be a vendor.  The FBI local office has taken it under consideration.  Leasing News is unable to name the company at this time, which also changes names. The individual or individuals, in addition, seem to work out of mail drops or office rental locations.

A similar group, and may as well be the same group, has been under investigation by Lease Police, who have issued an alert to their subscribers.

Lease Police President Bernie Boettigheimer, CLP, sent this
out to his subscribers (edited for liability reasons):

"A wave is no longer a simple case of fake vendors offering disguised working capital and kicking back 50-60% of the lease proceeds to the lessee. The fraudsters have decided to change the game! They are using stolen ID’s and Social Security numbers of real business owners and applying under their stolen name and business identities plus using a number of vendor aliases.

"In several cases, they have even created a website and set up Directory Assistance for these shadow lessee names with the real lessee and owner having no idea that a completely false identity has been built with corrected contact information.  By doing this, the fake vendor(s) do not have to share any lease proceeds with anyone. Here at, we have identified some “markers” to uncover their activities, but as this case shows, the professional lease fraudster is constantly changing his spots!"

Make this your motto for the year; “Be vigilant, use your Lease Police.Com account by inquiring on all new Vendors and report to us any Unusual Vendor or Lessee Activity”.

Previous Alerts and Flags





Colleagues of Clay Stephens Stunned at the News
Accused $23 Million Ponzi Scheme

By Christopher Menkin

June 30, 2014
NorthBay Business Journal

Warren Capital marks 30 years, $1.8 billion in financing

NOVATO — Novato-based Warren Capital is charting a path for the future as it celebrates its 30th anniversary, seeing continuing growth from a long-running business model that focuses on providing financing and advising for some of the North Bay’s most well-known industries.


The shock of the alleged $23 million Ponzi scheme by the late Clay Stephens, Novato, California, was similar to what occurred with leasing industry leader John Otto, Heritage Capital. Otto committed suicide before he was about to be found out, and it appears Stephens heart attack was similar in several aspects. Both had legitimate leasing companies, as well as an "investment" leasing entity that was built on bogus leases with the investor money paying the quarterly "earned interest."

In Otto's case, the HL Leasing accounting was done out of his house in Palm Desert, California not his Fresno, California office, so those who knew what was going on were perhaps the bookkeepers. The officers in Fresno said they knew nothing and had invested themselves. Otto’s wife lost everything in a bankruptcy. It appears the same may happen with Mrs. Stephens, including two of Stephens’ four sons who say they lost $1 million each. One had reportedly invested another $100,000 last summer.

As to the employees of Otto’s HL Leasing, none were arrested, although the key officers have filed bankruptcy and have been served by class action suits.  The other difference is that Warren Capital is in receivership, which did not occur with HL Capital. Allegedly, there was no money to get except for an airplane. With Otto's death, there was not one person to arrest. It may be different with the Warren Capital investigation.

Reaction from the industry was complete surprise, perhaps even astonishment, as happened with John Otto.

There are two companies that have appeared in the Leasing News Complaint Bulletin Board who collect investment money. Evidently these are not regulated, nor were they licensed under the California Finance Lender's Law, which not only requires annual financial statements, but audits at the place of business.

In Otto's case, Heritage Pacific Leasing was licensed. HL Leasing was not. Warren Capital was licensed. (1) Warren Equipment Finance was not licensed. The company and individual were not licensed by FINRA.

Clay told several investors and friends he was the brother of Paul Stephens, co-founder of the once-large Robertson Stephens investment banking firm, out of San Francisco. (2) Leasing News was unable to confirm or have that denied at press time.

Certainly this is another black eye on the leasing industry.

(1)Warren Capital License

(2) Stephens Investment Management

Santa Rosa The Press Democrat Story

HL Leasing/Heritage Leasing Articles


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Real Companies, Real Guarantors – All Fraud
By Bernie Boettigheimer, CLP

While recent fraud losses have been down, I was not ready to raise the flag and declare victory. Nevertheless there had been a noticeable decrease in the absence of new suspects on the scene. Had the Fraudsters played out the old schemes of disguised working capital kickbacks to customers? Perhaps their business strategies were becoming too predictable and transparent with Lease Police’s industry-wide view of fraud activity? Or perhaps did they “pull in their horns” after several of them were indicted?

But I was inclined to think that the surviving Small-Ticket leasing and finance companies finally had enough losses and were listening to what we at Lease Police, Inc. had been preaching all along. Our “Three-Legged Stool” approach with a strong Vendor as the third leg always made sense to me. In addition, our scoring model (Patent Pending) was changed to penalize vendors using executive suites, mail stops and personal residences.

Unfortunately, there is just too much money at stake for the Fraudsters to ignore. The leasing industry will always be a target and the Fraudsters will adapt to our current strategies and find potential weaknesses.  After all, they may be thieves but they are also professional thieves. That means they do this for a living too.

Now all of a sudden in the past two weeks, we have seen a new flurry of activity in the Southern California area that was not like many standard Fraud Alerts we have seen in the past.

 Happy New Year


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


Top Stories:  December 22--December 24
Opened Most by Readers of Leasing News

(1) Leasing #102 by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP
           Broker/Sales Personnel Fees

(2) “I’m Leaving Right after I Get My Bonus”
   Career Crossroad---By Emily Fitzpatrick/RII

(3) New Hires---Promotions in the Leasing Industry

(4) Downside of Medallion Financial Only Just Beginning
        by James F. Hickman,

(5) CIT Bank/OneWest Bank Merger More Protests
              by Christopher Menkin

(6)Top Stories:  December 15--December 19
           Opened Most by Readers of Leasing News

(7) Peace on Earth
    Goodwill to Mankind--Placard

(8) Leasing Portals
(Business to Business including Finance/Leasing)

(9) Chocolate Labrador Retriever
    Mankato, Minnesota Adopt-a-Dog

(10) Mankato Zombie Bank Closes
          Non-Current Loans, Mostly Mortgages

Not Counted for Technical Reasons
Extra--What a Shocker for Christmas!



Sales Make it Happen

Moving Up-Selling into the Middle Market
by Robert Teichman, CLP

Small-ticket and middle market are two different businesses. The Leasing salesperson who understands the differences will be successful in both.

The small-ticket business, generally defined as leases for equipment costing less than $150,000, focuses primarily on the credit of the guarantor of the lessee company. Generally, the lessee completes a credit application calling for a minimum amount of information. The application is forwarded to a funder, which reviews the credit, concentrating on the guarantor's credit score and the lessee's time in business. The funder may also consider bank and trade information. Approval, if granted, occurs shortly after the funder receives the application, and the approval and rate is transmitted to the originator.

In the under $50,000 range, several companies offer five minute approvals, and a few can do both documents and pre-funding in four hours or less. Equipment Finance Agreements and business loans are popular instruments.

The characteristics of the small-ticket business include an application with little information, heavy reliance on credit scores, a fast turnaround of the credit process, and credit review before getting the lessee's commitment.

On the other hand, middle market leases, generally defined as leases between $150,000 to $500,000, perhaps $750,000 today, require a more structured approach. The funder requires a full financial package, which includes several years of financial statements, lessee and guarantor tax returns, complete equipment details and a narrative which should include a thorough financial analysis as well as a discussion of the company and its history.

Because of the depth of analysis which goes into a middle-market transaction, most funders demand that the lessee agree to the terms of the lease before starting the credit process.

All leasing salespeople should understand how to place a middle-market transaction. Even those who specialize in application-only deals will improve their volume by learning packaging and financial analysis techniques.

Often, the lessee who started with a small transaction grows beyond the small-ticket limit. In order to maintain the relationship, the originator will have to help the lessee obtain the financing, or risk losing the account.

One technique I have often used is the Master Lease. Instead of simply responding to the lessee's stated need for a small transaction, I would ask what other equipment the lessee planned to acquire that year. Not surprisingly, there almost always were other items on the capital expense budget. I would then offer a written proposal based on the total equipment needed, since I knew by then that I was working with a larger transaction. All the equipment the lessee planned to get over a six to twelve month period could be easily accommodated under a single Master Lease, instead of many individual leases.

If the lessee did not need additional equipment, the lease could still have been handled as an application-only transaction.

Not all lessees would qualify for a larger Master Lease, but the originator who pre-qualifies the lessee and is confident of obtaining an approval will win not only the original small lease, but all follow-on leases as well. Originators who understand how to read and analyze financial statements and how to properly prepare a full financial package will significantly increase their bookings.

Bob Teichman, CLP
Teichman Financial Training
"Education & training for leasing and financing personnel"
Tel: 415 331-6445


“I Want to Move”
Career Crossroad---By Emily Fitzpatrick/RII


Whether it is a spouse moving, a lifestyle change, wanting to buy a house in an area where you can afford to live, moving closer to your grown-up children, or to help an adult reaching an older age, you first should discuss with your current employer the possibility of working from a remote location. This is typically not an issue, if you are in a Business Development role.

However, if you are in a Management or Operations role, your company's computer system or method of operation may not make this feasible. I see "Cloud Computing" growing, meaning anyone from anywhere can access the company computer system without dialing up as all the information is located elsewhere to be downloaded by digital device, tablet, laptop or home computer. I see more and more employees now working from their home.

VOIP or Digital phone as well as a fast internet connection are making it more and more feasible to work away from the main headquarters.

If the only reason for making a move is predicated on location, FIRST discuss with your employer. They may even "lend" you a computer or surprise you by paying for your relocation cost – and if they do – they may request reimbursement should you leave the company within a specified time frame.

You might be surprised to find your employer finding you more valuable than you realize and wanting to keep you working for the firm.

I always recommend talking with your employer to explore all opportunities.

Happy New Year and Wishing you a Prosperous 2015

Emily Fitzpatrick
Sr. Recruiter
Recruiters International, Inc.
Phone:  954-885-9241
Cell:  954-612-0567
Invite me to Connect on LinkedIn
Also follow us on Twitter #RIIINFO

Career Crossroads Previous Columns


Leasing Industry Help Wanted



Lessor Ownership Risk

One off the issues you must consider when leasing equipment is that your lease document declares you are the owner during the term of the lease until you pass title at termination. In bargain option leases that ownership can come into question because ownership requires three parts:  title, possession, and use. In most leases, the possession and use is passed to the lessee, and title passes if the option is exercised at lease termination.

The lease requires the lessee to carry physical damage and liability insurance. We request a loss payable clause for the physical damage equal to the equipment’s value. In addition, we require an additional insured endorsement for the liability, with limits that cover the risk from the use of the equipment.

Some lessors do not follow for insurance because they do not see the risk because the value of the equipment is not that high or they think the indemnity clause will cover them. Several provide insurance and charge the lessee. Not following up on the proper insurance for the specific equipment and situation can make emotions run high and lawyers want to sue everyone when damage occurs.

To collect on the indemnity clause is expensive because it usually requires another law suit, if the company is unable to handle the expense or the insurance policy is not adequate for the situation. So the cost of the litigation may exceed the cost of the claim making it a problem to come out even.

The question usually is not if the lessor will be involved, but who is going to pay for it. The additional insured endorsement means the insurance company must represent the lessor in court because they are at risk to the value of the liability coverage.

If the lessor failed to follow for the insurance and it turns out there is none, or there is no additional insured coverage, then the lessor will have to pay for their own defense. The cost of litigation means that the legal cost will probably exceed any income from the lease and perhaps put the lessor under.

It is a rare occurrence that a lessor is held liable for damage caused by leased equipment, unless the lessor was the equipment supplier or influenced the selection of the equipment. This is why bank regulations require the bank to only lease what the lessee selects.

Following for insurance is an expensive time consuming problem, but the risks from not following it means you are risking the company’s future.  There are all types of blanket insurance and companies who specialize in providing select insurance for specific equipment and situations.  I recommend even if you don’t have the volume to hire such firms, you should have them audit or consult on a regular basis.

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

Previous #102 Columns: 


Mr. Terry Winders available as Expert Witness. 35 years as a professional instructor to the top equipment leasing and finance companies in the United States, author of several books, including DVD's, as well as weekly columnist to Leasing News. He also performs audits of leasing companies as an expert on documentation, and has acted as an expert witness on leasing for litigation in legal and tax disputes, including before the IRS. He also has taught the senior bank examiners, how to review a bank leasing department, for the Federal Reserve in Washington D.C. and has trained the examiners for the FDIC on how to prepare a lease portfolio for sale.

Mr. Winders received his Master of Business Administration and his Bachelor of Science degrees from the College of Notre Dame.


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


Arizona Court Lets Dishonest Koss CFO’s Fraud
Sue American Express for Conversation

By Tom McCurnin
Leasing News Legal Editor

Koss Headphones’ Chief Financial Officer Embezzled $34 Million Dollars and Went on Two Year Shopping Spree.  She Then Used Koss Headphones Monies to Pay Down Her American Express Gold Card.  Koss Sued AmEx for Conversion and Negligence in Handling Receipt of Wires.  Despite Legal Authority to the Contrary, Arizona Court of Appeals Allows Koss to Maintain Suit Against AmEx.

Koss Corp. v. American Exp. Co., 233 Ariz. 74, 309 P.3d 898 (Ariz.App.2013).

I rarely criticize appellate judges who are hard-working smart professionals, and while they sometimes get minor issues wrong, they rarely allow a suit to proceed where it ought to be dismissed. Today’s case demonstrates that even appellate judges get it wrong. The facts follow:

Koss is a manufacturer of high end headphones, and employed Sujata (“Sue”) Sachdeva as a Vice President in accounting with a salary of $200,000. For approximately two years, from 2008 to 2010, she allegedly embezzled approximately $16-34 million dollars from Koss. Sachdeva spent thousands of dollars in jewelry and clothes, all paid for from her American Express Card.  She then made a series of fifty wire transfers from Koss to AmEx to cover her purchases, along with some cashier’s checks and other manual checks over a six month period of time. 

Sachdeva was Koss' vice president of finance and its corporate secretary, one of the company’s officials who signs the financial statements the publicly traded firm must file with the SEC. Her husband Ramesh Sachdeva is Milwaukee pediatrician and adjunct professor at Marquette University Law School.  Both were well known in Milwaukee social circles. 

Koss sued American Express for common law conversion and negligence.  Essentially the allegations were than in 2009, AmEx became concerned about the large wire transfers and assigned a fraud investigator to the account. About four months later, AmEx informed Koss that there were potential problems associated with the wires. 

Koss personnel entered Sachdeva’s office and observed tens of thousands of dollars of clothes and jewelry. Apparently, Sachdeva instructed underlings to make the wires and doctored the books of Koss to conceal the true nature of the wires. The FBI was called and interviewed Sachdeva at her home.  She freely admitted the embezzlement. 

Koss has been sued by shareholders who say executives failed in their duties to protect the company's finances. That class action was settled for $1 million dollars.

Koss is sued its former Chicago auditing firm, Grant Thornton, saying the accounting firm should have caught the fraud.  The firm settled the suit for about $8 million dollars. 

The FBI seized 22,000 items that Sachdeva bought with Koss money. An auction house in Texas is preparing to auction the merchandise. Ultimately, Sachdeva was sentenced to 132 months of imprisonment, about 11 years.

Koss’s theory of the case was that AmEx had systems in place to detect fraud, and did, in fact, detect the fraud, and failed to report it to Koss. As such, they converted Koss monies (in the form of cashiers’ checks and wires) and were negligent.

AmEx responded saying that the bulk of the monies were wire transfers and there was no liability on the part of AmEx, because the wire transfer statute in the Uniform Commercial Code, Article 4A, preempts, or displaces, common law negligence claims. Moreover, AmEx argued that the wire was authorized by Koss, as Sachdeva was an authorized person to send the wires.  Koss’s real claims should be against its bank, as originator and only if there is liability would the receiving bank be held liable, which would have recourse against AmEx. That is the statutory scheme, AmEx explained.  AmEx has no duty to report suspicious activity to a non-customer, like Koss. 

The trial court agreed with AmEx and through the case out. Koss appealed and on appeal, the Court of Appeal made three rulings. 

First, addressing the preemption issue, the Court held that the common-law claims asserted by Koss were not preempted by the Code, because claims are preempted by the Code only to the extent that particular provisions of the Code displace the action. Emphasizing that Koss’s claims concerned Amex’s receipt of the wires and checks, the Court held that the claims fell outside the scope of the Code because the misconduct did not occur during the actual wire transfer process or the negotiation of checks. The Court noted that it would run “counter to the principles of the U.C.C.” to permit Amex, allegedly knowing of the fraud against Koss, to keep funds transferred to it and use the U.C.C. as a shield for its own wrongdoing.  

Whoa, let’s stop right there. What exactly did AmEx do wrong?  All it did was advance funds on a credit card and receive payments.  Only if it had a duty to monitor the account and report the fraudulent activity did AmEx do anything wrong.  The Court later admitted that there was no such duty. 

Second, the Court held that Koss had stated a common-law claim for conversion, the “act of wrongful dominion or control over personal property in denial of or inconsistent with the rights of another.”  A conversion action can be brought for converting the proceeds of a check and it can be brought against a third-party recipient of funds who has knowledge of the fraudulent conversion.  The Court therefore held that if AmEx knew that Sachdeva was embezzling funds to pay her personal bills, it could be liable for conversion.  

Let’s pause again.  First, the checks are governed by the Uniform Commercial Code, and if Koss wanted to sue for conversion of those checks, it would have to make the claim of lack of authorization to its bank, thence to the drawee bank—at least that’s how the statutory scheme works. 

Lastly, the Court held that Koss failed to state a claim for negligence against AmEx because AmEx had no duty to report the alleged embezzlement. 

Let’s pause again, since the Court found AmEx potentially liable for the tort of conversion and aiding and abetting, isn’t that inconsistent with the notion that AmEx had no duty to disclose the potential fraud? 

The result of this case potentially places the financial responsibility onto Amex for accepting wire transfers and checks, for about a four month period, knowing that there might be fraud involved.  This is inconsistent with the Uniform Commercial Code’s allocating of losses to the entity that hired the miscreant—in this case Koss.

The lessons for financial institutions may be obtuse, but are as follows:

First, if you hire an accountant or bookkeeper, no matter how senior the employee is, the employee’s work must be checked and supervised, even if the work is by someone junior to that officer. 

Second, for any financial professional in a position of handling cash or receivables, the employee should be bonded.  Granted, Koss had Grant Thorton as auditors, but a bond would have probably paid on demand on these facts.  The Grant Thorton firm was sued and had to settle. 

Third, obvious signs of enormous wealth by employees should not be ignored.  We handled a dishonest bookkeeper case for a National bank last year where the customer’s bookkeeper was driving a new Corvette on a staff’s salary and going to all finest shows and sporting events.  This should have triggered the customer’s spidery sense.

Fourth, if the reader is a financial institution receiving payments, and fraud is suspected, it is probably wise to communicate that to the third party as soon as possible, either directly or through law enforcement. 

The bottom line to this case is that when an embezzlement occurs of this size, the company that hired the embezzler ought to shoulder the responsibility, but courts often look for legal scapegoats hiding in the weeds of the Uniform Commercial Code. 

Koss Civil Case


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:



This is why Square is Going to Miss Starbucks
--A Lot! Chart
By Dave Smith,

Starbucks announced it will soon no longer accept Square’s mobile payments as the company looks to build and distribute its own “mobile ordering solution.

Based on Starbucks data charted for us by BI Intelligence, Starbucks’ mobile payment volume leapt to $517 million from $302 million a year ago — a jump of over 70% — with over 12 million current users of the mobile app.

Worthy of note: Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said the Starbucks app in 2013 accounted for 90% of the $1.3 billion it made through in store mobile payments, meaning Starbucks processed $1.17 billion in mobile transactions that year. Square will no longer have any piece of that pie.


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

Former Auto Leasing Company Owner Sentenced
to Two Years in Federal Prison for Auto Leases and Frauds


DALLAS—U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas announced the former owner and president of Curry Auto Leasing (CAL) in Dallas, who pleaded guilty in July 2014 to an information charging one count of bank fraud.

Christopher Mark Hood, 47, of Rockwall, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey to 24 months in federal prison and ordered to pay approximately $1,170,620 in restitution. He must surrender to the Bureau of Prisons in January 2015.

CAL, located on Montfort Drive in Dallas, facilitated auto leases for individual and corporate clients by obtaining funding for the vehicles from various financial institutions. CAL served as the intermediary between the customer and the financial institutions, obtaining funding for the leases for the customer and then servicing the leases on behalf of the financial institutions.

According to documents filed in the case, beginning as early as September 2007 and continuing through at least October 2010, Hood knowingly executed a scheme to defraud the financial institutions by making false representations and promises concerning the auto leases and loans.

Hood’s scheme to defraud had two parts: (1) “double pledging” lease agreements with multiple financial institutions; and (2) providing a false guarantee to the financial institutions that CAL would provide a clear title to financed vehicles, knowing that clear titles could not be provided.

After obtaining financing from the originating financial institution to acquire one or more vehicles to be leased by CAL customers, on occasion, CAL through Hood, sought and secured subsequent funding for the same vehicle(s) from a second or new financial institution. At times, the secondary funding occurred at or about the time of the expiration of the original lease and/or for reducing the monthly cost to the customer. In some instances, however, the secondary funding occurred a few months after the original lease was funded by the original bank, without disclosure of the original lease to the secondary funding institution. At the time of the secondary financing, CAL, through Hood, represented to that financial institution that the funds paid through this financing would be paid timely to the original financial intuition so that a clear title could be obtained and provided. Hood knew this statement was false.

The U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Nicholas Bunch prosecuted. 

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


Receivables Management LLC
John Kenny

• 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)


Hound Cross/Australian Cattledog
Novato, California

Animal ID: 198006
Sex: Female
Color: Tan / None
Weight: 37.8 lbs.
Age: Adult
Size: Medium
OK with Cats

My health has been checked.
My vaccinations are up to date.
My worming is up to date.

A Little Bit About Me:

“If you take Happy out to the field and let her off leash to run around, it immediately becomes apparent how she got her name! She runs and bounces and she just looks happy. She is certainly a dog that lifts one's spirits with her antics.

“Happy is a middle aged to older dog who might have some special needs. She will prefer a routine and a relatively quiet and predictable household. She has been there and done that, thank you very much. It was fun, but hey, it is fireplace time after the daily romp to burn off her energy.

“Happy would like to live with another dog and she also reportedly does well with cats. Older children who respect her needs would also be fine...she has moved past the elementary school age.

“Happy is going to make a lucky family very, well, happy! It had to be said.”

Marin Humane Society
171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd
Novato, CA 94949

call our Adoption Center (closed Mondays) at 415.506.6225.

Closed Mondays and major holidays.
Open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.


Adoption Fee: $175

Adopt a Pet



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News Briefs----

Illinois ends 2014 with 91 fewer bank branches

2014 was an active year for bank M&A in Kansas City

Will Bill Cooper Sell TCF Bank--If the Price is Right

Ten Who Had a Good Year in Banking 

Jazz great Buddy DeFranco dies at age 91 





--You May Have Missed It

49ers' Harbaugh out as coach by mutual agreement with owners


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

What Causes High Cholesterol?
Learn Which Risk Factors You Can Control


Football Poem

    Give Him a Kiss

As his contract expires after the last game,
For sure, no one can take away his great fame
To play to win, more to play to give it his all
From his viewpoint, he says "Just give me the ball

Of course it is Gore, to retire or not, it depends
For sure, along the way, number 21 has made many friends.
Genuine, humble, and kind hearted, we all know this
So here's to Frank Gore, we all wish he may know bliss.

   Kit Menkin



Sports Briefs----

Playoff schedule set

49ers win 20-17 in Jim Harbaugh's last game

Defense saves the day as Seahawks win 20-6 to secure home field throughout playoffs

Rams turn over final game to Seahawks

Panthers spank Falcons to claim NFC South title

Browns owner threatens Johnny Manziel, Josh Gordon

Bucs deny tanking for top overall pick

Jimmy Garoppolo Showed Command of Huddle, Made Plays in First Extensive Action

Kansas City Chiefs beat San Diego Chargers, 19-7, Playoff Hopes Shattered

Major change looms at Halas Hall after Bears finish season 5-11

Packers win NFC North, Aaron Rodgers comes back from injury

Raiders trounced by Denver Broncos 47-14

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California Nuts Briefs---

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This Day in American History

. . But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
Clement C. Moore, "A Visit from St. Nicholas"

    1778 - British troops, attempting a new strategy to defeat the colonials in America, captured Savannah, the capital of Georgia.     
    1800 – Charles Goodyear, a pioneer of the commercial use of rubber and the man for whom the company is named, was born in New Haven, CT.  He died in NYC in 1860.
    1808 - Birthday of Andrew Johnson, 17th president of the US, assumed office after Pres. Lincoln was assassinated, in Raleigh, NC.  Prior to holding public office, Johnson owned a tailor shop in Laurens, South Carolina. He was the first president to be impeached by the House, but was acquitted by the US Senate. After his term, he made several unsuccessful attempts to win public office. He was elected to the US Senate from Tennessee, but served a very short term from March 4, 1875 until July 31, 1875 when he died in Elizabethton, TN.
    1812 - The USS Constitution, under the command of Captain William Bainbridge, captured the HMS Java off the coast of Brazil after a three hour battle.
    1813 - The British burned Buffalo, N.Y., during the War of 1812.    
    1830 - A very heavy snowstorm ushered in the "winter of the deep snow". The storm produced 30 inches of snow at Peoria, IL and 36 inches at Kansas City, MO. Cold and snow continued until the middle of February causing great suffering among pioneers.
    1835 - The Treaty of New Echota is signed, ceding all the lands of the Cherokee east of the Mississippi River to the United States.
    1845 - The flags of Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America and of the United States had flown over the area known as Texas, the state that became the 28th of the United States of America on this day. In accordance with International Boundary delimitation, United States annexed the Republic of Texas, following the manifest destiny doctrine.  And, the state nickname, the Lone Star State, comes from the Texas state flag with its one star. Texas is an altered pronunciation of the Indian word, Tejas, meaning friends, and that’s why the Texas state motto is “Friendship.” The capital of the second largest state is Austin, its state bird, the mockingbird, the state flower, the bluebonnet, the state tree, the pecan tree. When admitted, the land was comprised of the present state of Texas and part of New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming.  A condition of statehood was that the area (389,166 square miles) should be divided into no more than five states "of convenient size."
    1849 - The Christmas hymn by Edmund Sears, "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," was first published in "The Christian Register." Sears' carol features the American emphasis in Christian living, that is, the social message of "peace on earth, good will toward men."
    1849 - Gas lighting is installed in the White House.
    1851 - The first YMCA was organized. The first US Branch of the Young Men’s Christian Association was organized at Boston. It was modeled on an organization begun at London in 1944.
    1852 - Emma Snodgrass was arrested in Boston for wearing pants.
    1862 - Union General William T. Sherman's troops try to gain the north side of Vicksburg in the Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs.
    1879 – General William “Billy” Mitchell, generally considered the father of the US Air Force, was born in Nice, France.
    1881 – Boxing champ Jess Willard was born in Pottawatomie, KS.  He knocked out Jack Johnson in April 1915 for the heavyweight title. He was known for his great strength and ability to absorb tremendous punishment, although today he is also known for his title loss to Jack Dempsey in 1919 in one of the most severe beatings ever in a championship bout.   Willard died in 1968 in LA.
    1890 - Wounded Knee Massacre: Nearly 400 Native American men, women, and children were slain by the US 7th Cavalry, Custer’s command at Little Big Horn, at Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota. Federal efforts to suppress a ceremonial religious practice " The Ghost Dance (which called for a messiah who would restore the bison to the plains, make the white men disappear and bring back the old Native American Way of life) had resulted in the death of Sitting Bull, December 15, 1890, which further inflamed the disgruntled Native Americans and culminated in this slaughter. Accordingly, the government and populace believed "The Ghost Dance" had magic and were superstitious enough that it would come true if allowed to occur.
    1894 - A severe freeze hit Florida destroying fruit and causing considerable damage to trees.
    1900 - Birthday of clarinet player Willie Humphrey, New Orleans, LA

    1907 - Birthday of Robert C. Weaver, the first African American to serve on a president's cabinet. He was Franklin D. Roosevelt's secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
    1917 – Washta, IA dropped to -40, the record low for the state.
    1920 - Birthday of guitarist Irving Ashby, best known for playing with
the King Cole Trio, and Lionel Hampton's "Flying Home." born Somerville, MA
    1921 - Sears Roebuck president Julius Rosenwald pledges $20 million of his personal fortune to help Sears through hard times.
    1924 - J.M. Barrie's fanciful tale about a boy who didn't want to grow up was released on film for the first time in the silent era, “Peter Pan”.
    1933 – The Yankees refused to release Babe Ruth so he could sign to manage the Cincinnati Reds.
    1934 - In New York City, the first regular-season, college basketball game was played at Madison Square Garden where New York University beat Notre Dame, 25-18. In the night's second game, Westminster defeated St. Johns, 37-33.
    1936 - Birthday of Mary Tyler Moor, actress (two Emmys for “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, three Emmys for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”) in Brooklyn, NY.
    1939 - The satirical Western film, “Destry Rides Again”, starring James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich, opened in the United States.
    1939 – The first flight of one of the workhouse bombers for the US in World War II, the B-24 Liberator. The B-24 ended World War II as the most produced heavy bomber in history. At over 18,400 units, half by Ford Motor Company, it still holds the distinction as the most-produced.
    1940 – During World War II, Germany began dropping incendiary bombs on London.
1940 – In one of his famous “fireside chat” broadcasts President Roosevelt describes how he wishes the United States to become the “arsenal of democracy” and to give full aid to Britain regardless of threats from other countries.’
    1943 - Bing Crosby recorded "San Fernando Valley" because he felt it would be a hit. A week after its release, the song became a favorite everywhere.
    1945 - On radio, the mystery voice of Mr. Hush was first heard on, "Truth or Consequences", hosted by Ralph Edwards. The show was supposed to be a parody of giveaway shows, but the idea was taken seriously and lasted five weeks before Mr. Hush was identified as fighter Jack Dempsey, for a $13,500 prize.
    1945 - Sheb Wooley made the first commercial record to be recorded in Nashville, Tennessee. The recorded song was on the Bullet label; but it took Wooley 13 years to have a hit with "The Purple People Eater". Wooley, whose first name is Shelby, played Pete Nolan on television’s "Rawhide". He also recorded novelty songs as, Ben Colder, and acted in "High Noon", "Rocky Mountain", "Giant" and "Hoosiers". In 1968, the Country Music Association honored him as the Comedian of the Year. Wooley wrote the theme song to television's "Hee Haw".
    1947 - Birthday of actor Ted Danson, “Cheers,” “Becker,” Three Men and a Baby,” in San Diego, Ca.
    1949 - Bridgeport, Connecticut's KC2XAK became the first ultrahigh frequency, or UHF, television station to operate on a regular daily schedule. UHF stations broadcast where the VHF, or very high frequency, stations end, channels 14 through 83.
    1949 - Birthday of pianist Charles Mann, Atlanta, GA
    1950 - Top Hits
“The Thing” - Phil Harris
“Tennessee Waltz” - Patti Page
“Nevertheless” - Jack Denny
“If You’ve Got the Money Honey I’ve Got the Time” - Lefty Frizzell
    1950 - "You Asked for It" premiered on television.
    1951 - Singer Yvonne Elliman ("If I Can't Have You") is born in Honolulu.   
     1951 - Johnnie Ray's "Cry" hits #1
    1952 - Sonotone Corporation offered the first transistorized hearing aid for sale.
    1953 - Jean Stapleton made her Broadway debut starring with Judith Anderson in the production, "In the Summer House", which opened in New York. The show closed after 55 performances.
    1954 - Fort Scott, KS, was buried under 26 inches of snow in 24 hours to establish a state record. (28th-29th.)
    1955 - Barbra Streisand's 1st recording, "You'll Never Know" at age 13.
    1956 - President Dwight Eisenhower asks Congress for the authority to oppose Soviet aggression in the Middle East.
    1957 - Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme married. They became popular singers on Steve Allen's "The Tonight Show", and as Las Vegas showroom regulars and recording artists. Theirs was one of the most enduring marriages in Hollywood until Gorme’s passing in 2013.
    1958 - Top Hits
“The Chipmunk Song” - The Chipmunks
“One Night” - Elvis Presley
“Lonesome Town” - Ricky Nelson
“City Lights” - Ray Price
    1958 - "Young Dr. Malone" premiered on television.
    1958 – In what has since become widely known as "The Greatest Game Ever Played", the Baltimore Colts beat New York Giants, 23-17, in the 26th annual NFL championship game. This was the first NFL championship that went into overtime when both were tied at 17 in regulation.  It was also the first nationally televised NFL championship game, on NBC, from Yankee Stadium.  In a brutal defensive battle that forced several key turnovers, the Colts, led by Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry, and Lenny Moore, jumped to a 14-3 halftime lead only to see the Giants go up 17-14 on two second half TDs.  The Giants were running out the clock when a third down sweep by Frank Gifford appeared to get the first down that would have iced the game.  On the play, Colts DE Gina Marchetti broke his leg and in the chaos of the play and the injury, the ball was marked showing 4th down, after which the Giants punted and the Colts started from their 14 yard line with barely over 2:00 left.  Unitas and Berry marched the team down the field enabling Steve Mhyra to kick the game-tying FG with 7 seconds remaining.  The Giants won the toss but failed to advance and punted to the Colts who took over at their 20.  In a textbook offensive display, Unitas threw repeatedly to Berry and FB Alan Ameche gained key yards on the ground.  He went over from the 1 on third down to win the game.  Seventeen Hall of Famers participated or coached in that game.
  1962 – Approximately 11,000 US advisory and support personnel are now in Vietnam, including 29 Special Forces detachments. One hundred and nine Americans have been killed or wounded this year, almost eight times as many as 1961. US Army aviation units have flown over 50,000 sorties, about one-half of which are combat support missions. China claims to have armed the Vietcong with more than 90,000 rifles and machine guns this year, and trained guerrilla forces in South Vietnam are estimated at 25,000, with active Vietcong sympathizers numbered at 150,000. The Vietcong are now killing or kidnapping 1,000 local officials per month. South Vietnamese government regular troops number 200,000 and 65,000 Self Defense Corps members have been trained to defend their villages.
    1963 - The disc jockeys at New York's 50,000-watt WABC were upstaged by the 5,000-watt WMCA and its famed ‘Good Guys’ when the latter became the first New York radio station to play the Beatles’ "I Want to Hold Your Hand".   WABC got revenge by calling itself the ‘official’ Beatles station: W-A-Beatle-C.
    1963 - The Weavers, America's preeminent folk music group, give their farewell concert at Orchestra Hall in Chicago. They made a nationwide impact with their recordings in the late 40's & early 50's with songs like "Goodnight Irene" & "On Top of Old Smokey."
    1965 - A Christmas truce is observed in Vietnam, while President Johnson tries to get the North Vietnamese to the bargaining table.
    1966 - Top Hits
“Winchester Cathedral” - The New Vaudeville Band
“I’m a Believer” - The Monkees
“That’s Life” - Frank Sinatra
“There Goes My Everything” - Jack Greene
    1967 - Star Trek's "The Trouble with Tribbles" 1st airs.
    1968 - New York Jets beat Oakland Raiders 27-23 in AFL championship game.
    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
    1968 - The first big Rock festival held on the east coast, The Miami Festival, gets under way in Hallandale, Florida. Tickets sell for six and seven dollars and 100,000 people turn out for the three day event. Those appearing include the hottest acts of the day, Jose Feliciano, Procol Harem, Three Dog Night, Chuck Berry, Fleetwood Mac, Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell, The Turtles and Canned Heat.
  1968- NASH, DAVID P.  Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 2d Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Place and date: Giao Duc District, Dinh Tuong Province, Republic of Vietnam, 29 December 1968. Entered service at: Louisville, Ky. Born: 3 November 1947, Whitesville, Ky. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Nash distinguished himself while serving as a grenadier with Company B, in Giao Duc District. When an ambush patrol of which he was a member suddenly came under intense attack before reaching its destination, he was the first to return the enemy fire. Taking an exposed location, Pfc. Nash suppressed the hostile fusillade with a rapid series of rounds from his grenade launcher, enabling artillery fire to be adjusted on the enemy. After the foe had been routed, his small element continued to the ambush site where he established a position with 3 fellow soldiers on a narrow dike. Shortly past midnight, while Pfc. Nash and a comrade kept watch and the 2 other men took their turn sleeping, an enemy grenade wounded 2 soldiers in the adjacent position. Seconds later, Pfc. Nash saw another grenade land only a few feet from his own position. Although he could have escaped harm by rolling down the other side of the dike, he shouted a warning to his comrades and leaped upon the lethal explosive. Absorbing the blast with his body, he saved the lives of the 3 men in the area at the sacrifice of his life. By his gallantry at the cost of his life are in the highest traditions of the military service, Pfc. Nash has reflected great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
    1969 - NY Times reported Curt Flood will sue baseball and challenge the reserve clause.  Flood had been traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Washington Senators and Flood refused to report.
    1972 - After 36 years in publication, the "LIFE" magazine's last weekly issue went to the newsstands. It is said the newsweekly “redefined photojournalism while showing America its own face.” The magazine's first issue featured a newborn baby and a doctor, with the heading, “LIFE Begins.” The magazine became an occasional publication, before enjoying a monthly distribution.
    1972 - An Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 crashes on approach to Miami international Airport, killing 101.
    1973 – “Time in a Bottle”, recorded by the late Jim Croce, jumped into the Number 1 spot on Billboard's record charts on this date, and stayed there for 2 weeks. Croce had died in a plane crash three months earlier and was never to realize the success of his romantic recording.
    1974 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," Elton John. The John Lennon-Paul McCartney song first appeared on the Beatles album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" in 1967.
    1974 - Top Hits
“Angie Baby” - Helen Reddy
“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” - Elton John
“You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” - Barry White
“What a Man, My Man Is” - Lynn Anderson
    1979 - Houston safety Vernon Perry sets an NFL playoff record with four interceptions in the Oilers' 17-14 victory over San Diego.
    1981 - President Ronald Reagan curtails Soviet trade in reprisal for its hash policies on Poland.
    1982 - It was the last time, after 25 seasons, Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant led the Alabama Crimson Tide football team as they defeated Illinois, 21-15, at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee. Sixty-nine year old Coach Bryant retired as the NCAA’s winningest coach. His overall record included 322 wins as coach at Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A&M and Alabama. His teams won six national championships, and played in twenty-nine bowl games, of which they won fifteen. He was nicknamed Bear because he once wrestled a bear in a traveling show.
    1982 - Top Hits
“Maneater” - Daryl Hall & John Oates
“The Girl is Mine” - Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney
“Dirty Laundry” - Don Henley
“Wild and Blue” - John Anderson
    1984 - 100 cities in the eastern U.S. recorded record high temperatures. Southerly winds gusting to 50 mph helped Kansas City experience its warmest ever December day. The morning low of 60 gave way to a high of 71
    1987 - A storm off the Middle Atlantic Coast produced heavy snow in the Appalachians and the northeastern U.S. Snow and high winds created blizzard conditions in southeastern Massachusetts. Cape Cod received thirteen inches of snow, and snow drifts three feet deep were reported around Chatham MA. Strong winds produced wind chill readings as cold as 60 degrees below zero in southwestern New England. In the western U.S., a Pacific coast storm produced heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada Range of California, with 24 inches reported at Mammoth Mountain.
    1989 - Portland, ME recorded its 22nd consecutive day of below freezing temperatures, a new record.
Snow and ice prevailed from the southwestern U.S. to the Great Lakes Region. Flagstaff, AZ, received nine inches of snow in just six hours.
    1990 - Top Hits
“Because I Love You (The Postman Song)” - Stevie B
“Justify My Love” - Madonna
“Impulsive” - Wilson Phillips
“I’ve Come to Expect It from You” - George Strait
    1992 - Big snows were in progress across the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. 30 inches of snow blanketed Dagget Pass in 24 hours. 28 inches of snow at the Sierra Ski Ranch brought the snow depth to 118 inches
    1995 - The powerful film “Dead Man Walking” opened in United States theaters. The film earned a Best Actress Oscar and Screen Actors Guild award for Susan Sarandon, as well as Oscar nominations for Sean Penn, director Tim Robbins, and Bruce Springsteen, who wrote the title song.
    2002 – Three blocks away from the blast, thousands of spectators at Paul Brown Stadium cheer as 1,275 pounds of explosives implodes Cinergy Field sending a huge dust cloud down the Ohio River. The structure, formerly known as Riverfront Stadium, was the site where Hank Aaron tied Ruth's career home run record on Opening Day in 1974 and Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb's all-time hits record in 1985.
    2004 - Kevin Spacey's highly stylized biopic of Bobby Darin, Beyond the Sea, opens in US theaters.
    2007 - The New England Patriots became the first NFL team in 35 years to finish the regular season undefeated when they beat the New York Giants 38-35 to go 16-0.  In this game, Pats QB Tom Brady, threw his record 50th TD pass of the season.  The same Giants would score one of the Super Bowl’s biggest upsets a month later, edging the Pats, 17-14 after David Tyree caught an Eli Manning pass against his helmet to keep a drive alive with a 32-yard gain.  The winning TD pass then went to WR Plaxico Burress with 0:35 left.



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