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Friday, December 3, 2021

Today's Leasing News Headlines

“As a kid, did you ever knock on people's doors
    and run away before they could answer?”
David Lee, Chairman/CEO North Mill Equipment Finance
    at 27th ABS  East Conference Dec. 13 - 15, Miami Beach, FL
New Hires/Promotions in the Leasing Business
    and Related Industries
Leasing Industry Ads
    Make Your Dream Remote Job a Reality!
Survey for Commercial Equipment Leasing
    and Finance Originators - Scott Wheeler, CLFP
ELFA Free Webinar re: Commercial Financing Disclosure Laws
    By Kenneth C. Greene, Leasing News Legal Editor
Banking Must Commit to Increased Tech Spending in 2021
    By Jim Marous, Co-Publisher of The Financial Brand
Infrastructure Bill Delivers Much for Trucking
    Irontrax Report
The Tech Giants Led by Indian CEOs
     Indian-Born CEO's America Tech Market Caps
Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation Elects Officers
  First Female President, Nancy Pistorio, Madison Capital
    James M. Johnson, PhD Receives Steven R. LeBarron Award
Fernando's Reviews 
    by Fernando Croce
Medium Cross Breed Mix
    Milpitas, California   Adopt-a-Dog
Stag's Leap Wine Sale!
    By Kevan R. Wilkinson, Leasing News Wine Reviewer
News Briefs---
Beige Book
    Modest Improvement, but conditions remained varied
IRS could collect taxes from pot firms
    if they used big banks, Yellen says
Dollar General to open 1,000 stores
    aimed at wealthier customers
CFOs Expect Higher Costs May Last Through 2022
    (about 80%) not absorbing the increases
Bank Profits Fall 1.2% to $69.5B in Q3
    But year over year, profits rose 35.9%
Fort Benning and Fort Gordon to be renamed
    Received More than 24,000 Recommendations
Ed Sheeran performed at Gordon Ramsay's daughter's
    birthday after the chef offered him free cooking lessons
The trucker shortage is fueled by a misconception that
   the job is only for low-skilled people,
    who endure poor working conditions, says expert
Patagonia Had $10 Million in Sales on Black Friday
    And Is Donating Every Cent to Save The Planet
Amy Schneider has made 'Jeopardy!' history
    and helped the show find calm after chaos

You May have Missed---
Is the Office Dying? Of Those Who Quit During the Pandemic,
One in Four Did So for the Flexibility to Work from Anywhere

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

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

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



David Lee, Chairman/CEO North Mill Equipment Finance
at 27th ABS East Conference Dec. 13-15, Miami Beach, FL

"Reuniting the Securitization Community"

The Information Management Network and Fixed Income Investor Network are excited to announce the 27th Annual ABS East conference will take place as a blended physical and digital event on December 13-15, 2021. We will return to sunny Miami Beach for this much anticipated reunion of the U.S. ABS industry.

Serving to reconnect the securitization community, the December return to South Florida allows not only for additional vaccine rollout, time to settle back into physical offices and a recovery for corporate travel, but increased opportunity for safe and enjoyable outdoor meetings and entertainment in Miami Beach’s desirable December climate.

The physical portion of the event will be held to the highest standards of safety and health protocols. as outlined in our Events Shield, and will be supported by digital access to agenda content and networking for those unable to join us in-person.

As it has in many memorable instances, the securitization industry will once again play a crucial role in the resurgence of the real economy throughout 2021 and 2022. The Information Management Network and Fixed Income Investor Network are proud that ABS East, in its 27th year and in a convenient blended format, remains a key platform for charting this path forward.

We are excited to see you this December 13-15 against a backdrop of continued momentum for the ever-resilient ABS community.


  • Regulators
  • Fixed Income Investors
  • Issuers Funding via Debt Capital Markets
  • Underwriters/Structurers
  • Rating Agency
  • Analysts
  • Trustees
  • Servicers Technology Platform Providers
  • Analytics Firms

Full Information:


New Hires/Promotions in the Leasing Business
and Related Industries

Dustin Lee was hired as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel at Liberty Commercial Finance, Tustin, California. He is located in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Previously, he was at Fifth Third Bank, joining August, 2016. as Associate General Counsel, promoted November, 2018, Director, Commercial Business Controls;  Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Summit Funding Group, Inc. (February, 2010 - August, 2015); Business & Finance Associate, Taft Stettinius & Hollister, LLP (September 2005 - January, 2010). Education: University of Michigan Law School, J.D. (2002 -2005). University of Michigan, B.A., Economics and English (1998 - 2002). Graduated with High Distinction. Phi Betta Kappa.

Kim (Barnaba) Nugent was hired as Vice President of Collections, North Mill Equipment Finance, LLC, Norfolk, Connecticut. She is located in Swedesboro, New Jersey.  Previously, she was Director of Customer Service and Collections, NewLane Finance (May, 2020 - December, 2021). She joined Marlin Capital Solutions in 2001 as Corporate Training Specialist, promoted August, 2007, Senior Collections Manager Director of Operations, American Business Leasing (1997 - 2001); Credit Manager, Advanta Leasing (1993 - 1997); Credit Analyst, Tokai Financial (aka Masters Lease) (1989 - 1993). Education: University of Louisiana at Lafayette, B.S., Finance (1984 - 1988). Activities and Societies: Delta Sigma Pi. Dean’s List.

Tracey Rutherford was hired as Regional Sales Manager, Summit Funding Group, Inc., Mason, Ohio. She is located in West Chester, Pennsylvania.  "(She)... is specializing in Material Handling and Construction Finance. In this role, Rutherford is responsible for relationship development with dealers, vendors and customers specifically within the Western Region." Previously, she was Regional Sales Representative, De Lage Landen (December, 2009 - July, 2021).  Education: Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Business/Commerce, General (September, 1990 - June, 1992).


Help Wanted Ads


Survey for Commercial Equipment Leasing
and Finance Originators - Scott Wheeler, CLFP

Wheeler Business Consulting is committed to the commercial equipment leasing and finance industry. We provide a free "Sales Tip" to thousands of finance and leasing professionals on a weekly basis. Today, we are asking for your assistance.

For several years, Wheeler Business Consulting has facilitated an annual survey of originators' production numbers and incomes. The survey results are shared on the website and through a monthly newsletter.

2021 has been a dynamic and robust year for many originators and these results will be interesting to originators throughout the industry. Your participation is greatly appreciated and is needed to increase the value of the data. 

The survey requires only 2 to 5 minutes to complete.

Start the survey by going here:

Questions and suggestions regarding the survey are welcome.
Phone: 410-877-0428

Last year's survey results (2020) can be accessed by clicking here:


ELFA Free Webinar re: Commercial Financing Disclosure Laws
By Kenneth C. Greene, Leasing News Legal Editor

This year has brought us numerous changes to the laws and rules that govern the equipment finance industry, including new licensing and transition procedures for commercial finance lenders and brokers in California, a proposed motor vehicle lessor dealer’s licensing law in New York, new disclosure laws in New York, California, and, soon, New Jersey, Connecticut and North Carolina, as well as new usury laws. It is difficult for me, as an attorney, to keep up with all of these changes. I imagine the myriad modifications have created an almost impermeable maze for those of you whose full-time employment is finance, not law.              

Help is, thankfully, on the way. I have written, and will continue to write, Leasing News articles to assist those challenged by all these changes. Beyond that, the ELFA is hosting a free webinar on December 15 to discuss the new disclosure laws in New York and California. I highly commend this webinar, including Scott Riehl, ELFA’s VP of State Government Relations, and a highly qualified panel. I know I will be attending.

Please mark the date of December and register.
Here is the link to further information about the free ELFA webinar:

Ken Greene Leasing & Finance Observations


Banking Must Commit to Increased Tech Spending in 2021
By Jim Marous, Co-Publisher of The Financial Brand,
CEO of the Digital Banking Report

Banks and credit unions need to institutionalize the lessons learned during the pandemic, focusing on improved digital interactions with consumers and businesses. This will require increased agility, flexibility, an innovation spirit, and accelerated investment in technology to position organizations for a digital future.

The pandemic caused the entire banking industry to reassess their positioning as digital banking providers in 2020. While the majority of banks and credit unions responded quickly to the need to deliver basic digital solutions as physical banking capabilities shut down, the delivery of strong digital experiences often were lacking from a simplicity and integration perspective.

In 2021 financial institutions will need to determine their commitment to improving digital banking experiences and prioritize technology investments to support a multichannel future. In other words, organizations of all sizes will need to evaluate their digital transformation journey in light of what has occurred in 2020 … and what will be required in the months and years to come.

Adding to the challenge of “catching up” in an increasingly digital world, banks and credit unions will need to prioritize their investment in technology during a time of economic uncertainty. It is expected that there will be a continued slowdown in GDP growth, continuing low interest rates, modest payment transaction volumes and a concern around loan losses.

Given this backdrop, financial institutions of all sizes will need to determine their individual path to digital transformation. According to Deloitte, “The crisis has served as a litmus test for banks’ digital infrastructure. While institutions that made strategic investments in technology came out stronger, laggards may still be able to leapfrog competitors if they take swift action to accelerate tech modernization.”

Source: The Financial Brand


Infrastructure Bill Delivers Much for Trucking
Irontrax Report

In November, the long-awaited Infrastructure Bill passed the House of Representatives and was signed by President Biden. The $1.2 trillion package includes $550 billion of new funding that will impact the transportation industry. Specific funding components include:

  • $110 billion to fix roads and bridges,
  • $66 billion dedicated to freight and passenger rail projects,
  • $52 billion a year from 2022-2026 to improve safety measures,
  • $39 billion to improve public transit systems,
  • $16 billion to improve ports and waterways,
  • $7.5 billion to build out nationwide electric vehicle chargers and alternative funding,
  • $1 billion a year for freight and highway projects through 2026, and
  • $600-$700 million a year to invest in bridges.

In addition, the Bill provides funding for: (1) initiatives to grow the number of people entering and staying in the trucking workforce to address the driver shortage, (2) the recruitment of younger drivers, and (3) a Women in Trucking Advisory Board for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration geared toward attracting more women to the industry. As part of the effort to recruit younger drivers, the Bill also establishes a pilot program based on the DRIVE-Safe Act that authorizes up to 3,000 18-20 year-old drivers at any one time to undergo advanced safety training in order to participate in interstate commerce.

Considering the terrible state of America’s roads and bridges, the Infrastructure Bill has been embraced by trucking industry groups. The Truckload Carriers Association praised the bill, calling it a significant investment in our nation’s roads and bridges that delivers a desperately needed injection into the Highway Trust Fund to keep it solvent. They also praised the bill for exposing a younger demographic to an industry that welcomes them at a time when the driver shortage continues to plague the industry.

Workforce Shortage Tops List of Industry Concerns

According to Chris Spear, President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the trucking industry is currently short about 80,000 drivers, representing a record high. That’s a 30% increase from before the pandemic, when the industry already faced a labor shortage of 61,500 drivers. Many drivers are either retiring or dropping out of the industry. In addition, increased consumer demand, prompting a need for more drivers, also plays a big role in the shortfall. This comes at a time when U.S. ports are backlogged, primarily because there are not enough trucks and drivers to pick up cargo, resulting in a supply chain slowdown. Although President Biden has directed the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to move to 24/7 operations, that’s been difficult because importers don’t have enough drivers to move their cargo at all hours.

Truck drivers move 71% of the U.S. economy’s goods but represent just 4% of the vehicles on the roads. According to the ATA, if nothing is done, the latest figures put the industry on track for a shortage of 160,000 drivers by 2030, and the need for up to 1,000,000 new drivers over the next ten years. As indicated in the preceding article, the Infrastructure Bill authorizes hundreds of billions of dollars for transportation, including workforce development for the trucking industry. That includes a pilot program geared toward reducing the age required to obtain a commercial driver’s license from 21 to 18. Spear believes younger drivers are the key answer to the labor shortage. “I think that clearly is the most impactful thing that could be done right now to alleviate this problem. So next year, we are not going to be having this conversation because it will alleviate itself because we’re investing,” said Spear.


According to data from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Indian talent is in high demand in the United States. With roughly 75 percent of all H-1B visas approved in fiscal year 2020 granted to Indians, specialty workers from the world’s second most populous countries are the main beneficiaries of the program that many tech companies have come to rely on for IT talent.

Sources: Statista


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

Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation elects Officers
First Female President, Nancy Pistorio, Madison Capital
James M. Johnson, PhD Receives Steven R. LeBarron Award

Scott Thacker Passes Gavel to Nancy Pistorio

Washington, DC – The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (Foundation) announced the 2022 officers of its Board of Trustees (Board). Board Officers serving are Nancy Pistorio, President, Madison Capital LLC as Chair, and the first woman to hold the position; Zack Marsh, CFO, Orion First Financial, LLC as Vice Chair; Jeffrey Berg, Global Business Unit President – Advanced Solutions, DLL, as Secretary/Treasurer; and Ralph Petta, President and CEO, Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) as President. Scott Thacker, Chief Executive Officer, Ivory Consulting Corporation, is Immediate Past Chair. The officer elections were held following the Board‘s annual meeting.

New members appointed to the Foundation Board of Trustees include Peter Bullen, Executive Vice President, Key Equipment Finance; Mark Loken, Vice President, Credit, Farm Credit Leasing; and Nancy Robles, Chief Operating Officer/Compliance Officer, Eastern Funding LLC.

Nancy Pistorio, Incoming President, said, “The Foundation’s 2022 Board brings a wealth of leadership and industry experience to their roles as Trustees. We are privileged to have such talent, commitment and expertise serving the Foundation and its mission for the advancement of the equipment finance industry.”

Trustees continuing on the Board for 2022 are:

  • Katie Emmel, Chief Operating Officer, Solifi
  • Christopher Enbom, CEO & Chairman, AP Equipment Financing
  • Valerie Gerard, Co-Chief Executive Officer, The Alta Group LLC
  • Miles Herman, President and COO, LEAF Commercial Capital Inc.
  • Shari Lipski, Principal, ECS Financial Services, Inc.
  • Brian Madison, President, TrinityRail Leasing and Management Services
  • William Tefft, SVP Asset Management, Pacific Western Bank
  • Thomas Ware, President, Tom Ware Advisory Services, LLC
  • Bonnie Wright
  • Donna Yanuzzi, Director of Equipment Finance, 1st Equipment Finance
  • Kelli Nienaber will continue to serve as Executive Director.

Steven R. LeBarron Award

James M. Johnson, PhD

Research Committee Chair Thomas Ware honored James M. Johnson, PhD. a Foundation Trustee for more than 25 years, author (several books, read them all and promoted in Leasing News. editor), and prolific contributor to the body of knowledge of the equipment finance industry, with the Steven R. LeBarron Award for Principled Research. Throughout his 40-year-long involvement with the Foundation, ELFA, and ELFA’s precursors, Johnson cofounded the Journal of Equipment Lease Finance (JELF), contributed 25 articles and continuously served on its Editorial Review Board since its inception, reviewing dozens of articles. He developed and delivered the first Principles of Leasing workshops, and authored two books on “Fundamentals of Finance for Equipment Lessors” with ELFA. This award is presented annually in memory of LeBarron to the Research Committee member who demonstrates the insight, fortitude, and dedication he exemplified.


The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that propels the equipment finance sector—and its people—forward through industry-specific knowledge, intelligence, and programs that contribute to industry innovation, individual careers, and the overall betterment of the equipment leasing and finance industry. The Foundation is funded through individual and corporate donations. Learn more at

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


Watch at Home:
by Fernando Crose

A pair of very different espionage thrillers (“No Time to Die,” “Wife of a Spy”), plus intelligent dramas (“Bergman Island,” “Passing”) and a first-rate documentary (“The Velvet Underground”) make for an outstanding batch of new releases.

Bergman Island (iTunes, Vudu): French directorMia Hansen-Love (“Things to Come”) offers an intelligent and intimate portrait of cinema and relationships in this acclaimed drama, which takes place in the Swedish island of Faro. That’s the isolated place preferred by the late Swedish master Ingmar Bergman, and also where the main characters, a pair of filmmakers living together, travel in search of inspiration. Tony (Tim Roth) is a director screening his latest film at a festival, while Chris (Vicky Krieps) struggles with her screenplay. The stay proves to be an absorbing one for Chris specially, as she befriends a film student (Hampus Nordenson) and writes a personal story (with characters played by Mia Wasikowska and Anders Danielsen Lie). Done with Hansen-Love’s customary clarity and playfulness, this is a graceful crossroads of life and art.

No Time to Die (Vudu): Daniel Craig bids an action-packed goodbye to the world’s most famous secret agent in this extravagant, satisfying James Bond thriller. Picking up where “Spectre” left off, the story finds Bond hoping to enjoy his retirement from the British Secret Service in the Caribbean with his beloved Dr. Swann (Lea Seydoux). It’s not long, however, before he finds himself back in business, helping his CIA friend (Jeffrey Wright) to find a kidnapped scientist. Though it sounds straightforward enough, the mission becomes a wide-ranging race against the clock involving not just his old enemy Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) but a new, a terrorist leader named Safin (Rami Malek). Boasting sleek direction by Cary Joji Fukanaga and a scene-stealing turn by Ana de Armas, this much-delayed entry was certainly worth the wait.

Passing (Netflix): Actress Rebecca Hall makes a sensitive directorial debut with this examination of gender and racial identity, set in New York during the 1920s. Based on a novel by Nella Larson, it begins with the chance encounter between two estranged friends. Irene (Tessa Thompson) is a Black woman married to a Harlem doctor (André Holland), while Clare (Ruth Negga) uses her light skin to pass as a white woman in prestigious Manhattan. As the two reconnect and grow closer, the concept of inner life and outer appearances becomes increasingly dangerous in the face of prejudice and betrayal. Hall directs with sureness and delicacy, with special emphasis on the subtle shifts of emotion between characters. Together with exceptional performances by Thompson and Negga, this is a moving and still-relevant story.

The Velvet Underground (AppleTV+): The premier sound of the Sixties, the story of the Velvet Underground makes for a fascinating musical tour of the decade, and acclaimed experimental director Todd Haynes (“Far from Heaven”) does it justice in this exceptional documentary. The band marked the meeting of two unlikely founders, Welsh songwriter John Cale and New York hipster-musician Lou Reed, a pop fusion under the aegis of legendary avant-garde guru Andy Warhol. As he showed in his prismatic Bob Dylan study “I’m Not There,” Haynes is endlessly fascinated by the myths and cultural intimations of pop music, and here he peels back the layers of the band’s mystique for its subversive essence. Making judicious use of interviews and performance footage, the movie is a poem on the Velvet Underground’s rebellious art.

Wife of a Spy (Vudu): Best known for his subtle horror films, Japanese director Kyoshi Kurosawa (“Cure”) offers a much quieter spy flick than James Bond’s latest in this impeccably crafted World War Two thriller. The title character is Satoko (Yu Aoi), a socialite-actress married to a businessman, Yusaku (Issey Takahashi). With nationalism on the rise on the eve of the Pearl Harbor attack, Yusaku tries to make use of top-secret information to protect himself and his wife. It’s a volatile situation, not helped by the presence of Yusuharu (Masahiro Higashide), a top military officer who harbors feelings for Satoko. Clearly influenced by such Alfred Hitchcock classics as “Notorious,” Kurosawa gives the narrative an assured flow and an elegant sense of danger, making this his most accessible entertainment. With subtitles.


Medium Cross Breed Mix
Milpitas, California   Adopt-a-Dog


35.2 lbs.
Location: Animal Community Center
Adoption Fee: $175

About Astro:
Hi! I'm new here. Everyone's still getting to know me. Once they do, this space will have all kinds of information about me.

Humane Society Silicon Valley
901 Ames Avenue
Milpitas, Ca 95035

Walk-in adoptions are open at our Peter Detkin and Michelle Oates Detkin Animal Community Center:

Monday-Wednesday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thursday 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Please note that weekends tend to be very busy and there may be a wait. To reserve a time block on Saturdays and Sundays and guarantee time with our adoption counselors, sign up for an appointment window.

For an appointment:


Stag's Leap Wine Sale!
By Kevan R. Wilkinson, Leasing News Wine Reviewer

A reader commented on the Stag's Leap Sale at Trader Joe's for their Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Reserve selling for $19.99.*  He told me about the Stag's Leap Wine Cellar website sale with such prices as a 2018 Merlot at $28.

When top-flight wines from renowned wineries are available at reasonable prices, it’s time to consider stocking up. Right now, Stags’ Leap Wine Cellars has deep discounts available on their website. Some wines are up to 50% off their regular price, which is less than you would pay at a wine store or grocery store that sells fine wine. My wife and I first visited Stags’ Leap winery in the early 2000s and it was a standout among the other wineries that line the Silverado Trail. I recall us buying their Merlot and Cabernet.

This winery produces consistently good wines each year, even when unexpected weather conditions (e.g., excess rain, cooler-than-average growing season, late harvest) present winemakers with myriad challenges. We once had a bottle of 2015 Stags’ Leap Cabernet Sauvignon and it was very good even though the winery, and most other wineries in Napa Valley, had to deal with colder temperatures, above-average rainfall, and one of the earliest harvests on record.

If you decide to take advantage of the Stags’ Leap Wine Cellars sale, there are some excellent wines to buy. These include the 2018 Napa Valley Merlot ($28/bottle), 2019 Napa Valley Chardonnay ($25.60/bottle), and the 2018 Napa Valley Petite Syrah ($32.90/bottle).

I have had each of these wines from previous vintages, and they are always delicious. Although I am partial to their Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, give the Petite Syrah a try. I tasted their 2017 vintage and remember it being a full-bodied red with lots of fruit and toasty oak. I am putting in my online order this week!

If you sign up for the newsletter, a 15% discount.

To shop the sale, visit the Stags’ Leap Wine Cellars website here:


Kevan R. Wilkinson | Digital Content Manager | BALBOA CAPITAL | |

Wine Reviews by Kevan R. Wilkinson


News Briefs---

Beige Book
    Modest Improvement, but conditions remained varied

IRS could collect taxes from pot firms
    if they used big banks, Yellen says

Dollar General to open 1,000 stores
    aimed at wealthier customers

CFOs Expect Higher Costs May Last Through 2022
   (about 80%) not absorbing the increases

Bank Profits Fall 1.2% to $69.5B in Q3
    But year over year, profits rose 35.9%

Fort Benning and Fort Gordon to be renamed
   Received More than 24,000 Recommendations

Ed Sheeran performed at Gordon Ramsay's daughter's
    birthday after the chef offered him free cooking lessons

The trucker shortage is fueled by a misconception that
   the job is only for low-skilled people,
     who endure poor working conditions, says expert

Patagonia Had $10 Million in Sales on Black Friday
    And Is Donating Every Cent to Save The Planet
Amy Schneider has made 'Jeopardy!' history
    - and helped the show find calm after chaos



You May Have Missed---

Is the Office Dying? Of Those Who Quit During the Pandemic,
   One in Four Did So for the Flexibility to Work from Anywhere



Sports Briefs---

Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown, S Mike Edwards, along with
    FA John Franklin, suspended for COVID-19 violations

Answering the Biggest Questions About the MLB Lockout

Lakers' LeBron James Cleared from COVID Protocols,
    Can Play vs. Clippers

Report: Broncos are moving closer to being sold

Warriors’ Steph Curry named
   Western Conference Player of the Month

WTA announces immediate suspension of tournaments
    in China amid concern for Peng Shuai


California Nuts Briefs---

California fines PG&E $125 million over Kincade Fire
     – the state’s worst wildfire of 2019

COVID: Why California is moving forward
    with firing vaccine-resistant health care workers

California to spend nearly $100M to fortify state
     Capitol following Jan. 6 attacks in Washington

Facebook parent Meta signs biggest U.S. office lease
     of 2021 in Sunnyvale, huge expansion in Burlingame

Even less affordable: SF Bay Area home prices keep soaring

Laguna Beach mansion breaks Orange County
    record sale price at $70 million

Lake Tahoe waterfront home with heated driveway
     sells for $47.5M, hitting 2021 record



"Gimme that wine"

Vineyard technology working to combat
    the Napa Valley water crisis

Wine of the week: Old Vine Red by Marietta Cellars
    NV, Lot No. 72, Geyserville

Robert Parker Wine Advocate has a new editor,
    but its notorious 100-point system is here to stay

St Emilion’s Chateau Fleur de Lisse celebrates
    inauguration of its new winery

“Gimme that Wine”

Free Wine App

Wine Prices by vintage


This Day in History

      1755 - Birthday of Gilbert Charles Stuart (d. 1828), near Narragansett, RI. American portrait painter whose most famous painting is that of George Washington. He also painted portraits of Madison, Monroe, Jefferson and other important Americans.
    1762 - France ceded to Spain all lands west of the Mississippi River.  The territory was known as Upper Louisiana.
    1775 - Lt. John Paul Jones raises the Grand Union flag on Alfred. This was the first American flag raised over an American naval vessel.
    1799 - Margaret O'Neale Eaton’s (d. 1859) birthday, Washington, DC. Her marriage to the man who would become a cabinet officer resulted in a scandal, the Petticoat Affair, that caused Andrew Jackson to dismiss his entire cabinet. It led to a permanent breach between Jackson and John C. Calhoun which resulted in Martin Van Buren becoming president rather than Calhoun.   Also, Calhoun’s support of the South Carolina resolution on tariffs was believed by many to have hastened the War Between the States. Living well is said to be the best revenge and the Eatons lived well, in fact said to have had a brilliant social life when he served as governor of Florida and U.S. minister to Spain. She lived until she was eighty years old, marrying her grandchildren’s dance teacher, Antonio Buchignani, on June 7, 1859, after Eaton died.  She was 59 and he was 19.  Eaton obtained a divorce from Buchignani who absconded with her fortune and her granddaughter, Emily Randolph but she was unable to recover her financial standing. She died in poverty in Washington, D.C. on November 8, 1879.
    1800 - US state electors met and cast their ballots for the presidency. A tie resulted between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr.
    1818 - Illinois became the 21st state. The strange but beautiful prairie lands east of the Mississippi and north of Lake Michigan presented a difficult challenge to the tide of westward-moving immigrants. Accustomed to the heavily forested lands of states like Kentucky and Tennessee, the early immigrants to Illinois did not know what to make of the vast treeless stretches of the prairie. Most pioneers believed that the fertility of soil revealed itself by the abundance of vegetation it supported, so they assumed that the lack of trees on the prairie signaled inferior farmland. Those brave souls who did try to farm the prairie found that their flimsy plows were inadequate to cut through prairie sod thickly knotted with deep roots. In an "age of wood," farmers also felt helpless without ready access to the trees they needed for their tools, homes, furniture, fences, and fuel. For all these reasons, most of the early Illinois settlers remained in the southern part of the state, where they built homes and farms near the trees that grew along the many creek and river bottoms. The development of heavy prairie plows and improved access to wood and other supplies through new shipping routes encouraged even more farmers to head out into the vast northern prairie lands of Illinois. By 1840, the center of population in Illinois had shifted decisively to the north, and the once insignificant hamlet of Chicago rapidly became a bustling city. The four giant prairie counties of northern Illinois, which were the last to be settled, boasted population densities of 18 people per square mile. Increasingly recognized as one of the nation's most fertile agricultural areas, the vast emptiness of the Illinois prairie was eagerly conquered by both pioneers and plows. The Railroad and Great Lakes made Chicago a significant center of transportation.
    1826 - Birthday of Union General George McClellan (d. 1885) in Philadelphia. Although McClellan emerged early in the war as a Union hero, he failed to effectively prosecute the war in the East. McClellan graduated from West Point in 1846, second in his class. He served with distinction in the Mexican War under General Winfield Scott and continued in the military until 1857. After retiring from the service, McClellan served as president of the Illinois Central Railroad, where he became acquainted with Abraham Lincoln, who was then an attorney for the company. When the war began, McClellan was appointed major general in charge of the Ohio volunteers. In 1861, he commanded Union forces in western Virginia, where his reputation grew as the Yankees won many small battles and secured control of the region. Although many historians have argued that it was McClellan's subordinates who deserved most of the credit, McClellan was elevated to commander of the main Union army in the east, the Army of the Potomac, following that army's humiliating defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run.  McClellan was beloved by his soldiers but was arrogant and contemptuous of Lincoln and the Republican leaders in Congress. A staunch Democrat, he was opposed to attacking the institution of slavery as a war measure. While his work as an administrator earned high marks, his weakness was revealed when he took the field with his army in the spring of 1862. He lost to Robert E. Lee during the Seven Days' battles, and as a field commander he was sluggish, hesitant, and timid. President Lincoln then moved most of McClellan's command to John Pope, but Pope was beaten badly by Lee at the Second Battle of Bull Run. When Lee invaded Maryland in September 1862, Lincoln restored McClellan's command. McClellan pursued Lee into western Maryland, and on September 17, the two armies fought to a standstill along Antietam Creek. Heavy losses forced Lee to return to Virginia, providing McClellan with a nominal victory. Shortly after the battle, Lincoln declared the Emancipation Proclamation, which converted the war into a crusade against slavery, a measure bitterly criticized by McClellan. The general's failure to pursue Lee into Virginia led Lincoln to order McClellan's permanent removal in November. The Democrats nominated McClellan for President in 1864. He ran against his old boss but managed to garner only 21 of 233 electoral votes. After the war, he served as Governor of New Jersey. He died on October 29, 1885, in Orange, New Jersey.
    1828 - Andrew Jackson was elected seventh president of the United States. Jackson, a senator from Tennessee until his nomination, received 647,231 popular votes and 178 electoral votes against 509,097 popular votes and 83 electoral votes for John Quincy Adams, candidate of the National Republican Party. John C. Calhoun was reelected vice president, receiving 171 electoral votes. Martin Van Buren of New York swung the election on the understanding that he would continue to exercise power in the state through the spoils system. Jackson was reelected in 1832 by 687,502 popular votes and 219 electoral votes, against 530,189 popular votes and 49 electoral votes for Henry Clay. Martin Van Buren was elected vice-president.
    1833 - The first college to enroll women and men on equal terms was Oberlin Collegiate Institute, Oberlin, OH, with 44 students, 29 men and 15 women. On March 21, 1930, the name of the school was changed to Oberlin College. It was the first school to advocate the abolition of slavery and to accept African-American men and women on equal terms with white students.
    1834 – The first dental society was established, in New York.
    1842 - Phoebe Apperson Hearst’s (d. 1919) birthday in Franklin County, MO.   She was a renowned philanthropist whose contributions - based on her husband's gold and silver mining fortune - put a lot of the gold in the reputation of California. Her donations to the University of California that she served as a regent from 1897 to her death in 1919 helped make it a major institution. She endowed nurseries and kindergartens, helped rebuild many institutions after the San Francisco earthquake/fire, and later, her financial aid to numerous archaeological expeditions carried the stipulation that the finds go to the UC and thus came about the University Museum. Later she endowed UC's department of anthropology. She also set up the first refuge for redwood trees. When her husband George was appointed to the U.S. Senate, she turned her philanthropy to that area's institutions and was, among other things, a major contributor to the National Cathedral and the restoration of Mount Vernon. Her only child was William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper publisher. She died April 13, 1919 at her home in Pleasanton, CA, a victim of the worldwide influenza epidemic of 1918-1919.  The majestic residence burned in a great fire in 1969.  The land now serves as Castlewood Country Club.
    1842 – Charles Alfred Pillsbury (d. 1899) was born in Warner, NH.  He was co-founder and namesake of the Pillsbury Company.
    1847 - Frederick Douglass and Martin R Delaney, started The North Star, an anti-slavery paper.
    1863 – Confederate General James Longstreet abandoned his siege of Knoxville, TN.
    1864 - Salmon P. Chase was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. His most significant achievements came as Treasury Secretary under Lincoln. He was partly responsible for saving the country from financial ruin with the Legal Tender Act, which he sponsored in 1862. The act allowed 150,000,000 greenbacks to be issued. The phrase “In God We Trust” was put on national coins by order of Chase.     
    1868 – At the trial of Jefferson Davis, black Americans were empaneled as jurors for the first time in an American courtroom. He refused to honor the trial and sat in jail for two years. Horace Greely, democratic candidate for President in 1872, and founder and editor of the New York Tribune, became an advocate of universal amnesty for Confederates, and in May, 1867, offered bail for Davis. He was pardoned by President Johnson under the influence of Southern Democrats who had swung the electoral vote in an alleged backroom deal. Some other trivia:  Davis was the son-in-law of former president Zachary Taylor (who was prepared to hold the Union together by armed force rather than by compromise) and US Secretary of War (1853-57).
(see Horace Greely:
    1878 - Settlers arrive at Petach Tikvah, Israel from various parts of the world, including America.
    1879 - Thomas Edison said he could invent a safe electric light bulb. Although electric arc lights had existed for more than ten years, their high intensity made them a fire hazard.  Financiers, including J.P. Morgan and the Vanderbilt family, took Edison at his word and established the Edison Electric Light Company later that year. After more than a year of experiments, Edison and his young assistant, Francis Upton, finally developed a carbon filament that would burn in a vacuum in a glass bulb for forty hours. They demonstrated the light bulb to their backers on Dec. 3, 1879, and by the end of the month, were exhibiting the invention to the public. On December 31, 1879, the Pennsylvania Railroad ran special trains to Edison's Menlo Park laboratory to let the public witness a demonstration of the invention.
    1892 - Harriet Stratemeyer Adams’ (d. 1982) birthday in Newark, NJ.  Adams claimed to be the author of all 55 of the Nancy Drew mysteries (under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene), most of the Hardy Boys series (under the pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon), the Toms Swift Jr. series, the Bobbsey Twins and other books in the Stratemeyer publishing empire. Took over the organization in 1930 when her father died. Most of the books were ghosted by writers she hired, but the fable that she both created the series and write the stories still lives on.
    1896 - Hermann Hollerith incorporated the Tabulating Machine Company.  At age twenty-nine, Hollerith, who had worked at the Census Bureau in 1880, won a competition to develop the most efficient counting system for the 1890 census. His tabulating machine counted punched cards, inspired by a card system developed by Joseph Jacquard of France to program patterns into textile looms. Through a series of mergers and reorganizations, the Tabulating Machine Company eventually became IBM.
    1897 - Birthday of social artist William Gropper (d. 1977) in New York City’s Lower East Side.   A committed radical, Gropper's alienation was accentuated when on March 24, 1911 he lost a favorite aunt in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, a disaster which resulted from locked doors and non-existent exits in a New York sweatshop. Some 146 workers burned or jumped to their deaths on that day in what was New York's greatest human catastrophe prior to 9/11.
    1898 - The Duquesne Country and Athletic Club defeated an All-star collection of early football players, 16-0, in what is considered to be the very first all-star game for professional American football.
    1901 – President Teddy Roosevelt’s State of the Union Address asked Congress to curb the power of trusts "within reasonable limits."    
    1901 – Milwaukee of the American League was replaced by the St. Louis Browns.  In 1954, the team was purchased by a group of investors, moved to Baltimore, and was renamed the Orioles.
    1902 - Birthday of Mitsuo Fuchida (d. 1976) in Japan.  He was the pilot who flew the lead plane in Japan's air attack on Pearl Harbor.  Following World War II, through representatives of the Pocket Testament League, Fuchida was converted to Christianity in 1950.
    1902 - Birthday of clarinet player Joe “Brother Cornbread” Thomas (d. 1981), New Orleans, LA
    1903 - Birthday of trombone player Brad Gowans (d. 1954), Billerica, MA,
    1907 - Singer Connee Boswell’s (d. 1976) birthday in Kansas City, MO. Perhaps best known as part of the Boswell Sisters singing group, after her sisters married, she continued as a solo, performing mostly from a wheelchair. She'd been a victim of polio as a child and then had a fall that aggravated the situation. She played a number of instruments and was a gifted arranger.

    1919 - Birthday of piano player/composer Herbie Nichols (d. 1963), New York City.

    1922 - The first movie in Technicolor that was considered released for commercial purpose plus was “really successful” was “The Toll of the Sea,” released this day at the Rialto Theater, New York City. The process was developed by Dr. Herbert Thomas Kalmus, president and general manager of the Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation from its inception until 1959.
    1922 - Birthday of Joseph Edward “Joe” Collins, born Joseph Edward Kollonige (d. 1989), at Scranton, PA. As a first baseman for the New York Yankees, Collins played in seven World Series in his 10-year Major League career and he was a teammate of Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Whitey Ford. He hit two home runs off Brooklyn Dodgers’ Don Newcombe in Game 1 of the 1955 series (I was there and remember it, too). Collins died in Union, NJ, where a small park is named for him.
    1923 – The first radio broadcast of a Congressional session was aired from Washington, DC…where else?
    1925 - The first jazz concerto for piano and orchestra was presented at Carnegie Hall in NYC. Commissioned by Walter Damrosch, American composer George Gershwin presented "Concerto In F," and was the featured soloist playing a flugelhorn in a slow, bluesy style as one of his numbers.
    1925 – Ferlin Husky (d. 2011) was born in Cantwell, MO.  He was an early country music singer who was equally adept at the genres of traditional honky-tonk, ballads, spoken recitations, and rockabilly pop tunes. He had two dozen Top 20 hits in the country charts between 1953 and 1975.  In the 1950s and 60s, Husky's hits included “Gone” and “Wings of a Dove,” each reaching No. 1 on the country charts. 
    1927 – The first Laurel and Hardy film, “Putting Pants on Philip,” was released. LA.,,431599,00.html
    1929 - Birthday of trombone player Fred Assunto (d. 1966), New Orleans, played with the Dukes of Dixieland
    1929 - Showing extreme optimism, if not foresight, President Herbert Hoover declared to Congress that the nation had shaken off the impact of the recent stock market crash and regained its faith in the economy. “Happy Days Were Here Again,” he tried to make his theme song (Ironically, it became FDR’s theme song, along with “Brother Can You Spare a Dime.”). The Teapot Dome scandal and trial under undermined his leadership, but it was his lack of understanding the economy that did him in. In the 1930, he called a special session of Congress to take up tariff revisions, which he had promised in his presidential campaign the previous fall. Hoover primarily wanted to have tariff rates raised on agricultural products. By the time it was over, the Smooth-Hawley Act also included some of the highest rates in history on manufactured products. Hoover signed the act into law on June 17 despite the fact that on May 4, a petition signed by 1028 economists had been sent to Washington urging defeat of the proposed legislation. Within two years, 25 nations retaliated by raising duties on US Goods. The economic nationalism triggered by this legislation had been blamed for deepening the worldwide depression. A report in 1931 recommended repealing the anti-probation law, however, Hoover opposed it. In the 1932 election, Hoover received a popular vote of 15,761,841 with 59 electoral votes to Roosevelt’s 22,821,857 and 472 electoral vote. The democrats also gained 13 senate seats and 90 house seats.
    1930 - Birthday of singer Andy Williams (d. 2012), born Wall Lake, IA. Platinum album: “Love Story,” 13 gold albums.
    1931 - Unemployment in American reaches 13.5 million — almost 1/3 of the American work force. In Los Angeles alone, shelters give asylum to over 200,000 persons. Many choose instead to hit the road — another 200,000 become freight car migrants on the Missouri Pacific Line. Severe drought hits the midwestern and southern plains. As the crops die, the 'black blizzards" begin. Dust from the over-plowed and over-grazed land begins to blow.
    1932 - Birthday of singer/actress Jaye P. Morgan, born Mary Margaret Morgan, in Mancos, CO.  Her best known role, however, was as an original panelist on Chuck Barris’ “The Gong Show.”,+Jaye+P.

    1932 - Birthday of trumpet player Webster Young (d. 2003), Columbia, SC
    1933 – As the effects of the Great Depression continued to lower attendance at Major League baseball games, Philadelphia A’s owner and manager, Connie Mack, sold All-Star catcher, and future Hall of Famer, Mickey Cochrane, to the Detroit Tigers for $100,000.  Before the fire sale would end, Mack would also sell Jimmy Foxx and Al Simmons among others.  Earlier, after the Athletics won in pennant in 1910, 1911, 1913 and 1914, beating the Cubs in the World Series in 1910 and the Giants in 1911 and 1913, but losing in 1914 to the Boston Braves, financial difficulties forced Mack to sell off his stars to stay afloat.  It would not be until the 1920’s that the Athletics would compete again.
    1933 – The Chicago Cardinals’ QB, Joe Lilliard, would be the last black player in the NFL until 1946.
    1937 – NASCAR’s Bobby Allison was born, Miami, FL.
    1942 - Frank Sinatra’s first solo engagement, Paramount Theater, New York City.
    1945 - *HENRY, ROBERT T., Medal of Honor.
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and date: Luchem, Germany, 3 December 1944. Entered service at: Greenville, Miss. Birth: Greenville, Miss. G.O. No.: 45, 12 June 1945. Citation: Near Luchem, Germany, he volunteered to attempt the destruction of a nest of 5 enemy machineguns located in a bunker 150 yards to the flank which had stopped the advance of his platoon. Stripping off his pack, overshoes, helmet, and overcoat, he sprinted alone with his rifle and hand grenades across the open terrain toward the enemy emplacement. Before he had gone half the distance he was hit by a burst of machinegun fire. Dropping his rifle, he continued to stagger forward until he fell mortally wounded only 10 yards from the enemy emplacement. His single-handed attack forced the enemy to leave the machineguns. During this break in hostile fire the platoon moved forward and overran the position. Pvt. Henry, by his gallantry and intrepidity and utter disregard for his own life, enabled his company to reach its objective, capturing this key defense and 70 German prisoners.
    1946 - General Strike in Oakland, California. 100,000 workers from 142 AFL unions — including workers from factories, industries, services, retail stores, transportation systems and more — declared a "work holiday" and walked off their jobs. The three-day General Strike of more than 130,000 workers in Alameda County (Oakland) CA, opposed police brutality and supported striking Oakland department store workers. It lasted until city and labor leaders settled on a compromise agreement, returning workers to their jobs on Dec. 5. In following months, the populist Oakland Voters League brought together progressive factions in the city to elect four out of five labor candidates to the city council.
    1946 – This year’s Heisman Trophy winner is Mr. Inside, Glenn Davis, of Army.
    1947 - Tennessee Williams' “A Streetcar Named Desire” opens today at New York's Ethel Barrymore Theater and runs for 855 performances. Jessica Tandy, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, & Karl Malden star.
    1947 – Manson follower and fellow murderer Patricia Krenwinkle’s birthday, Los Angeles.   Krenwinkel is the longest-incarcerated female inmate in the California penal system.
    1948 – The first woman officer not in the US Army medical corps is sworn in.
    1948 - Top Hits
“Buttons and Bows” - Dinah Shore
“On a Slow Boat to China” - The Kay Kaiser Orchestra (vocal: Harry Babbitt & Gloria Wood
“You Were Only Fooling” - Kay Starr
“One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)” - Jimmy Wakely
    1950 - Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Tom Fears celebrates his 27th birthday by making an NFL record 18 receptions for 189 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams' 51-14 victory over Green Bay.
    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 with 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 counterfire, 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.
    1951 - Paul Harvey begins his national radio broadcast.
    1952 – Hawaii experiences its first television broadcast.
    1953 - President Eisenhower criticizes McCarthy for saying communists are in Republican Party.
    1953 - "Kismet" opened on Broadway in New York. The show ran for 583 performances.
    1955 - Elvis Presley’s first release on RCA Victor Records was announced. No, it wasn’t "Hound Dog" or "Heartbreak Hotel". The first two sides were actually purchased from Sam Phillips of Sun Records: "Mystery Train" and "I Forgot to Remember to Forget". Elvis was described by his new record company as “The most talked about personality in recorded music in the last 10 years.”
    1956 - Wilt Chamberlain's first collegiate basketball game.  He scored 52 points for Kansas University.
    1956 - Top Hits
“Singing the Blues” - Guy Mitchell
“Blueberry Hill” - Fats Domino
“True Love” - Bing Crosby & Grace Kelly
“Singing the Blues” - Marty Robbins
    1960 - "Camelot" opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York City. Richard Burton and Julie Andrews played the leading roles in the musical written by Lerner and Loewe. Robert Goulet also got rave reviews. "Camelot" had a run of 873 performances. Broadway went Hollywood in the 1967 film version of "Camelot". Its run was not quite as successful.  Regardless, it became synonymous with the Kennedy years such that after the assassination, the tone of writing usually contained references to the “End of Camelot”.    
    1962 - Roger Hilsman, director of the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, sends a memorandum to Secretary of State Dean Rusk pointing out that the communist Viet Cong fighters are obviously prepared for a long struggle. Hilsman felt that a noncommunist coup against Diem "could occur at any time," and would seriously disrupt or reverse counterinsurgency momentum. As it turned out, Hilsman was eventually proven correct. On November 1, 1963, dissident South Vietnamese generals led a coup resulting in the murder of Diem. His death marked the end of civilian authority and political stability in South Vietnam. The succession of military juntas, coups, and attempted coups in 1964 and early 1965 weakened the government severely and disrupted the momentum of the counterinsurgency effort against the Viet Cong. While the administration had accurate intelligence reports, they ignored them as Lyndon B. Johnson feared being perceived as weak against communist expansion in the Far East.
    1964 - Police arrest 733 sit-in students at University of California at Berkeley following their takeover at the administration building in protest of the UC Regents’ decision to forbid protests on UC property. This is generally considered the start of the Free Speech Movement.  (I helped cover this for KFRC radio, San Francisco, stringing also for UPI audio/AP.)
    1964 - Top Hits
“Leader of the Pack” - The Shangri-Las
“She’s Not There” - The Zombies
“Mr. Lonely” - Bobby Vinton
“Once a Day” - Connie Smith
    1965 - Birthday of Olympic gold medal figure skater Katarina Witt, born Falkensee, East Germany.
    1965 - An all-white jury in Alabama convicted three Ku Klux Klansmen over the murder of white civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo.
    1966 - At a time when the airwaves and record charts where dominated by Rock and Roll, a most unusual song called "Winchester Cathedral" by The New Vaudeville Band became the number one tune in the US.
    1967 - Dr. Christian Bernard, a South African surgeon, performed the world's first successful heart transplant at Cape Town, South Africa.
    1967 – The final run of “The 20th Century Limited,” the famed luxury train between Chicago and New York, began.
    1968 - HOLCOMB, JOHN NOBLE, Medal of Honor.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company D, 2d Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. Place and date: Near Quan Loi, Republic of Vietnam, 3 December 1968. Entered service at: Corvallis, Oregon. Born: 11 June 1946, Baker, Oregon. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Holcomb distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader in Company D during a combat assault mission. Sgt. Holcomb's company assault had landed by helicopter and deployed into a hasty defensive position to organize for a reconnaissance-in-force mission when it was attacked from 3 sides by an estimated battalion-size enemy force. Sgt. Holcomb's squad was directly in the path of the main enemy attack. With complete disregard for the heavy fire, Sgt. Holcomb moved among his men giving encouragement and directing fire on the assaulting enemy. When his machine gunner was knocked out, Sgt. Holcomb seized the weapon, ran to a forward edge of the position, and placed withering fire on the enemy. His gallant actions caused the enemy to withdraw. Sgt. Holcomb treated and carried his wounded to a position of safety and reorganized his defensive sector despite a raging grass fire ignited by the incoming enemy mortar and rocket rounds. When the enemy assaulted the position a second time, Sgt. Holcomb again manned the forward machine gun, devastating the enemy attack and forcing the enemy to again break contact and withdraw. During the enemy withdrawal an enemy rocket hit Sgt. Holcomb's position, destroying his machine gun and severely wounding him. Despite his painful wounds, Sgt. Holcomb crawled through the grass fire and exploding mortar and rocket rounds to move the members of his squad, everyone of whom had been wounded, to more secure positions. Although grievously wounded and sustained solely by his indomitable will and courage, Sgt. Holcomb as the last surviving leader of his platoon organized his men to repel the enemy, crawled to the platoon radio and reported the third enemy assault on his position. His report brought friendly supporting fires on the charging enemy and broke the enemy attack. Sgt. Holcomb's inspiring leadership, fighting spirit, in action at the cost of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
    1968 – The heralded NBC comeback special of Elvis Presley aired for the first time.
    1968 – With pitchers’ ERAs lowering and batters’ batting averages going in the same direction, Major League Baseball agreed to lower the pitcher's mound to 10" from 15"  and to reduce the strike zone from the knees to shoulders to top of knees to armpits.
    1969 - John Lennon is offered role of Jesus Christ in "Jesus Christ Superstar."
    1971 - The Montreaux Casino caught fire and burned during a show by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. The incident was later immortalized by Deep Purple's 1973 hit, "Smoke on the Water". (“…some stupid with a flare gun, burned the place to the ground...")
    1972 - Top Hits
Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone - The Temptations
I Am Woman - Helen Reddy
If You Don’t Know Me by Now - Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes
She’s Too Good to Be True - Charley Pride
    1973 – US spacecraft Pioneer 10 sends back the first close-up images of Jupiter.
    1976 – An assassination of singer/composer Bob Marley failed.  He was shot twice but played a concert only two days later.
    1976 – “Rocky” was released after its successful premiere in NYC.  Sylvester Stallone wrote the script in which he played the lead as Rocky Balboa, a hard-working South Philly boxer looking for his big chance.  The low budget film became a sleeper success and won 10 nominations and three Oscars including Best Picture.  The film has spawned eight sequels: “Rocky II” (1979), “Rocky III” (1982), “Rocky IV” (1985), “Rocky V” (1990), “Rocky Balboa” (2006), “Creed” (2015), ”Creed II” (2018), and “Creed III (2022). Stallone portrays Rocky in the first eight films, wrote six, co-wrote two, and directed four of the six titular installments. it earned $225 million in global box office receipts, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1976.  The American Film Institute ranked it the second-best in the genre, after” Raging Bull,” in 2008. In 2006, the Library of Congress selected “Rocky for preservation in the National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
    1977 - After eight straight weeks at the top of the Cashbox Magazine Best Sellers chart, Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" finally gives way to "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" by Crystal Gayle.
    1977 - After 29 weeks in the #1 position on the album charts (a record, literally...), "Rumours," by Fleetwood Mac, was replaced at the top spot by the album "Simple Dreams," sung by Linda Ronstadt.
    1979 - Nearly a dozen young people are killed at concert of the rock band The Who in Cincinnati, Ohio. Eleven victims were trampled to death during a stampede for seats at the Riverfront Coliseum. The band was not informed of the deaths until after the show.
    1979 - Ayatollah Khomeini became the first Supreme Leader of Iran. 
    1980 - Top Hits
“Woman in Love” - Barbra Streisand
“Another One Bites the Dust” - Queen
“He’s So Shy” - Pointer Sisters
“If You Ever Change Your Mind” - Crystal Gayle
    1982 - A soil sample is taken from Times Beach, MO that will be found to contain 300 times the safe level of dioxin.  Over time the EPA condemned the area and homeowners were bought out of their homes by the government, leading to the town's evacuation by 1985 and complete demolition by 1992.
    1984 – A methyl isocyanate leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, kills more than 3,800 people outright and injures 150,000–600,000 others (some 6,000 of whom would later die from their injuries) in one of the worst industrial disasters in history. 
    1984 - Miss America 1971, Phyllis George, wife of the Governor of Kentucky who is heir to the Kentucky Fried Chicken fortune, signed a multiyear contract with CBS-TV. Her work as co-anchor of the "CBS Morning News" began in January 1985.
    1986 - Bobby Knight led the Indiana Hoosiers past Notre Dame 67-62. For only the second time in his 22-year basketball-coaching career, Knight relied on a zone defense. He also threatened to throw 20 chairs onto the floor to trip Fighting Irish players, so maybe that had something to do with it, too.
    1988 - Top Hits
Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley (Free Baby) - Will To Power
Look Away - Chicago
How Can I Fail? - Breathe
I Know How He Feels - Reba McEntire
    1989 - Heavy snow and high winds created blizzard conditions in northern New England. Snowfall totals in Maine ranged up to 31 inches, at Limestone. Presque Isle, ME reported a record 30 inches of snow in 24 hours, along with wind gusts to 46 mph.
    1989 - President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Gorbachev release statements indicating that the Cold War between NATO and the Soviet Union may be coming to an end.
    1992 - A test engineer for Sema Group uses a personal computer to send the world's first text message via the Vodafone network to the phone of a colleague.
    1994 - "On Bended Knee," by Boyz II Men, hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The smash was #1, off and on, thru January 1995.
    2001 - Although Enron has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the corporation is current on its payments and plans to keep the company's name on Astros' new ballpark, according to Astro officials. The downtown stadium will stay Enron Field as long as Enron continues to exist and makes regular payments on its 30-year, $100 million commitment they stated.   Enron is long gone and the ballpark is now known as Minute Maid Park.
    2002 - Thousands of personnel files released under a court order showed that the Archdiocese of Boston went to great lengths to hide priests accused of abuse, including clergy who allegedly snorted cocaine and had sex with girls aspiring to be nuns.
    2007 - Winter storms cause the Chehalis River to flood many cities in Lewis County, WA, and close a 20-mile portion of I-5 for several days. At least eight deaths and billions of dollars in damages are blamed on the floods.
    2007 - The National Intelligence Estimate (N.I.E.) has judged with a high degree of confidence that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. It does, however, assess that Tehran is keeping the option to develop nuclear weapons open. There is confidence that the halt, and Tehran’s announcement of its decision to suspend its declared uranium enrichment program, as well as sign an Additional Protocol to its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement, was made in response to the increasing international scrutiny and pressure on its previously undeclared nuclear work. Iran has welcomed the N.I.E. report that suggests that its government is not trying to develop nuclear weapons at this time.
    2013 - A law that banned plastic guns that were undetectable in metal detectors was set to expire by the end of the year unless the US Congress passed it again. The US House passed it on November 3rd and the US Senate passed it on December 10th. The law requires all plastic guns to have at least one metal part that cannot be removed in the firing mechanism. Gun control advocates were hoping to expand the law.
    2014 - Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot dead unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, resigned from the force.  On March 4, 2015, the federal investigation cleared Wilson of civil rights violations in the shooting. The investigation concluded there was no evidence upon which prosecutors could rely to disprove Wilson's asserted belief that he feared for his safety, that witnesses who contradicted Wilson were not credible, that forensic evidence and credible witnesses corroborated Wilson's account, and that the facts did not support the filing of criminal charges against Wilson. Credible witnesses did not support accounts that Brown had his hands up in surrender. He was not shot in the back. Forensic evidence showed he was moving toward Wilson. Numerous witnesses were found to have given accounts of actions they were unable to see from their vantage points, or to be recounting others' accounts.
    2014 - Protests erupt in cities across the US after a grand jury decides not to charge the New York City police officer who killed Eric Garner with a chokehold.
    2016 - US army decides it will not allow an oil pipeline to be built in North Dakota, after months of protests by The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
    2019 – Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced they are stepping down from roles at the parent company, Alphabet.
    2020 - AT&T Inc’s Warner Bros studio announces all its 2021 movies will stream online the same day they appear in theatres because of the pandemic.



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