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Friday, February 19, 2010


Singer/Songwriter William "Smokey" Robinson, Jr. born February 19, 1940 Detroit, Michigan. As an original member of Motown Records' first vocal group The Miracles and as a solo artist, Robinson delivered thirty-seven Top 40 hits for Motown between 1960 and 1987. He wrote such hits as "The Way You Do the Things You Do", "My Girl", "Since I Lost My Baby", and "Get Ready”. As a singer he is also known for "I've Been Good To You”, You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me,” Baby, Baby Don't Cry" and "The Tears of a Clown." He had many other more recent hits such as "Just to See Her."


Attention: Allied Health Care Services, Inc.
 Classified Ads---Controller
  Feds Raise Interest Rate to Banks, First Move since 2008
 Axis Capital/Triton/Sports Ill./Hayman $600MM Investment
  by Christopher Menkin
From the Desk of Michael J. Witt, Esq.
 Automatic Renewal: A Different Perspective
  Cartoon---In, Out
 Lease Broker Assistant joins “Back Office List”
  Classified Ads---Help Wanted
Leonardo da Vinci's Resume
 by Marc Cenedella, Founder & CEO,
  February CLP Circular--John Byrum/Doug Houlahan
 Shutter Island/North Face/Everybody’s Fine
  Coco before Chanel/Make Way for Tomorrow
   Fernando Croce on Movies/DVD's just released
 Manhattan, Kansas---Adopt-a-Dog
News Briefs ---
 Largest Monitor Lessor Cut to Junk by Fitch
  Fed Move May Signal End to Easy Bank Profits
   Mortgage Rates fall below 5%
    PGA Tour commissioner: Woods to return to therapy
  You May have Missed---
  California Nuts Brief---
   Sports Briefs---
     "Gimme that Wine"
    Today's Top Event in History
   This Day in American History
 “Snow Day” by Barry S. Marks, Esq.
    Winter Poem
       Daily Puzzle
  Weather, USA or specific area
     Traffic Live----

######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release”



Attention: Allied Health Care Services, Inc.

Looking for information and/or experiences with Allied Health Care Services, Inc., 89 Main St., Orange, NJ 07050.

The owner reportedly is Charles K. Schwartz.

Any background information will be held confidential.

Please contact:

((Please Click on Bulletin Board to learn more information))
(Leasing News provides this ad “gratis” as a means
to help support the growth of Lease Police)



Classified Ads---Controller

Chicago, IL
experienced in lease accounting, operations, management, and Sarbanes-Oxley. Seeking position with equipment lessor. Would consider contract assignments or relocating.
Southeastern, MI
Controller & Management experience w/ equip lessors &broker. MBA, CPA w/ extensive accounting, management, securitization experience with public and private companies. Willing to relocate.
Acton, MA
Strong experience in lease accounting, operations, & systems.  
Implemented lease plus, great plains, networks.
Excellent financial reporting and analysis skills. Looking for new opportunity.
LinkedIn | Resume

For a full listing of all “job wanted” ads, please go to:

Other e-Mail Posting Sites:



Feds Raise Interest Rate to Banks, First Move since 2008

The Federal Reserve, taking its first step to return lending to normal after more than two years of extraordinary actions to prop up the economy, on Thursday raised its discount rate -- the interest rate it charges on emergency loans to banks -- by one-quarter percentage point.

The increase, to 0.75 percent from 0.50 percent, takes effect today, Friday.

Officials said the move was not meant to be a broad tightening of credit. Rather, they said, it was intended to discourage emergency borrowing when other financing is available to banks. It is reported the hike should not affect business or consumer rates.

The discount rate had been at 0.50 percent since December 2008.

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

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System press release:

The Federal Reserve Board late yesterday announced that in light of continued improvement in financial market conditions it had unanimously approved several modifications to the terms of its discount window lending programs.

Like the closure of a number of extraordinary credit programs earlier this month, these changes are intended as a further normalization of the Federal Reserve's lending facilities. The modifications are not expected to lead to tighter financial conditions for households and businesses and do not signal any change in the outlook for the economy or for monetary policy, which remains about as it was at the January meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). At that meeting, the Committee left its target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and said it anticipates that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.

The changes to the discount window facilities include Board approval of requests by the boards of directors of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks to increase the primary credit rate (generally referred to as the discount rate) from 1/2 percent to 3/4 percent. This action is effective on February 19.

In addition, the Board announced that, effective on March 18, the typical maximum maturity for primary credit loans will be shortened to overnight. Primary credit is provided by Reserve Banks on a fully secured basis to depository institutions that are in generally sound condition as a backup source of funds. Finally, the Board announced that it had raised the minimum bid rate for the Term Auction Facility (TAF) by 1/4 percentage point to 1/2 percent. The final TAF auction will be on March 8, 2010.

Easing the terms of primary credit was one of the Federal Reserve's first responses to the financial crisis. On August 17, 2007, the Federal Reserve reduced the spread of the primary credit rate over the FOMC's target for the federal funds rate to 1/2 percentage point, from 1 percentage point, and lengthened the typical maximum maturity from overnight to 30 days. On December 12, 2007, the Federal Reserve created the TAF to further improve the access of depository institutions to term funding. On March 16, 2008, the Federal Reserve lowered the spread of the primary credit rate over the target federal funds rate to 1/4 percentage point and extended the maximum maturity of primary credit loans to 90 days.

Subsequently, in response to improving conditions in wholesale funding markets, on June 25, 2009, the Federal Reserve initiated a gradual reduction in TAF auction sizes. As announced on November 17, 2009, and implemented on January 14, 2010, the Federal Reserve began the process of normalizing the terms on primary credit by reducing the typical maximum maturity to 28 days.

The increase in the discount rate announced Thursday widens the spread between the primary credit rate and the top of the FOMC's 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate to 1/2 percentage point. The increase in the spread and reduction in maximum maturity will encourage depository institutions to rely on private funding markets for short-term credit and to use the Federal Reserve's primary credit facility only as a backup source of funds. The Federal Reserve will assess over time whether further increases in the spread are appropriate in view of experience with the 1/2 percentage point spread.

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


Axis Capital/Triton/Sports Illustrated/Hayman $600MM Investment
by Christopher Menkin

This is certainly turning into a mystery surrounding Triton Financial, Austin, Texas and its various companies, especially their investment into Axis Capital, Grand Island, Nebraska, a leasing company established in 1996. To top it off, there is a proposal for $600 million to Axis Capital from Hayman Capital, Boston, Massachusetts.

This all started in of all places in Sports Illustrated magazine, March, 2009 where it was reported Triton Holding had acquired Axis Capital, was raising money among sports figures, such as Ty Detmer, Koy Detmer, Chris Weinke, Michael Cour, Brian Whitney, the both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Texas State Securities Board filed separate suits about raising money, investing in Axis Capital, and during the course of this, a company Leasing News could find very little information but their web site offering to raise $600 million capital for leases.

The SEC and TSS complaint centered on Kurt B. Barton and Triton Financial LLC, raising more than $8.4 million from approximately 90 investors by selling “investor units” in an affiliate, Triton Insurance, and telling investors that their money would be used to purchase an insurance company. The latest progress in the case has all the assets frozen.

First, Axis Capital January 19th told Leasing News "The Triton Financial receivership has no effect on the operations of Axis Capital Inc., and the receiver's only position is as trustee for the shares securing the equity infused into Axis Capital Inc." This is partly true and further questions were not answered by Axis.

Triton and its founder are in receivership, a disgruntled stockholder also has a suit name several of the sports figures. According to the court records: "From January 29, 2009 through February 4, 2009, Barton raised $4 million for payment to Axis, including approximately $1.5 million in transfer from Triton and Triton Athletic Center, about $42 million in loans (in the form of promissory notes) from third parties, and almost $490,000 from Triton Insurance investors..."

The $42 million in loans mentioned in the complaint by both security commissions are another mystery as it does not appear on the Axis Capital financial summary. (A)

From the Axis financial summary, their line of credit has diminished from $8.6 million in 2006, $5.1 million in 2007, $3.1 million in 2008, to $1.5 million in 2009. This may be favorable or perhaps not. Footnotes to the financial statements are missing, but the Deloitte and Touche statement about comment for an audited statement should be noted. Perhaps a loan officer such as retired Kathy Robb of Bank of the West Leasing would understand this, but considering the $1.6 million due subordinated debt due to related parties and $7.2 million due to unrelated parties, perhaps if converted to an investment, but are not, reveal much about the cash flow.

Page 16 shows receivable of $131 million, not what is owed, meaning liability. The $4 million is "restricted" on their financial statement which most likely are “security deposits” held. The company shows $1 million in cash with a $1.5 million line of credit owed. $111 million investment in leasing, $103 million owed against that, and does not include potential losses, or other liabilities that they list as $1.3 million and other debt, $1.6 million and $7.2 million to related and unrelated parties.

Axis in a "capital summary" describes itself as generalist and you can see top three states are Texas, Nebraska, California, Florida...specializing in industrial and trucks, then food industry---all down industries today. They seem to do a lot of mailing machines 1,409 accounts they report, most likely very small ticket.
(A) see page 18 of company summary)

2007 (-$133,000) and 2008 (-$1.491 million) show losses with $464,000 third quarter 2009 profit.
(A) page 20)

"Goal is to originate $68 million in leases, down from $78 million in 2008."
(A) page 21

Most are full payout leases, meaning not much residual (3% Sept, 2009) and they rely on the stream of payments as capital leases (they refer to as direct leases) rather than "operating leases." (A, page 15)

They state a company with 33 employees and a goal of $68 million for 2009, down from the previous year.

And then the surprise of the century, an offer by Hayman Capital, Boston, Massachusetts for a $600 million joint leasing venture (B). This offer is to a company that reports they have 33 employees, and state in their own summary: "Goal is to originate $68 million in leases, down from $78 million in 2008." And then is interested in $600 million, way above production and history?

Calls to Axis to obtain answers to these questions were not returned.

(A) Axix Capital Summary

(B) Hayman Capital proposal

(C) SEC Complaint

(D) Triton Investor Suit against sports figures


Automatic Renewal: A Different Perspective

The inclusion of automatic renewal (or “evergreen”) clauses in true leases has been a fairly common practice from time immemorial. There is no question that these clauses provide important protections to the lessor. If the lessee has no intent to renew, the lessor has in interest in knowing it before the end of the term so that he can start planning for remarketing or some other disposition of the equipment.

However, the question of whether a lessee should be reminded by the lessor of the notice deadline in plenty of time for the lessee to react is an entirely different question. As most of us know, some states (namely, New York and Rhode Island) have statutes requiring commercial equipment lessors to provide a written notice – a fair warning – before the notice deadline date arrives. Bills are pending in other states (e.g., Kentucky and New Hampshire). The issue is definitely heating up in the industry.

The rule of “caveat emptor” – or “buyer beware” – began eroding in the consumer finance business in the early twentieth century, and the erosion process started in the commercial finance business not too many decades later. Yet I still hear some lessors say things like, “A contract is a contract. Unless the lessee asked for a prior-notice clause to be included in the lease, he shouldn’t complain if he forgot to mark his calendar and give the required notice. Having a notice statute is ridiculous. We’re already over-regulated in this country!”

Most of the abuses occur in the small-ticket world. Larger lessees have sophisticated “tickler” systems. Consider the corner dry-cleaner, though. He signs up for a three-year lease in 2010. Is he supposed to go to Office Depot and try to find a 2013 calendar and mark the notice deadline date? And the more apt question is: What possible interest does a lessor have in not voluntarily reminding its customer of the notice deadline – unless it’s to create a chance that the lessee will slip up and get trapped in a renewal it does not want?

The stance of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) on the pending legislation is simple and straight-forward (and I’m paraphrasing here): We, the Association, have a code of ethics for our members, and it says that lease contracts should be easy to understand and absolutely transparent. However, we do not really think that statutory regulation should be forced on the industry. We can police ourselves.

Okay, fair enough. ELFA’s job is to be a fierce advocate, and it shouldn’t be criticized when it does its job. But notwithstanding the official stance of ELFA, every lessor who writes auto-renew contracts and does not have a voluntarily-imposed notice policy should ask itself: By forcing auto renewal on my customer, am I risking my vendor relationship? Is there a chance this customer might repeat with me some day? And given the slowly creeping legislative trend, will the plaintiff’s bar start coming up with more effective arguments that auto-renewal is a legally-actionable unfair business practice? (This author, in a past in-house corporate life, was given the task of helping to defend his employer in such a suit. A half a million dollars later, the employer squeaked out a win.)

But those are not the only questions a lessor might want to ask himself. They all grow out of simple pragmatism – what the German philosopher Emmanuel Kant called the “hypothetical imperative” – and nothing more. But Kant’s “categorical imperative” – the “Do unto Others” question – would be: Would I want that to happen to me? This author represents lessors, not lessees, and so it’s not my purpose to moralize here. It’s simply a question I pose for the thinking lessor.

Michael Witt was Managing Counsel at Wells Fargo & Co and Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Advanta Leasing Corporation. He is now in private practice in Iowa.
Michael J. Witt Law Offices
4342 Oakwood Lane
2nd Floor
West Des Moines, IA 50265
Tel: (515) 868-1067

Previous Columns:

(This ad is a “trade” for the writing of this column. Opinions
contained in the column are those of Mr. Michael Witt, Esq.)



Lease Broker Assistant joins “Back Office List”

Company Name
Year Founded

Web site



Additional Services Offered

Yearly Volume


Major Clients

Lease Broker Assistant, LLC
voice 407.964.1232
fax 386.845.0235         
Skype ID    LeaseBrokerAssistant
Yahoo ID   Lease BrokerAssistant


CEO Dee DiBenedictis

Support for independent Lease Brokers, Lessors and Captive Leasing Companies; Credit and Documentation processing, Marketing Assistance; Out of Office phone and fax support

call us for client references

Back Office List:”

Classified---“Back Office:”


Classified Ads---Help Wanted


Newport Beach, CA / New York, NY
20 openings CA/4 NY - Min. 1yr exp.
Est. customer/vendor a plus. Base plus comm.

Eagle Business Finance is a national Leasing company offering brokered and internal funding services from $1,000 to $2,800,000

5 Years+ Small Ticket or Middle Market Exp.
with Established Customer/Vendor relationships.
Remote Office or On Site/
Attn: Mike Lockwood or Russ Runnalls CLP

TEQlease Provides Customized Equipment
Leasing Solutions For Businesses Nationwide


Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees.



Leonardo da Vinci's Resume
by Marc Cenedella, Founder & CEO,

Self-portrait in red chalk, circa 1512

Before he was famous, before he painted the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, before he invented the helicopter, before he drew the most famous image of man, before he was all of these things, Leonardo da Vinci was an artificer, an armorer, a maker of things that go "boom".

And, like you, he had to put together a resume to get his next gig. So in 1482, at the age of 30, he wrote out a letter and a list of his capabilities and sent it off to Ludovico il Moro, Duke of Milan.

Well, we at have tracked down that resume, and you can click on the image below to see the full-size version.

The translation of this letter is quite remarkable:

"And if any of the above-named things seem to anyone to be impossible or not feasible, I am most ready to make the experiment in your park, or in whatever place may please your Excellency - to whom I comment myself with the utmost humility, etc."

What a fantastic piece of personal marketing! There's none of his famous backwards-mirror writing here — this letter was intended to be read and to persuade.

I'm a hopeless pedant, so of course I'm going to take this opportunity to let you know what you can learn from Leonardo's resume...

You'll notice he doesn't recite past achievements. He doesn't mention the painting of the altarpiece for the Chapel of St Bernard; he doesn't provide a laundry list of past bombs he's built; he doesn't cite his prior employment in artist Andrea di Cione's studio.

No, he does none of these things, because those would be about his achievements, not the Duke's needs.

Instead, he sells his prospective employer on what Leonardo can do for him.

Now imagine being the Duke of Milan and receiving this magnificent letter/resume from the young Wunderkind of Florence. The specific descriptive paint a wonderful picture (that is, if you're a Renaissance Duke) of siege engines and bombardments and mortars and trench-draining and bridges to defeat the enemy. You can almost imagine the scenes that ran through the Duke's head as he held this letter in his hands and read through Leonardo da Vinci's bold statements of capabilities.

I mean, at that time, who wouldn't want "kinds of mortars; most convenient and easy to carry; [that] can fling small stones almost resembling a storm"? Sounds pretty enticing.

And that's exactly what your resume needs to do, too. Not the laundry list / standard bio that talks about you, but the marketing piece that talks about the benefits to your future employer and how you fit into his or her needs and desires.

So it turns out that even 500 years later, this remarkable fellow, Leonardo da Vinci, can even teach us something about the modern job hunt. What a genius. ..

Here's wishing you an illustrious week, Readers!

Warmest regards,
Marc Cenedella, Founder & CEO,


February CLP Circular--John Byrum/Doug Houlahan

The February Certified Leasing Professional Circular introduces the 2010 president Chris Walker, CLP, GreatAmerica Leasing with information about the foundation, introducing two members:

An Interview with John Byrum, CLP

John Byrum, CLP
Oce Financial

Q: Can you share a little about your background and how you got started in the leasing business?
My plunge into the equipment leasing world began in 1980 when I was promoted to Leasing Manager at Pitney Bowes Credit Corporation (PBCC). Since that entry into the industry, I have held numerous positions including President & Managing Director of Pitney Bowes Credit Australia Limited (PBCAL), Vice-President — Broker Services for Colonial Pacific Leasing Corporation (CPLC) and Director of Leasing — Digital Print Systems for Oce Financial Services (OFSI); the position I hold today. My career in this industry has been a labor of love. Every day is different and the opportunity to work with some of the best minds the leasing world has to offer is something I still get excited about and utilize often. Most of my experience has been in the captive leasing field but my most enjoyable experience was working with CLPC. This position allowed me to work with and get to know many people in the lease broker world. Being a part of NAELB, UAEL and other broker organizations was rewarding and refreshing. It also allowed me to become a part of the CLP Foundation; one of my proudest moments. When I was hired by Oce Financial Services, I trumpeted the value and education this organization could provide and I am proud to say that OFSI now has two more CLP members with several more preparing to take the test.

Q: What do I enjoy most about my job?
As I mentioned in my first answer, everyday is different and the challenges my team and I face are constantly changing and evolving. We have to continuously work to get ahead of the deal and make sure it is done correctly. That is the part I love the most. I relish the chase and the finding new ways to get around the pitfalls that may get in the way.

Q: What are the biggest challenges in my day?
I have two very large and critical challenges. In this day and time, getting access to credit is my single biggest challenge. With the economy in turmoil, it has become much more difficult to get even the best of customers' credit approved. Even in a captive environment, credit is critical to the success of every leasing organization. The second challenge I face on a daily basis is access to resources. When the economy turned downward, it became necessary to eliminate several positions. Now that the economy appears to be stabilizing and business is picking up, the number of resources I have available to process the business is barely enough. We had to learn how to do more with less; not an easy proposition.

Q: If I could be a superhero, what would be my superpower and why?
Actually, my favorite superhero is Batman. He is the only superhero without super powers. He relies on his training, his instincts, his abilities and his intelligence to defeat evil and does a great job of it. That is who I aspire to be.

Q: Would I share an interesting hobby or accomplishment?
During the 60's and early 70's, I was a lead guitar player in a rock and roll band in Tennessee where I grew up. We were very popular in and around the Knoxville/Chattanooga, TN area. We broke up as a band in early 1970 but remained friends. In 2009, a local arts council asked if we would reunite for a fund-raising. We all agreed to do it. We spent about 2 months practicing in Tennessee for this event which was a resounding success. It was so successful, our hometown, Madisonville, TN asked us to perform for a 4th of July event the city was hosting. We were all somewhat overwhelmed by the turnout. There were over 5,000 people there to hear us play. The townspeople had not forgotten our band. We are now practicing for another arts council fund-raiser in April, 2010.

Another hobby I have is riding my Harley. I love to ride and feel the freedom it allows. The Harley Owners Group I belong to hosts several fund raising events. I love the rumble of 3500 Harley's; especially knowing it is for a great cause. Let's ride!


An Interview with Doug Houlahan, CLP

Doug Houlahan, CLP
Maxim Commercial Capital

Like most of us I believe I tripped and accidentally landed in the leasing business. It wasn't an industry I consciously pursued, but as a serial entrepreneur I liked the diversity of the business and the opportunities to get an inside look at so many different businesses.

While in my second year of graduate school and running a Wells Fargo Bank branch I met Chris Enbom, CEO and founder of Allegiant Partners Inc. I was actually trying to get my wife a job as she had been in the leasing business for a few years and was commuting to the East Bay and I thought a job close to home in Marin County would be an ideal situation. Ultimately, after a few months of discussion, I joined Allegiant as a Controller, but very quickly found myself participating in many roles in this rapidly growing five person company.

As Allegiant grew, so did my responsibilities and my introduction to all aspects of the business and really the "on the job" CLP education. In addition to my initial accounting role I very quickly became involved in business development and over the next five to six years actively participated and/or was involved in Accounting and Audits, Credit and Underwriting, Documentation, managing banking relationships and credit lines, collection efforts including litigation, and various software and system integrations, a complete CLP education.

In January 2009 as the liquidity crisis had us all in it's gripped I left Allegiant Partners and was introduced to a group of businessman in the Los Angeles area that wanted to enter the Equipment Leasing world and I was the final piece to their puzzle. The timing of this meeting was serendipitous and within a few weeks Maxim Commercial Capital was born and our first deals were funded.

The last year has been a whirlwind and I'm amazed at how closely the CLP materials and test actually mimic my day to day responsibilities of running a leasing company and growing a balance sheet. As I write this "Spotlight" I am preparing for our accounting audit, closing out the year-end financials, working on obtaining our first bank warehouse line, creating documentation for outside investments, and for two real estate backed transactions, negotiating and filing suit on several defaulted transactions and working on a business plan for developing a small direct origination team. Unbelievably it's all in a days work and I truly believe the CLP preparation has allowed me to more effectively handle every aspect of this business.

While I am not at the office, which is actually two blocks from my house, I'm spending time with my wife Angie and our three young children, Lauren (6), Brady (4) and Ryan (2) in and around our home about 30 minutes north of San Francisco, CA. As native Midwesterners we don't miss a day to appreciate the beautiful place we live!

The perfect start to my day involves some sort of early morning exercise, preferably an outdoors hike or run here in beautiful Marin County, followed by my favorite cup(s) of Peet's Coffee!

February CLP Circular edition:


Fernando's View
By Fernando F. Croce

Moviegoers can check in suspenseful “Shutter Island” or climb the poetic heights of “North Face,” while DVD viewers can enjoy underrated performances by Robert De Niro (“Everybody’s Fine”) and Audrey Tautou (“Coco Before Chanel”), and discover a genuine masterpiece (“Make Way for Tomorrow”).

Shutter Island (Paramount Pictures): You know you’re in for a wild, passionate time when you step into a movie by Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese (“Taxi Driver,” “The Departed”). His new movie, a powerful thriller set in the 1950, is no exception. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Teddy Daniels, a U.S. marshal who, along with his partner (Michael Ruffalo), gets tangled in a murky investigation in an insane asylum located in an isolated Massachusetts island. As patients disappear in the fog and doctors reveal increasingly creepy sides, will the heroes uncover the truth or become just another lost soul in the maze of insanity? Mixing suspense with keen cinematic sophistication, it’s a nail-biting ride full of surprises and solid performances from a cast that also includes Michelle Williams, Ben Kingsley and Max von Sydow.

North Face (Music Box Films): Ever since the 1920s, Germany has held a long tradition of poetic and exciting stories set on mountaintops. This updated version, based on a true story, offers some of the adventure of those alpine classics. Set in 1936, it tells the tale of Toni Kurtz (Benno Furmann) and Andi Hinterstoisser (Florian Lukas), a pair of daring rock-climbers who become reluctant stars of nascent Nazi propaganda by agreeing to conquer the dangerous Swiss Eiger mountains. Though the plot has plenty of interest for history buffs, the movie’s greatest asset remains its visual splendor. Making exceptional use of snowy peaks and endless icy expanses, director Philipp Stolzl creates a memorable blend of danger and exhilaration. Make sure to get a large screen. With subtitles.

Netflix tip: Hopefully the Criterion release of “Make Way for Tomorrow” will help a whole new generation of movie-lovers rediscover the beauties of Leo McCarey. In the meantime, hit your Netflix queue for the other glories of this underrated director: “Duck Soup” (the Marx Brothers’ funniest movie), the peerless screwball comedy “The Awful Truth” (with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne), and the melancholy, heartfelt “An Affair to Remember.”

New on DVD:

Everybody’s Fine (Miramax Films): More often remembered for his brilliant portrayals of brutal, volatile men (“Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull”), Robert De Niro gives a beautifully understated performance in this sensitive Christmas family drama. He plays Frank Goode, a recent widower who, upon learning that none of his kids will be able to make it home for the holidays, packs his bags and decides to visit them himself. His son (Sam Rockwell) is a Denver musician, while one daughter (Kate Beckinsale) is a Chicago executive and the other (Drew Barrymore) is a Las Vegas dancer. Will the discoveries he makes about each of them put a strain on the family, or will they bring them closer together? Warmly acted and keenly observed, this is a terrific choice for audiences looking for enjoyable Christmas entertainment.

Coco Before Chanel (Sony Pictures Classics): Better known for such sweetheart roles as "Amelie," Audrey Tautou will surprise audiences with her tough performance in this polished biography of the legendary French fashion staple. Chronicling Coco Chanel's early years leading up to her breakout in the clothing industry, it follows her from a stubborn orphan to a young seamstress who buckled society's definitions of how women should dress, including her relationships with a rich playboy (Benoit Poelvoorde) and a dashing British suitor (Alessandro Nivola). Though not as affecting as "La Vie en Rose," the biopic about Edith Piaf from a few years back, the movie remains a satisfying entertainment thanks to director Anne Fontaine's flavorful period re-creations and the chemistry between Tautou and Poelvoorde. With subtitles.

Make Way for Tomorrow (Criterion): One of cinema’s greatest humanist filmmakers, Leo McCarey was a master at combining laughter and heartbreak. That unique gift, so pronounced in “Going My Way” and “The Bells of St. Mary,” is at its purest in this masterpiece from 1937, finally available on DVD and getting the full, deluxe Criterion treatment. It tells the story of Ma (Beulah Bondi) and Pa Cooper (Victor Moore), an elderly couple who gradually become estranged after they’re forced to live with their grown children. Though the story may sound depressing, McCarey and his matchless actors endow it with lovely humor, pathos, and human dignity. Orson Welles famously said that this film could “make a rock cry,” so bring a box of tissues.



Manhattan, Kansas--Adopt-a-Dog


Saint Bernard St. Bernard, German Shepherd Dog [Mix]
Large Senior Male Dog Pet ID: Buster

Buster is an older dog who is looking for is forever "retirement" home. He is very sweet and has been around many other dogs and cats, but is happiest being the only dog. He has also been around children, and has shown no aggression towards them, but doesn't seem to enjoy them very much, so he would probably like to have a home without young children. Buster came from a bad place as a puppy, so he is frightened of loud noises, and is shy around new people, but warms up to you once he feels comfortable. Buster is house-trained, neutered, and will be brought up to date on vaccines.

If you are interested in adopting this pet, please visit our website at and click on "Adoptions Process". You will be asked to complete some paperwork. By filling out this paperwork you are not committing yourselves to the pet you're interested in, it's a pre-screening process that must be completed before you meet the dog. Please do this BEFORE calling. Thank you!”

Before you adopt from RCHS

* Riley County Humane Society Inc.
* Manhattan, KS
* 785-776-8433

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

Adopt a Pet



Meet and learn from Mr. Terry Winders, CLP

Leasing #102 columnist for Leasing News,
long time educator and trainer

Sales and Operations
click here for course information and to register

April 12th until Noon on the 14th
Seattle, Washington
Hosted by Financial Pacific

$395.00 Paid in Advance for first person from company
$345 with each additional attendee 

"Certified Leasing Professionals attending this seminar will earn CPEs (Continuing Professional Education)
Credits toward their recertification"


News Briefs----

Largest Monitor Lessor Cut to Junk By Fitch on AIG’s Limited Support

Fed Move May Signal End to Easy Bank Profits

Morgage Rates fall below 5%

PGA Tour commissioner: Woods to return to therapy



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Evan Lysacek wins first gold for U.S. since Brian Boitano,0,3540068.story

Vonn falters, Squaw Valley's Mancuso captures second silver at Winter Games in Vancouver


California Nuts Briefs---

How Arnold Schwarzenegger cleared an $80,000 tax lien for twenty bucks

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For a Bloody Mary to Make You Pucker

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French wine exports plunge by a fifth

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Winery Atlas

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page

The London International Vintners Exchange (Liv-ex) is an electronic exchange for fine wine.



Today's Top Event in History

1993- Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" became the longest-running number-one pop single of the rock era, topping the Billboard chart for the 14th week. It broke the record set the previous October by Boyz II Men's "End of the Road." Before that, the record was held by Elvis Presley's double-sided hit "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog," which was number one for 11 weeks in 1956.


This Day in American History

    1674 - The Treaty of Westminster was signed, ending the Anglo-Dutch War; under its terms, New Netherlands (New York) became British.
    1803-Ohio became the 17th state. Although slavery had been outlawed in the Northwest Territory by the Norwest Ordinance in 1787, Ohio was the first state in which slavery was forbidden by law from the beginning of statehood. Vermont had outlawed slavery with the adoption of its constitution in July, 1777, some six months after its declaration of independence.
    1810 - The famous "cold day" in New England. Gale force winds wrecked homes, and accompanied a sudden overnight drop in temperature of 50 degrees. Tragedy struck Sanbornton, NH where three children froze to death.
    1807- Aaron Burr was arrested in Wakefield, AL, by Captain Edmund P. Gaines and taken to Richmond, VA, where he was brought before Chief Just John Marshall of the U.S. Circuit Court on March 30. Burr served as vice-president, after losing the election in an electoral 35th ballot in the House of Representatives to Thomas Jefferson in 1804 (in those days, president and vice-president did not run together). He served under Jefferson from 1801 to 1805 and was not re-elected, although Thomas Jefferson was re-elected president from 1805 to 1809. In 1807, Burr was accused of organizing an expedition to invade Mexico and set up a separate republic in the Southwest. On June 24, he was indicted for treason. The trial began on August 3 and ended in an acquittal on September 1.
    1821-Union General Francis Preston Blair, Jr., born in Lexington, Kentucky. The colorful Blair was instrumental in keeping Missouri part of the Union during the early stages of the Civil War.
    1831-Locomotive to burn coal: the first trial of the first locomotive to burn coal was the York, invented by Phineas Davis, a watchmaker, and built at York, PA. Ironically, the only accident in which the train was involved occurred on September 27, 1835, as the result of a defective track. the accident killed Phineas Davis, who was riding on the locomotive.
    1847- In the eastern foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, a relief party reaches the Donner Party, finding only about half of the original eighty-nine pioneers have survived.
    1851- Angry San Francisco vigilantes take the law into their own hands.

    1856-Tintype Camera: Profession Hamilton Smith, professor of natural sciences, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH, received a patent for a tintype camera for “photographic pictures on japanned surfaces.” the photographs were collodion positives on black or chocolate-colored iron plates. 1858 -- Leschi, chief of the Nisqually & Yakama, is hanged for leading attack on Seattle, Washington territory. Native American Leschi hanged for his role in the Indian Wars of 1855-56. His belief that reservations were first step to annihilation led him to encourage an uprising by Coastal tribes in the Puget Sound region surrounding Seattle. See Della Gould Emmons sympathetic novelization, Leschi of the Nisquallies (Dennison, 1965).
    1864-Knights of Pythias: The social and fraternal order of the Knights of Pythias was founded at Washington, DC by Justus H. Rathbone, and embraces more than two thousand subordinate lodges in the United States and Canada
    1878-Phonograph: Thomas Alva Edison of Menlo Park, NJ, secured a patent on a ‘phonograph or speaking machine.” his original idea had been to invent a telegraph repeater, and he had given construction directions to one of his mechanics, John Kreuis, on August 12, 1877. The first cylinder, operated by a hand crank, was wrapped in tin foil, with which two needles fastened to diaphragms made contact. The first voice recorded on the new instrument was “Mary had a little lamb”. A clock spring motor and wax like record were invented some ten years later called the Graphpone, manufactured by Bell and Tainter, Washington, DC. The first phonograph record on the modern disk type was invented by Emile Berlinger of Washington, DC, easier to duplicate for mass market than the Edison Recording Cylinder and called Berlinger’s “Gramophone” record.
    1884 - Severe thunderstorms spawned sixty tornadoes in the southeastern U.S., killing more than 420 persons and causing three million dollars damage. Georgia and the Carolinas hardest were hit in the tornado outbreak.
    1897 - Mrs. Hoodless founded the first Women's Institute at Stoney Creek in Ontario, Canada.
    1897-Trumpet Player Johnny Dunn birthday, Memphis, TN
    1899 --- Louis” Kid Shots” Madison birthday
(great story with much about “Kid Shots”, a true New Orleans brass band cornet player, who was with the Original Tuxedo Orchestra and Eureka Brass Bands, better known than Bunk Johnson is known today. Read the story. Several albums exist with his playing).
    1903-saxophone player Clarence Hall Birthday, New Orleans, LA
    1903 -- Kay Boyle born St. Paul, Minnesota. Novelist, short story writer, anti-war activist. Wrote Plagued by Nightingales. Reportedly Loved Dubonnet, Paul Robeson, razor clams, and sang "Miss Otis Regrets" like no one else. In Paris in the 20's, NY in the 40's and in jail in the 60's. Close friends included James Joyce, Man Ray, Picasso, Joan Baez, and Katherine Anne Porter. S. I. Hayakawa labeled her the most dangerous woman in America. In 1967 at the height of the Vietnam War protests, Hayakawa, president of SF State University, (& later US Senator), publicly fired Boyle for her active role in the student protests. She was 65 years old. I interviewed her several times and found her to be an extremely bright, articulate person, seemingly with something profound to say at each interview. As an American expatriate writing in Paris in the 20's & 30's, a journalist documenting the fall of France in the 40's for The New Yorker, a blacklisted writer in the 50's, an anti-war activist & essayist in the 60's & 70's, & founder of the San Francisco chapter of Amnesty International in the 80's, Kay Boyle's literary and political career is a chronicle of the events & concerns of the 20th century. Kay Boyle wrote 18 novels, 60 short stories, numerous children's books, & six collections of essays. She received many awards including two Guggenheim's & a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Throughout all of this, she had three husbands & six children. ”Considered herself a citizen of the world, and for over thirty of her 90 years, lived in Europe. Her books are being reissued in Germany and are still available in France. Beginning in 1923, when she issued, along with 16 other expatriate writers, a proclamation calling for ‘The Revolution of the Word,’ which mirrored the decadence & self-involvement of the era by declaring that ‘the writer expresses, he does not communicate,’ to the 1985 publication of Words That Somehow Must Be Said, a collection of her poetic and searing essays composed primarily while she was imprisoned for protesting the Vietnam War, Kay Boyle utilized and transformed the political and social realities of her times into art, as she has admitted, it cost her dearly. Cited in 1928 by Katherine Anne Porter as the next James Joyce or Gertrude Stein, Kay Boyle nevertheless remains one of the most unsung women writers of the century, repeatedly overshadowed by many of her less accomplished contemporaries. Perhaps because Boyle chose to pursue the path of "a moralist in the highest sense of the word, speaking briefly & clearly of the dignity and integrity of individual man." Perhaps because early in her career she made a conscious decision that politics were as important as art. Perhaps it is because, as Studs Terkel suggested, just when her work was beginning to reach a wider audience she was blacklisted. She died in 1992.
    1910 - At a New York dinner party, host Diamond Jim Brady ate five helpings of roast beef, gallons of stewed fruit, 84 oysters and three gallons of orange juice.

    1912-Modern jazz bandleader Stan Kenton was born in Wichita, Kansas. He was best known for his jazz concertos and opuses which came to be known as progressive jazz. Kenton also an interest in Latin American music, and his orchestra had a hit in the late 1940's with "The Peanut Vendor." Kenton maintained a big band for more than 35 years, beginning in 1940. He died in Los Angeles on August 25th, 1979.
    1912 -- In the Bread Roses Strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, 200 police draw their clubs and go after 100 women pickets, knocking them to the ground and beating them. As the police clubbing become more frequent & violent, strike leader Big Bill Haywood urges the women not to picket. Instead of agreeing, an Italian woman suggests):
"Tomorrow morning, man no go on picket line. All man, boy stay home, sleep. Only woman, girl on picket line tomorrow morning. Soldier and policeman no beat woman, girl. You see, I got big belly, she too got big belly. Policeman no beat us." The next morning, however, the women are out in full force, only to be beaten so badly that the Italian woman who spoke at the meeting and Bertha Crouse, another pregnant striker, lose their babies and almost die.
    1916- George Edward “Eddie” Arcaro birthday, broadcaster and jockey born at Cincinnati, OH. Acrcaro is the only jockey to win racing’s Triple Crown twice, triumphing with Whirlaway in 1941 and Citation in 1947. . In all, he won five Kentucky Derbies, six Preakness Stakes and six Belmont Stakes. Died at Miami, FL. Nov 14, 1997.
    1917 -Birthday of author Carson McCullers. Her “Heart is a Lonely Hunter” (1940) made her famous at age 23. She also authored “Reflection in a Golden Eye” (1941), “The Ballad of the Sad Café” and the much praised play “The Member of the Wedding” and numerous short stories of great quality and sensitivity.
    1918 - In Russia, a decree abolishing all private ownership of land, water and natural resources was issued by the Soviet Central Executive Committee. Many American companies lost all their investment and cash in the Soviet.
    1919- First Pan-African Congress organized in Paris by WEB DuBois.
    1922 - Ed Wynn became the first big-name, vaudeville talent to sign as a radio talent. Until then, top talent did not consider radio respectable.
    1933 -Giant Forest CA received 60 inches of snow in just 24 hours, a state record, and the second highest 24 hour total of record for the U.S.
    1934 - The University of Southern California (USC) and Notre Dame were both given as examples of commercialism in intercollegiate sports when each of them signed a three-year football contract, while other schools were "feeling the depression."
    1934- Bob and Dolores Hope marry
    1940-Smokey Robinson birthday, song writer, lead singer with the Miracles, Smokey Robinson, born Detroit, Michigan. Bob Dylan once said was his favorite poet, Robinson developed into one of the foremost songwriters and singers in pop music. He had formed a band called the Miracles in high school. The group met Berry Gordy Junior in 1957, and the success of the Miracles first single, "Bad Girl," convinced Gordy to make Motown records a national company. The Miracles put Motown on the map in 1960 with "Shop Around," the company's first million-seller. The Miracles were one of Motown's premier groups, with hits such as "Get Ready," "Second That Emotion" and "Tracks of My Tears." Robinson left the group in 1972 to record on his own, - and to continue his duties as a vice-president of Motown.
    1942-Japanese interned: as a result of President Franklin Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066, some 110,000 Japanese-Americans living in coastal Pacific areas were placed in concentration camps in remote areas of Arizona, Arkansas, inland California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. Two-thirds of them were American citizens. These interned American citizens lost an estimated $400 million in property. They were allowed to return to their homes Jan 2, 1945. Most of us never experienced the fear or these early war times, especially here in California where roads to the beaches were destroyed, railroad tracks, and black outs as we feared invasion from Japan. It should also be known. During confinement within the armed, barbed-wire surroundings, however, prayer meetings, Bible studies and worship services were held. When offered to fight in the European war, Japanese-American division were unheralded in their courage and duty to the United States, winning great respect from the other units that fought along with them. It was not until the end of the 20th century that other American’s admitted their shame and guilt; however, many of us who did not live in that time period do not understand the hysteria brought by the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, that brought Japanese conquests in Singapore and the Nazi government then to join an “axis” against the British and the United States. It was not until that time that the United States actually entered the European war.

    1942 - General Dwight D. Eisenhower is appointed chief of the War Plans Division of the US Army General Staff.
    1942 - Port Darwin, on the northern coast of Australia, was bombed by about 150 Japanese warplanes. General George C. Kenney, who pioneered aerial warfare strategy and tactics in the Pacific theater, ordered 3,000 parafrag bombs to be sent to Australia, where he thought they might come in handy against the Japanese. Darwin was virtually leveled by 64 bombing raids over 21 months.
    1942 - On Victor Records, Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded "I’ll Take Tallulah". Some other famous musicians were in the studio too, including Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford and the Pied Pipers, Ziggy Elman and drummer Buddy Rich.
    1942 - The New York Yankees said they would admit 5,000 uniformed servicemen to each of their home ball games for free during the coming season.
    1943- Cass Elliot of the Mamas and Papas was born in Baltimore. The light folksy sound of the Mamas and Papas was featured on such '60s hits as "California Dreamin'," "Monday, Monday" and "Dedicated to the One I Love." The group disbanded in 1968 because of legal and personal problems. Cass Elliot continued to record on her own, scoring a big hit with "Dream a Little Dream of Me." She died in 1974.
    1945-Iwo Jima: Beginning at dawn, the landing of 30,000 American troops took place on the barren 12-square-mile island of Iwo Jima. Initially there was little resistance, but 21,500 Japanese stood ready underground to fight to the last man to protect massive strategic fortifications linked by tunnels. This was a major battle in World War II.
    1945- Woody Herman’s First Herd waxes “Apple Honey,”” Laura,” New York City. 1955 - Dot Records launched "Two Hearts, Two Kisses, One Love", the first single by Pat Boone.
    1946—Top Hits
Symphony - The Freddy Martin Orchestra (vocal: Clyde Rogers)
I Can’t Begin to Tell You - Bing Crosby with the Carmen Cavallaro Orchestra
Aren’t You Glad You’re You - Bing Crosby
Guitar Polka - Al Dexter
    1946—Birthday of Karen Silkwood, documented safety infractions at Kerr-McGee Corp. Cimarron Facility involving the misuse of radioactive materials. Her mysterious death rather than covering up the infractions prompted congressional hearings.
    1949-Bollingen Prize to Ezra Pound: The first Bollingen Prize for poetry was awarded to Ezra Pound for his collection The Pisano Cantos. The first awarded was steeped in controversy because Pound had been charged with treason after making pro-Fascist broadcasts in Italy during World War II. Mr. Pound was presented with the prize for his poetry collection, "The Pisano Cantos". The Bollingen Prize was presented annually through 1963 when Robert Frost was the recipient, after which it became a biennial award. The $5,000 award was upped to $10,000 in 1989 when Edgar Bowers was the prize winner, and to $25,000 in 1995. The $25,000 award went to poet, Kenneth Koch.
    1952-Amy Tan Birthday, American-Chinese author. At age 26, she learned that her mother had three daughters from a previous marriage and journeyed to China to meet them. The experience helped inspire her first novel, The Joy Luck Club (1989), a collection of stories about three generations of Chinese and Chinese-American women. The book became a bestseller and was made into a movie in 1993.Tan's second novel, The Kitchen God's Wife (1991), was followed in 1995 by The Hundred Secret Senses, which explored ghosts, past lives, and Asian vs. American values. She also wrote two children's books and played in a band called the Rock Bottom Remainders with fellow writers Stephen King and Dave Barry
    1954---Top Hits
Oh! My Pa-Pa - Eddie Fisher
Secret Love - Doris Day
Till Then - The Hilltoppers
Wake Up, Irene - Hank Thompson
    1954- T-Bird Hatches

    1955-saxophone player David Murray birthday, Berkeley, CA.
    1956-- Elvis Presley performs three shows at Fort Homer Hesterly Armory, Tampa, FL, billed as "Country Music's Mr. Rhythm."
    1958 - The Miracles released their first single, "Got a Job," on lead singer Smokey Robinson's 18th birthday. The record was an answer to the Silhouettes' number-one hit, "Get a Job." The other side of the record was “My Mama Done Told Me.” Motown released first Miracles single, "Got a Job" b/w "My Mama Done Told Me".
    1960 -Bill Keane's "Family Circus" cartoon strip debuts
    1962---Top Hits
Duke of Earl - Gene Chandler
Norman - Sue Thompson
The Wanderer - Dion
Walk on By - Leroy Van Dyke
    1963- Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique this month, a call for women to achieve their full potential. Her book generated enormous response and revitalized the women's movement in the US.
    1963 - Russia told President John F. Kennedy that it would withdraw several thousand troops from Cuba by March 15.
    1965 - Rod Stewart and his group The Soul Agents played their first major gig at a club in the London Borough of Harrow.
    1966--The first concert presented by Chet Helms at the San Francisco Fillmore with Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company.
    1966--Lou Christie enjoys his only US number one record with "Lightnin' Strikes", a song that his record company, MGM, hated so much, they initially refused to release.
    1966- Penn State University named Joe Paterno its head football coach. Through the 1997 season, Paterno’s teams had complied a record of 298 wins, 77 losses and 3 ties. the Nittany Lions have won 18 bowl games and 2 national championships with Paterno at the helm.
    1966 - Robert F. Kennedy suggested the U.S. offer the Vietcong a role in governing South Vietnam.
    1968--ZABITOSKY, FRED WILLIAM Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class (then S/Sgt.), U.S. Army, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 19 February 1968. Entered service at: Trenton, N.J. Born: 27 October 1942, Trenton, N.J. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sfc. Zabitosky, U.S. Army, distinguished himself while serving as an assistant team leader of a 9-man Special Forces long-range reconnaissance patrol. Sfc. Zabitosky's patrol was operating deep within enemy-controlled territory when they were attacked by a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army unit. Sfc. Zabitosky rallied his team members, deployed them into defensive positions, and, exposing himself to concentrated enemy automatic weapons fire, directed their return fire. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Sfc. Zabitosky ordered his patrol to move to a landing zone for helicopter extraction while he covered their withdrawal with rifle fire and grenades. Rejoining the patrol under increasing enemy pressure, he positioned each man in a tight perimeter defense and continually moved from man to man, encouraging them and controlling their defensive fire. Mainly due to his example, the outnumbered patrol maintained its precarious position until the arrival of tactical air support and a helicopter extraction team. As the rescue helicopters arrived, the determined North Vietnamese pressed their attack. Sfc. Zabitosky repeatedly exposed himself to their fire to adjust suppressive helicopter gunship fire around the landing zone. After boarding 1 of the rescue helicopters, he positioned himself in the door delivering fire on the enemy as the ship took off. The helicopter was engulfed in a hail of bullets and Sfc. Zabitosky was thrown from the craft as it spun out of control and crashed. Recovering consciousness, he ignored his extremely painful injuries and moved to the flaming wreckage. Heedless of the danger of exploding ordnance and fuel, he pulled the severely wounded pilot from the searing blaze and made repeated attempts to rescue his patrol members but was driven back by the intense heat. Despite his serious burns and crushed ribs, he carried and dragged the unconscious pilot through a curtain of enemy fire to within 10 feet of a hovering rescue helicopter before collapsing. Sfc. Zabitosky's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
    1970---Top Hits
Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)/Everybody is a Star - Sly & The Family Stone
Hey There Lonely Girl - Eddie Holman
No Time - The Guess Who
It’s Just a Matter of Time - Sonny James
    1970 - Chicago Seven Trial: Dellinger, Davis, Hayden, Hoffman, and Rubin found guilty of crossing state lines to incite riot; Froines and Weiner acquitted; attorneys William Kunstler & Leonard Weinglass sentenced for contempt of court on February 18; all appealed on February 19
    1972- "A Horse With No Name" by America entered the US charts on its way to number one. The group, formed by three sons of American servicemen stationed in Britain, were discovered by Jeff Dexter, a deejay for a British underground radio station.
    1972-- Sammy Davis Jr. makes his notorious guest appearance on CBS' All In The Family, giving the show's main character, white bigot Archie Bunker, a big kiss.
    1972-- Nilsson's "Without You" hits #1
    1974- Dick Clark staged his first American Music Awards. The awards, determined by the votes of music fans, were a response to the industry-dominated Grammy Awards. -Smokey Robinson, Helen Reddy and Roger Miller are among the hosts at the very first American Music Awards. Created by TV veteran Dick Clark to compete with The Grammys, awards are presented based on record sales, airplay as well as votes. Among this years' winners are The Carpenters for Favorite Band, Jim Croce, Favorite Male Artist, and Tony Orlando and Dawn, Favorite Single for "Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Ole Oak Tree".
    1976 - Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby" is certified gold
    1977 - Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" was released. The album would become one of the all-time biggest sellers - over 17-million copies in the US alone. It also won 1978's Best Album Grammy. "Rumours" contained four of the band's Top- 10 hits - "Go Your Own Way," "Dreams," "Don't Stop" and "You Make Loving Fun."
    1977- Stevie Wonder won his third straight Album of the Year Grammy for "Songs in the Key of Life."
    1977-- Manfred Mann's Earth Band's "Blinded By The Light" hits #1
    1977- Right wing Rod Gilbert of the New York Rangers scored the 1,000th point of his NHL career, a goal in the Rangers’ 5-2 loss of the New York Islanders. Gilbert entered the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982.
    1977 - Snowflakes were observed at Homestead and Miami Beach in extreme southern Florida.
    1978---Top Hits
Stayin’ Alive - Bee Gees
(Love Is) Thicker Than Water - Andy Gibb
Just the Way You Are - Billy Joel
Don’t Break the Heart that Loves You - Margo Smith
    1980- vocalist Bon Scott of the Australian heavy-metal band AC/DC died after choking on his own vomit after an all- night drinking binge in London. He was 33. Scott's death came just months after AC/DC had scored their first North American success with the album "Highway to Hell." AC/DC was my son Dash’s favorite band, and I took him to all the San Francisco Bay Area concerts when he was
young. I had also seen AC/DC play in local clubs, San Jose and Campbell, when they first started out and Bon Scott was wearing his outfit, and perhaps the group never sounded as good when he was the lead singer. Perhaps you did not know, but the band was named after Scott’s mother’s sewing machine. On the back, it said “AC /DC” as it could be used in Europe as well as Australian. He thought that was cool and electric being both AC or DC, that’s what he wanted to name his band after.
    1981 - 1981, a judge in New York determined that George Harrison subconsciously plagiarized "He's So Fine" when he wrote his 1970 hit, "My Sweet Lord." "He's So Fine" was written by Ronald Mack in 1963 for the Chiffons. Both songs were number-one hits. George Harrison was ordered to pay ABKCO Music the sum of $587,000 for “subconscious plagiarism” between his song, "My Sweet Lord" and the Chiffons early 1960s hit, "He’s So Fine.”
    1981 - George Harrison was ordered to pay ABKCO Music the sum of $587,000 for “subconscious plagiarism” between his song, "My Sweet Lord" and the Chiffons early 1960s hit, "He’s So Fine". Based on the riffs, chords, melodies, octaves and notes, he lost in court.
    1984 – At the XIVth Winter Olympics in Sarjevo, Yugoslavia, skiers Phil and Steve Hahre of the US became the first brothers to finish first and second on the same Olympic event. Phil won the gold medal in the slalom, and Steve won the silver. When the XIV Winter Olympic Games ended at Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. The Soviet Union led all countries with 25 medals, the United States captured nine medals to tie for fifth place. Within the shadow of what was the Olympic Stadium, hundreds, maybe thousands, of Bosnians are now buried; the result of the civil war that began in the early 1990s
    1984- Dale Yarborough became only the second driver to win consecutive Daytona 500 races by sweeping into the lead just two times from the finish and taking the checkered flag. Yarborough joined Richard Petty in this select circle.
    1985 - Cherry Coke was introduced by the Coca-Cola Company, not at company headquarters in Atlanta, but in New York City, instead. Many who grew up in the 1950s rushed to buy the canned and/or bottled taste of nostalgia; hoping it would taste the same as they remembered. It was common to have a “Cherry Coke” or “lemon coke” and even a” chocolate coke.” Unfortunately, the taste was not what many of us remembered at the ice cream fountain or corner drug store (I guess I am that old as I remember going to Mamaroneck Junior High and stopping on the way home at the Larchmont corner drug store for a tall soda.
    1986---Top Hits
How Will I Know - Whitney Houston
When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going - Billy Ocean
Kyrie - Mr. Mister
Makin’ Up for Lost Time (The Dallas Lovers’ Song) - Crystal Gayle & Gary Morris
    1986- rap artist Kurtis Blow and rock musician Steven Van Zandt visited a Chicago high school to speak against apartheid. Van Zandt was the driving force behind Artists United Against Apartheid, a benefit group of 49 artists who recorded the 1985 hit "lSun City." Proceeds from the record were to benefit political prisoners in South Africa.
    1987- Willie Nelson's movie "Red-Headed Stranger," opened in Austin, Texas at a benefit for public television. The film, based on Nelson's 1975 concept album of the same name, also starred Katherine Ross and Morgan Fairchild.
    1987 - A controversial anti-smoking ad aired for the first time on television. It featured actor Yul Brynner in a public service announcement that was recorded shortly before his death from lung cancer.
    1988- Roy Acuff, the King of Country Music, celebrated his 50th anniversary on the Grand Ole Opry. Also marking his 50th year on the show was Acuff's player, Pete Kirby, known as Bashful Brother Oswald. Honoring Acuff were such stars as Del Reeves, Porter Wagoner and Connie Smith. Acuff came out of the East Tennessee Hills in the 1930's to become the Opry's first singing star.
    1988 - Showers and thunderstorms in the southeastern U.S. drenched Valdosta GA with more than five inches of rain, and the 24 hour rainfall total of 7.10 inches at Apalachicola FL more than doubled their previous 24 hour record for February.
    1988- Former Wham! front man George Michael played his debut solo concert at the Budokan in Tokyo. It was the first of six sold out Japanese dates on Michael's "Faith" world tour. The tour would wind up eight months later in Pensacola, Florida.
    1993- Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" became the longest-running number-one pop single of the rock era, topping the Billboard chart for the 14th week. It broke the record set the previous October by Boyz II Men's "End of the Road." Before that, the record was held by Elvis Presley's double-sided hit "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog," which was number one for 11 weeks in 1956.
    1993- Elton John had to cut short his encores at a show in Melbourne, Australia, after a swarm of crickets virtually took over the outdoor stage. John's publicist said the entertainer gave up when the bugs made the stage dangerously slippery.
    1994- Michael Jackson drew a nearly five-minute standing ovation at the Jackson Family Honors show at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. The singer, facing child abuse allegations at the time, presented a lifetime achievement award to Motown Records founder Berry Gordy. The audience later booed when they found out Michael wouldn't be performing solo at the event, which was telecast the following week. The following month, the producers of the concert sued the Jackson family, accusing them of fraud and claiming to have lost more than $1-million. $4.5- million was raised at what was billed as a charity event, but the Jackson’s later acknowledged that only $100,000 would in fact go to charity.
    1994- Olympian Bonnie Blair of Champaign, IL, became the first speed skater to win a gold medal in the same event in three consecutive Olympic Games when she won the 500 meters in Lillehammer, Norway. On Feb 23, she added a victory in the 1,000 meters to give her a total of five gold medals, more than any other American female athlete. The Soviet Union led all countries with 25 medals, the United States captured nine medals to tie for fifth place. Within the shadow of what was the Olympic Stadium, hundreds, maybe thousands, of Bosnians are now buried; the result of the civil war that began in the early 1990s.
    1995- "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson married Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee in Cancun, Mexico. The bride was reported to have worn "a very tiny - an extremely tiny - white bikini." The bridegroom wore white Bermuda shorts without shoes or shirt.



Winter Poem

Snow Day

  by Barry S. Marks, Esq.


Leah and Lauren
are building a house
out of cushions
from the love seat and sofa.

They bring treasures
to fill the room
a Lambchop pillow
a jewelry box
dolls that have name
and a few that do not.

I say that it's further argument
against replacing the berber with hardwood,
at least before next year;
you are willing to compromise
on French doors and a canopy.

And still the snow falls,
now down, now side-ways,
enveloping the house, changing
the landscape, remaking the world.

We will cook soup today,
hearty with beef and cabbage
and crowd around the fireplace
instead of the t.v.

"This is my idea", Leah announces.
"Yes", answers Lauren, "It's my idea, too."




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