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

Friday, February 6, 2015

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

Don’t Ever Give Up!
 Classified Ads---Sales
Marlin Reports 4th Quarter and Year-End Profits Up
  Business to Increase in 2015 Predicted in Earnings Report
New Hires---Promotions in the Leasing Industry
 Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted
   Leasing News Advisor 
Bob Kieve
  Channel Partners Last 20 Deals
US Oil Production Is Still Going Through the Roof
  CashCall to Pay $1 Million in Penalties/Cost Reimbursement
   Chart--50% of US Adults Are Single
    Chesswood Closes Sale of Case Funding Subsidiary
 CIT Group Examines "The Super Bowl of Betting"
  by Steve Epperly, Senior Director of CIT Corporate Finance
   The Imitation Game/Timbuktu
    Lucy/The Zero Theorem/La Cienaga
     Film/DVD Reviews by Leasing News' Fernando Croce
  Border Collie Mix & Golden Retriever Puppy
   Willingboro, New Jersey  Adopt-a-Dog
 Most Combined NFL MVPS and Super Bowl Championships
News Briefs---
Business still brisk for Calif. large-equipment vendors
 Signature Bank: The Bank with a 245% Return (SBNY)
  Amazon Losing Billions on Capital Leases
   RadioShack Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
    Mortgage rates slump on weaker than expected economic reports
     Vatican Bank may be too corrupt for Pope Francis to save
      Greek banks hit as Europe stands firm over bailout

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Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months (Be Careful of Doing Business)
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Classified Ads---Sales

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

Work Remotely
Business Development - Are you looking to enter/increase your Healthcare lending? Let me identify and qualify healthcare (all verticals) vendors, distributors, and end users who utilize leasing/financing as a tool to sell equipment for you. Many years experience - contact Mitchell Utz at or 
(215) 460-4483.

Free Posting for those seeking employment in Leasing:

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Marlin Reports 4th Quarter and Year-End Profits Up
Business to Increase in 2015 Predicted in Earnings Report
by Christopher Menkin

Thursday Close: $16.99
Volume 55,618
52wk high: $26.11
52wk low: $15.97

Fourth quarter 2014 lease production is $89.5 million based on initial equipment cost, compared to $82.5 million in the third quarter of 2014 and $90.9 million in fourth quarter of 2013. Full year lease origination volume is $334.8 million.

Year-end net income $19.3 million in 2014 compared to $16.2 million in 2013.  Cash dividends declared per share $0.47 in 2014; $2.42 in 2013. (1).

A brief financial statement is in the eight page press release. The 2013 10K report, over 100 pages, was filed March 10, 2014 and had the fee numbers, Evergreen clause numbers, and much more information
about the company.

The "Earnings Report" with stock reporters following the press release was short, but did have some revealing comments.

From Dan Dyer, Co-Founder, CEO and President:

"Our own lease business has seen a recent uptick in sales activity. The consensus for higher borrowing rates in 2015 we believe will also be a net positive for our business both from a pricing and competitive positioning standpoint."

" addition to the franchise market where there are some new markets that we're going to be entering in our core business. The commercial specialty transportation sector titled vehicles, specialty vehicles to small business. That's the new market that we'll be entering in 2015. We did a lot of market research in '13 and '14 and we're going to enter that market in '15 as well. And then in addition and not at liberty to talk more about it other than to say in addition to our equipment leasing product to small business there are other products and services that we are looking to launch in ’15 which will be complementary to what we do on the leasing side focused on small business which second-half of ’15 and ’16 will be accelerators to growth."
    Seeking Alpha (2)

From Edward Siciliano - EVP and Chief Sales Officer

"...2015 all small business economic indicators are up. We're seeing dealer demand already take up a little bit in fact if you look back at the past four quarters we kept the size of the sales force very, very flat it's 117, 115. This year we're confident enough to be adding to the size of sales force probably 10% this year..."

"Early indicator is January application activities up 15% year-over-year that's a strong indicator for us kind of validating that we're going to be investing in the business of course we've had some good weather that we have last year which held us back. You also asked about franchise, so some of it is core business growth but we're also getting it to new markets and franchise being one of them. We're making very good progress on the business development efforts and franchise so far."
  Seeking Alpha (2)

(1)Marlin Press Release 4th Quarter - Year End

(2) Seeking Alpha Earnings Call Transcript




New Hires---Promotions in the Leasing Industry

Vince Belcastro was hired as Managing Director/Group Head Corporate Equipment Finance at Santander Bank, N.A.  He joined CIT Group, July 2001, as Managing Director-Specialized Assets Manager; promoted to Group Head Capital Equipment Finance, September, 2009. Previously he was Vice President-Relationship Manager, Citibank N.A. (January 1996–September 2001); Vice President- Credit Risk, Republic National Bank (February 1991–December 1995); Assistant Vice President, Bankers Trust Corporation N.A. (September 1987–March 1991). Languages: Italian. Organizations: Equipment Leasing & Finance Association, Commercial Finance Association, Turnaround Management Association, Trustee for the ELFA Research Foundation (January 2000–Present). Education: Saint Francis College, Bachelors, Finance (1984–1989). Activities and Societies: Alpha Kappa Psi, Finance Club President, Management & Marketing Association.

Stephen R. Cain has rejoined Fairfield Capital Group, Naples, Florida, as Managing Director in its Chicago office. Mr. Cain was an original member of Fairfield Capital when it was launched in 2004, but later left to form his own investment advisory firm, Cain Capital Partners, LLC, in January, 2007, which he is still affiliated with. "Fairfield Capital Group, LLC was founded in 2004, and since that time has provided capital markets solutions to the equipment finance and leasing industry. While Fairfield Capital’s client focus is primarily on investors, we also work with issuers—whether manufacturers financing their own equipment sales or end-users trying to finance new equipment acquisitions, but encountering difficulty in raising debt or lease capital." Previously, he was Vice President, CitiCapital Commercial Corp. (April, 2004 – December, 2006); Vice President, Fleet Capital Leasing (1995 – 2004). Education: The University of Chicago - Booth School of Business, MBA, Finance. Activities and Societies: Named to the Dean's Honor List. The University of Wisconsin, BBA, Finance. Graduated with Honors Activities and Societies: Phi Kappa Phi honor society, Beta Gamma Sigma honor society. Von Steuben High School.

Isabel Fernandez was announced as Chief Commercial Officer at GE Capital. Greater New York City Area.  According to LinkedIn, she was promoted to this position, April, 2014. She joined GE Commercial Finance, December, 2000, as SVP Structured Finance, promoted to MD Europe, Media & Telecom, GE Commercial Finance, June, 2002.  January, 2006, she was promoted to MD Europe, Enterprise Client Group, GE & GE Capital, London, England; January, 2009 named Chief Commercial Office, GE Capital, London, UK, and July, 2012, President & CEO Bank Loan  Group, Norwalk, Connecticut. Prior to GE, she was AVP Global Clients, ABN Amro Bank, 1992, promoted to VP Project Finance, May, 1996.  Languages: Dutch, French, German, Spanish. Interests: Since Jan '13: Co leader of GE's Global Women's Network, with over 90,000 female career professionals, organizing over 3,500 events per year. Former Board Member of London First. Education: Leiden University, Masters, Law (1986 – 1993). Rijnlands Lyceum Wassenaar (1980–1985).

Jeffrey Hurrell, CAFM, was hired as Regional Sales Manager at Union Leasing Inc., Greater Los Angeles, automotive. He joined Hewlett Packard Company, August, 2007 as North American Fleet Program Manager, AMS Finance Program; promoted November, 2012 as head of Global Corporate Services, Enterprise Programs & Operations (Fleet Management). Prior he Director/Partner, Midway Car Rental dba Midway Fleet Leasing/Midway Rideshare (April 2004–July 2007); CFO/Controller, Midway Car Rental (September 1998–April 2004); VP/Controller, Brooktronics Engineering Corp (April 1979–September 1998). Organizations: GE Capital Fleet Services Client, Advisory Board Member (November 2010–Present). Additional Organizations: Member, Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association. Past PSW Chapter Board Member of the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) (ten years). Honors & Awards: Nominated for Automotive Fleet’s Fleet Manager of the Year in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Certifications: Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM). National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA). Education: Currently pursuing a MPA from Cal State Dominguez Hills. University of Redlands, BSBA, Business Management (1985–1989). Canyon High School. 

Andrew Lea was hired as Andrew Lea, Marketing Director, Channel Enablement-Strategic Alliances at Dun & Bradstreet Inc., San Francisco, CA. Previously, he was SVP – Marketing, 2RG Solutions Inc. (September 2014–January 2015); Sr. Marketing Manager, Linedata Lending & Leasing, North America (March 2013–January 2014); Marketing Manager, HCL CapitalStream (February 2012–March 2013); Vice President, Marketing & Corporate Communications, NetSol Technologies Inc. (December 1999–June 2006); Founder / Principal, Write On Target Marketing Services (February 2004– January 2015); Member, Advisory Board, Leasing News (March, 2004 – Present); Director, Marketing & Corporate Communications, McCue Systems Inc. (December 1999–June 2006); Technical Writer / Technical Marketing Specialist, Winstar Communications, Inc. (October 1998–December 1999); Technical Writer, PG&E (July 1996–October 1998). Volunteer Experience & Causes: Publicity & Communications Coordinator, Northern California Sierra Club / Trips for Kids (February, 2004). Education: University of California, Berkeley, BA, Political Science (1972–1976). New School for Social Research, New York, NY, MA, Sociology: Institutional Research Methodology (2 courses).

Tyler Leitow, Esq. was transitioned from Credit Analyst at UniFi Equipment Finance, formerly Ervin Equipment Finance, which he joined October, 2013, to Program Manager.  Previously, he was Commercial Specialist. Bank of Ann Arbor (August 2012– November 2013); Associate, Kane & Co. PLC (December 2011–August 2012); Judicial Clerkship, United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan (January 2011–May 2011); Director of Legal Research ACLU, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Grand Rapids (August 2010–May 2011); Student Magistrate, Thomas M. Cooley Law School (January 2011–March 2011); Public Law Sector Extern, Thomas M. Cooley Law School (August 2010–December 2010); Mentor and Tutor, Kentwood Public Schools (August 2010–December 2010); Legal Services Volunteer, Cooley Volunteer Corp. (September 2008–December 2010); Tutor, Central Michigan University (May 2007–December 2007); Criminal Justice Intern, Michigan Department of Corrections (April 2007–August 2007). Certifications: Licensed to Practice Law in the State of Michigan, State Bar of Michigan, License P79325. Athletic & Personal Training Certification, Action Inc, NCCA accredited, License 188470 (October 2013–October 2015); Health Care Provider CPR, American Academy of CPR and First Aid, Inc., License AB324286-HCP (September 2013–September 2013). First Aid, American Academy of CPR and First Aid, Inc., License AB324286-FA (September 2013–September 2015). Thomas M. Cooley Law School. J.D., Law, Cum Laude (2008–2011). Activities and Societies: Law Review, Director of Legal Research: ACLU-Thomas Cooley Law School, Grand Rapids Chapter, Sports and Entertainment Law Society. Washtenaw Community College, Associate of Science (A.S.), Accounting and Business, Current GPA: 3.9 (2013 – 2015). Central Michigan University, B.S., Psychology, B.S.; Sociology, B.S., Cum Laude.

Kristin MacGregor was hired as Credit analyst for UniFi Equipment Finance, formerly Ervin Equipment Finance, Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Previously, she was Credit Support Specialist 3, Citi (July 2013–January 2015); Assistant Manager, Oasis hot Tub Gardens (October 2007–February 2014); Teller Operations, University of Michigan Credit Union (February 2012–July 2013); Mortgage Loan Originator, Quicken Loans (July 2011–March 2012); Volunteer Experience: Front Desk, The Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan. Education: Eastern Michigan University (2003–2009).

Jason Oh was hired as Vendor Accounts Manager, Huntington Park, California.  Previously, he was Vendor Relations Manager, Providence Capital Funding, Inc. (September 2013–November 2014). Languages: English, Korean. Education: Fullerton College 

Lee Ritter was promoted to Business Development Officer at Lease Corporation of America, Troy, Michigan.  He joined the firm October, 2012 as Account Executive.  Previously, he was Aerospace Propulsion Craftsman, Air National Guard (April 2002–March 2014); Business Development Manager, Complete Capital Services, Inc. (April 2012–September 2012); Assistant Branch Manager, Huntington National Bank (2009–April 2012); Account Executive / Recruiter, Pulsar IT Consulting (June 2008–August 2009); Financial Services Associate, Prudential Financial (October 2007–May 2008); President/Owner, World Lending Inc (May 2006–September 2007); First Officer, Gulfstream International Airlines (2004–2005). Certifications:
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single and Multi-Engine Land, Federal Aviation Administration – FAA (December 2004 – Present). Education:
Siena Heights University, B.S., Aeronautical Science (2004).Rochester Adams

Anthony J. Salm is now Managing Director at Patriot Equipment Finance, Cleveland, Ohio, where he is one of the co-founders.  Previously he was Senior Vice President, CG Commercial Finance (July 2014–December 2014); Regional V.P. Ohio Operations, First National Capital (January 2005–July 2011); Regional Sales Manager, Tokia Bank (1994–1996). Education: Cornell University Financial Management Certification (2014–2014); Ashington University, Executive MBA Studies, Strategic Market Management
(2003–2004). Concordia College, Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.). Northern Michigan University, Business Administration and Management, General. St. Edward High School

Devin Webster joins UniFi Equipment Finance (formerly Ervin Leasing), Ann Arbor, Michigan. "Webster brings great analytical skills to the company and previous banking experience while working as an assistant branch manager for Chase bank."



Leasing Industry Help Wanted

For information on placing a help wanted ad, please click here:

Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees.


Leasing News Advisor 
Bob Kieve

Bob Kieve joined the Leasing News Advisory Board on February 4, 2005. He is most likely our oldest member, 92; perhaps, one of the most experienced radio broadcasters, commentators, with the most public experience. Not only is his “Mr. San Jose,” an award given to him for all his community service, but has served in the good will category through out the world and was one of President Dwight Eisenhower’s speech writers for three years.  He has many stories about "Ike," a person he greatly admired.

Robert S. Kieve
Empire Broadcasting
San Jose, California

Born Jersey City, NJ 
BS Harvard College: 1943 
Information Officer American Embassy, Madrid: 1943-47 
Author: El Arte Radiofonico, Spain's first book on radio broadcasting 
Program Manager: WGVA, Geneva, NY 
Promotion Writer: CBS, New York 
Special Assistant in White House Office under Eisenhower: 1953-56 
General Manager WBBF-AM_FM, Rochester: NY 1967-67 
President, Empire Broadcasting Corporation, San Jose, CA:

Robert S. Kieve is president of Empire Broadcasting Corporation, a position he has held since 1967. The company owns and operates radio stations KLIV, KARA and KRTY in San José, California, where Mr. Kieve also serves as a radio commentator.KLIV has been on the air since September 1946. It was originally KSJO, a 1000-watt daytime-only station. KLIV changed hands on July 1, 1967. It was acquired by two former Rochester, N.Y., radio executives, Robert S. Kieve and James M. Trayhern, Jr., who had incorporated as Empire Broadcasting. Four decades later, Bob Kieve has remained as the owner of KLIV, one of the few independent radio station owners left in the region.

A 1943 graduate of Harvard College, Bob began his career as an information officer at the American Embassy in Madrid, Spain, during and after World War II. Following several program director and writer positions in radio and television, he was appointed to a position as special assistant and staff writer for President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was later promoted to Special Assistant to Deputy Director of U.S. Information Agency before becoming general manager of Radio Stations WBBF and WBBF-FM in Rochester, NY. He is the author of El Arte Radiofonico, published in Madrid. An active member of the community, Mr. Kieve is past president of the Rotary Club of San José, director of the San Jose Symphony Foundation, past board member of the San Jose Symphony, member of the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee, board member of the Northern California Broadcasters Association and the California Broadcasters Association. He joined the Board of Trustees at Regional Medical Center of San Jose in 2000. He was awarded the "Mr. San Jose" by the community. 

Bob has served on many non-profits in active positions from president to chairman of committees, too numerous to mention here. 

It is his writing skills, and as important, his ability as a commentator on San Francisco Bay area radio that he is most known to the local public. His commentary is always full of wit, common sense, sophistication, and Bob is definitely known to speak his mind. Whether you agreed or did not agree with him, the audience seem to always find it a pleasure to hear his commentary. 

Bob today serves more as a mentor, someone you want to be when you grow up. When asked, he participates with his opinion on subjects and positions on Leasing News, although he is not in the equipment leasing business. He is a broadcaster. The internet is the newest median. He was one of the first to be “on line” and appreciate the direction the World Wide Web is heading. He still is very active, someone you look forward to in receiving an e-mail.



US oil production is still going through the roof

US oil production is still surging.

The boom in US shale oil production is one single factor that's been most responsible for the collapse of oil prices since mid-2014.

And via Mark Perry at the American Enterprise Institute, oil production in January was at the highest monthly level since October 1973 – 41 years ago. This surge comes even as data from Baker Hughes shows that rig counts continue to decline.



CashCall to Pay $1 Million in Penalties/Cost Reimbursement

The California Department of Business Oversight announced a settlement with CashCall, Inc. that requires the lender to provide restitution to thousands of California borrowers, reform its business practices and pay the California Department of Oversight $1 million in penalties and cost reimbursement.

"13.   CashCall shall pay to the Commissioner the sum of $800,000.00 as and for her legal, investigative and clerical costs, and $200,000 as administrative penalties, for a total of $1,000,000.00. The sum of $600,000.00 is due and payable within sixty (60) calendar days of the date of execution of this Settlement Agreement. The remaining $400,000 is due and payable within ninety (90) calendar days of execution of this Settlement Agreement (1)

The California Department of Business Oversight reported:

State law caps interest rates on consumer and commercial loans made by non-bank lenders. But the limits only apply to loans smaller than $2,500. The law imposes no interest rate restrictions on loans of $2,500 or more.

The DBO alleged CashCall used deceptive sales pitches and marketing practices to dupe consumers into taking out personal loans of $2,500 or more even though the customers didn’t need or want to borrow that much money. Here’s how the alleged scheme worked:

• In ads, CashCall said it provided personal loans of “up to” $2,600, $5,000 or $10,000. But when consumers called or visited CashCall’s website, they were told the firm did not make loans of less than $2,600.

• If consumers informed CashCall they wanted a loan of less than $2,600, CashCall told them they could just give back the amount they did not want in the form of a prepayment. That way, CashCall told consumers, they could net substantial savings on interest payments.

• However, CashCall failed to tell consumers that since the loan was for $2,600, the firm could charge unlimited interest rates. On loans of less than $2,500, in contrast, state law generally caps interest rates at about 30 percent. On the loans at issue, CashCall typically charged annual interest of 135 percent or more, and sometimes up to 179 percent.
• To make matters worse in these cases, the DBO alleged CashCall often failed to withdraw scheduled monthly payments from customers’ bank accounts. That had the effect of lengthening the loan term and reducing any interest savings.

To prevent similar violations in the future, the settlement requires CashCall to reform the way it conducts business.


  1. CashCall Settlement Agreement


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




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

Chesswood Closes Sale of Case Funding Subsidiary

Sale is Part of Strategic Alignment and Capital Deployment Maximization

Toronto, Ontario-- - Chesswood Group Limited ("Chesswood") (TSX:CHW) is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed the sale of the operations of its Case Funding subsidiary along with most of Case Funding's attorney loan portfolio, to a U.S. based private equity firm.

The purchase price paid to Case Funding was US$4.4 million. The sale, which results in a small pre-tax net gain, will allow both capital and Chesswood management attention to be focused on the expansion of Chesswood's other North American businesses.

Barry Shafran
President and CEO

"While the offer to purchase the Case Funding operations was unsolicited, we saw the transaction as not only providing us with a modest gain on our investment of only a few years, but more importantly an opportunity to seek both organic growth and acquisitions that are better aligned with our desire to invest in scalable finance businesses," said Barry Shafran, Chesswood's President and CEO.

"This sale and our recently entered into credit facility are two more steps toward our strategic growth and capital allocation initiatives. In addition to the attorney portfolio, the purchaser takes over the very capable Case Funding team and operations, which did an outstanding job of taking a start-up business to profitability in a very short time."

Most of Chesswood's earnings are generated in U.S. dollars by our American subsidiaries Pawnee Leasing Corporation and Windset Capital Corporation.

Chesswood's strategic focus is the growth, both organically and through acquisitions, of its North American finance businesses, composed of companies that can provide superior returns on capital.

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

To learn more about Chesswood Group Limited, visit

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



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

CIT Group Examines "The Super Bowl of Betting"
by Steve Epperly, Senior Director of CIT Corporate Finance

According to NBC Sports, the Super Bowl XLIX championship game between the defending champion Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots at Glendale, Ariz. was the most watched Super Bowl in history. Approximately 114.5 million viewers tuned in, toping last year’s 112.2 million.

It’s no surprise that many watched the game all the way to the end, as the New England Patriots' 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks came down to the last minute.

The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee estimates the event had an economic impact of more than $500 million in Glendale. Another town feeling a windfall from the matchup is Las Vegas. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, more than 300,000 visitors flocked to Sin City, many of them to watch the game at the city’s race and sports books. Nevada sports books are the only places in the country that legally can accept sports wagers.

The Convention and Visitors Authority says the influx of tourists for the Super bowl produced a nongaming economic impact of $124.4 million, up 1.9 percent from 2014. Sports books say the Super Bowl betting handle exceeded $100 million, largely because of a huge variety of proposition wagers ranging from which team will win the coin toss to whether a safety will be scored — which has occurred in the last three Super Bowls.

That seems like a lot of cash, but when you stack it up against illegal Super Bowl Bets, it’s small potatoes. According to the American Gaming Association, approximately $3.8 billion was placed in illegal Super Bowl bets – that’s 38 times more than the regulated market for Super Bowl wagering in the U.S.

The chorus for something to be done to remedy the huge amount of money that’s being bet illegally is rising. In a recent article in the Las Vegas Review Journal, Sen. John McCain says Congress should hold hearings whether to expand legalized sports betting that now largely is limited to sports books in Nevada. He said he favors allowing states that sponsor legalized gambling to accept sports bets as well, and would extend the invitation to Indian tribes that operate casinos.

According to the American Gaming Association, there are commercial or tribal casinos in 41 states. Including lotteries, gambling takes place in 48 states and the District of Columbia.

The Las Vegas Review also adds that sports gambling was a bright spot in Nevada last year. While casino totals dipped slightly, revenue from sports wagers hit a record $227 million, an increase of nearly 12 percent from 2013.

Nevada is one of four states that were grandfathered into the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, and allowed to sponsor sports betting. Montana, Oregon and Delaware are the others.

Another advocate for the expansion of legalized sports gambling outside of Nevada is National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver. In a recent New York Times editorial, Silver, as the first leader of a major sports league to call for change, feels sports betting should be regulated by the federal government. He says he’s advocating federal regulation because there needs to be consistency from state to state.

Whatever happens, you can be sure that with $38 billion on the line, calls for a solution to capture this lost revenue are soon to come.

To read more of Steve Epperly’s insights go to, “Betting on the Commercial Gaming Sector” (, a recent piece of market intelligence in the CIT Executive Spotlight series of in-depth executive Q&As. If you have a comment on this blog, or a suggestion for a future blog, please let us know at

Steve Epperly is Senior Director of CIT Corporate Finance, Gaming. He has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry including credit risk management, corporate finance and international trade finance. Epperly has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and an MBA from Kennesaw State University.

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



Fernando's View
By Fernando F. Croce

Two very different Oscar nominees ("The Imitation Game," "Timbuktu") arrive at the box-office, while DVD releases offer delirious action ("Lucy"), imaginative dystopia ("The Zero Theorem"), and a provocative debut ("La Cienaga").

In Theaters:

The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Company): A mix of biopic and spy thriller, this portrait of famous British mathematician Alan Turing is one of the main entries in this awards season. Benedict Cumberbatch gives an acclaimed performance as Turing, whose withdrawn but brilliant mind became invaluable at the height of World War II, when complex German codes needed to be cracked. As part of a top-secret group of young scientists, he uses his skills to try decipher enigmas and change the tide of history. While celebrated by the authorities for his work, he's also persecuted for his private life. Directed by Morten Tyldum and with an impressive supporting cast that includes Keira Knightley and Mark Strong, this is an elegantly mounted character study that shines a light on one of the period's most fascinating figures.

Timbuktu (Cohen Media Group): Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako crafts an extraordinary plea for compassion in this Oscar-nominated drama, set in the titular African region. The multi-character narrative centers on a cattle herder named Kidane (Ibrahim Ahmed), who leads a peaceful life in the sandy outskirts with his family. In the city, however, terror reigns as brutal Jihadists try to control the people by outlawing everything from music to soccer. The protagonist's life takes a sudden turn one day when a confrontation has tragic results, and the proud Kidane must go into the city to try to set things right. What follows is a remarkable view of quiet dignity in the face of violence, with the story modulating from gentle comedy to shattering tragedy. Brimming with eloquent style and powerful emotions, Sissako's film is a must-see. With subtitles.

Netflix Tip: With "Timbuktu," Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako may have his breakout hit with Western audiences. So check out his previous, equally acclaimed films, which include "Life on Earth" (1998), "Waiting for Happiness" (2002), and "Bamako" (2006).


Lucy (Universal): No stranger to butt-kicking heroines, French action specialist Luc Besson ("La Femme Nikita") scores with this delirious, nonstop thriller. Scarlett Johansson stars as Lucy, a young American who, in the midst of a joyride abroad, gets a hold of a top-secret drug. Giving her control of larger portions of her brain than most humans usually have, the experiment makes her a very precious target for a batch of unsavory figures, ranging from her seedy boyfriend (Pilou Aesbeck) and a violent gang of Korean dealers. With undreamed-of powers at her fingertips, however, Lucy proves to be more than ready for any showdown. Offering borderline surreal visuals to embody the heroine's mind-bending journey, Besson crafts his most creative and energetic movie in years, making it a splashy blast at a time when most action movies to play it safe.

The Zero Theorem (Well Go USA): Director Terry Gilliam ("Brazil") has long had a penchant for dystopian tales, and his latest film once more mines humor and dread in futuristic science-fiction. Christoph Waltz stars as Qohen Leth, a quirky programmer drudging for a vast company named Mancom. In between dealing with the corporate shrink (Tilda Swinton) and seeking out the mysterious management, Qohen finds himself experiencing a deep existential crisis, his frustration further compounded by his new assignment: solving a confounding mathematical problem known as "the zero theorem." An escape plan hangs within his reach, but can he grab his chance? Featuring Gilliam's trademark creative eccentricities and supporting turns by Matt Damon and David Thewlis, the movie is a sharp and satisfying return to the filmmaker's dazzling satirical visions.

La Cienaga (Criterion): One of the most interesting Argentine directors, Lucrecia Martel made a very impressive feature debut with this 2001 film, which doubles as a trenchant political allegory and as a darkly comic surreal drama. Set mostly in a large but crumbling country home over the course of a lazy summer holiday, the plot chronicles the lives of affluent family members like Tali (Mercedes Moran), Mecha (Graciela Borges) and Gregorio (Martin Adjemian), who wile away the hours (and their troubled relationships) by drinking on the edge of their dilapidated swimming pool while their children scamper about unsupervised. But plot is less important to Martel than atmospheric style and evocative subtext, with hints of class struggle emerging throughout this uncompromising, haunting tale. With subtitles.


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News Briefs----

Business still brisk for Calif. large-equipment vendors

Signature Bank: The Bank with a 245% Return (SBNY) 

Amazon Losing Billions on Capital Leases

RadioShack Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Mortgage rates slump on weaker than expected economic reports

Vatican Bank may be too corrupt for Pope Francis to save 

Greek banks hit as Europe stands firm over bailout




--You May Have Missed It

Global Debt Has Risen by $57 Trillion Since the Financial Crisis, Which Is Scary


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer
5 Healthy Habits That Can Cause Headaches
These Good-for-You Habits Might Be a Pain in the Head


Winter Poem 

What is snow but frozen rain that melts to become rain again?

The end of James Joyce's Book, “The Dead”

A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again… . It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.



Sports Briefs----

Tiger Woods: Delay led to tight back

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says he can't sleep
 because of Super Bowl's final play


California Nuts Briefs---

Candlestick Park destroyed as demolition crews flatten former home of San Francisco Giants and 49ers to make way for mall (With many photos)


“Gimme that Wine”

Talking wine, football with Walla Walla’s Drew Bledsoe

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in American History

     1693 – The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, was granted a royal charter.
    1756 - Birthday of Aaron Burr, 3rd Vice President of the US (Mar 4, 1801-Mar 3, 1805) at Newark, NJ. While in office, Burr is remembered most for challenging political enemy Alexander Hamilton to a duel and mortally wounded him July 11, 1804, at Weehawken, NJ.  Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson tied in the electoral vote and the election went to Congress. Hamilton, a leading Federalist, supported Jefferson. In those days, President and Vice-President were elected separately (Jefferson when he ran for re-election, choose his own Vice-President, George Clinton, starting the tradition.) It was Hamilton who denied Burr the presidency by his one vote, and lead against Burr's politics. (Hamilton was not familiar with firearms, but was a Man of Honor” and despite pleas from friends, his wife, sons, he felt he had to defend his honor, knowing it meant his death.) Indicted for the challenge and for murder, Burr returned to Washington to complete his term of office, during which he presided over the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase. Ironically, the man who was almost President joined forces, centered around land before Jefferson completed the Louisiana Purchase.  In 1807, one of his "partners" turned evidence against Burr to escape hanging, and Burr was arrested, tried for treason in an alleged scheme to invade Mexico and set up a new nation in the West and acquitted. Burr journeyed to New Orleans and entered into a conspiracy with U.S. Gen. James Wilkinson, although it is not clear what they conspired about. Wilkinson was actually in the employ of Spain at the time. This was about the time of great wars in Europe and the need for cash had France sell "the Louisiana Purchase" to the U.S. Speculation was that Burr intended either to establish an independent nation in the Southwest or to seize territory, now known as Texas, for the same purpose in Spanish America. Burr secured financing from Harman Blennerhassett, of Blennerhassett Island in the Ohio River near present-day Parkersburg, West Virginia. He set out from there in the fall of 1806 with about 60 well-armed men and headed downstream. The expedition aroused suspicion and Wilkinson, seeking to save his own skin, turned against Burr. He spread stories of Burr's intentions and sent dispatches to the government in Washington accusing Burr of treason. Burr was arrested and charged with treason, but still had many friends in Washington and was acquitted in 1807. Burr died at Staten Island, NY, Sept 14, 1836. 
    1778 - France recognized the U.S. as a sovereign nation and signed the treaty of aid in Paris.  This was the first treaty ever signed by the new republic.
    1788 - By a vote of 187 to 168, Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the Constitution. The people of this state drafted the first constitution eight years earlier, which was utilized in the formation of the US constitution. Massachusetts is derived from two Indian words meaning ‘great mountain place'. This great mountain place in New England was one of the most important of the 13 colonies in the new America, which gave it its other nickname, Old Colony State. Boston, the capital of Massachusetts, has been the center of activity in the state since those old colony days. Massachusetts state symbols include the chickadee, state bird; American elm, state tree; ladybug, state insect; "All Hail to Massachusetts", state song; and mayflower, the state flower. Which arrived first, the ship or the flower? Unique to Massachusetts is a state beverage: cranberry juice and a state muffin; I am not making this up, the corn muffin is official. The Massachusetts state motto is: Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem (By the sword we seek peace; but peace only under liberty).
    1788 - France was the first country to recognize the independence of the United States. In Paris, the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce are signed by the United States and France signaling official recognition of the new republic.
    1815 - New Jersey issued the first U.S. railroad charter, to John Stevens.   Stevens constructed the first U.S. steam locomotive, first steam-powered ferry, and first U.S. commercial ferry service from his estate in Hoboken. He was influential in the creation of U.S. patent law.  Stevens Institute is named in his honor.
    1820 – The US population was announced at 9,638,453.  There were 1,771,656 blacks (18.4%).  The number of college graduates in the U.S. was estimated by James Fenimore Cooper to be 8,000. A financial panic that struck the U.S. in 1819 still brought fear as many state banks were closed and much western property was turned over to the Bank of the United States. Immigration slowed to a trickle for almost two decades, especially after the new immigration law was enacted by Congress. Strained relations between the North and the South hinted at trouble to come as the Union consisted of 11 free and 11 slave states. The North, however, was rapidly outdistancing the South in population and held a growing numerical advantage in the House of Representatives. Ready for statehood were Maine, certain to be a free state, and Missouri, part of the Louisiana Purchase and likely to be a slave state. Big time political machines were introduced in the US led by a group of New York Democrats known as the Albany Regency. Martin Van Buren was among the leaders of the group, which controlled New York politics for two decades.
    1820 - The first organized emigration of U.S. blacks to Africa began when the "Mayflower of Liberia" sailed from New York City for Sierra Leone with 86 blacks aboard. The ship arrived in Sierra Leone on March 9. Twenty-two years later, it took a U.S. Supreme Court ruling for 35 former passengers of the "Amistad" to accomplish the same thing. During this period of history, there was a growing movement of “free” blacks to return to their native continent. As Northern states made slavery “illegal,” the “free” Blacks’ numbers grew from a few thousand in 1760 to 319,000 by 1830. Many of the movements were for the benefit of the organizer, who received fees as a “travel agent.” Some were outright “scams,” and others started the free state of Liberia. At the turn of the century, Marcus Garvey actually bought a steamship to send his followers to Liberia, and other countries in Africa.
    1833 - Jeb Stuart was born James Ewell Brown Stuart in Patrick County, VA. Stuart was a cavalry commander known for his mastery of reconnaissance and the use of cavalry in support of offensive operations. While he cultivated a cavalier image, his serious work made him the trusted eyes and ears of Robert E. Lee’s army and inspired Southern morale.  Stuart graduated from West Point in 1854 and served in Texas and Kansas with the U.S. Army, a veteran of the frontier conflicts with Native Americans, the Bleeding Kansas campaign, and the capture of John Brown at Harpers Ferry. Resigning when his home state of Virginia seceded, he served first under Gen. Stonewall Jackson, but then in increasingly important cavalry commands of the Army of Northern Virginia, playing a role in all of that army's campaigns until his death.  On 5/12/1864, he was mortally wounded at the Battle of Yellow Tavern at Richmond.  He was 31.
    1843 - "The Virginia Minstrels", the first minstrel show in the United States, opened at the Bowery Amphitheatre in New York City.
    1845 – Isadore Straus was born in Otterberg, Germany.  He was a co-founder of Macy’s department store with his brother Nathan.  He and his wife perished on Titanic in 1912.
    1862 - General Ulysses S. Grant provides the first major Union victory of the war when he captures Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. Ten days later, he captured Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River, which gave the Yankees control of northern Tennessee and paved the way for the occupation of Nashville.
    1865 - Dashing Confederate General John Pegram is killed at the Battle of Dabney's Mill, Virginia, only three weeks after marrying Hetty Cary, the "handsomest women in the Southland." Pegram graduated from West Point in 1854, 10th in a class of 46. He served in various posts in the west before resigning his commission at the start of the Civil War. He was well connected, a Southern gentleman, but not considered a good military officer by the troops he served under. After leaving the US Army, Pegram received an appointment as a lieutenant colonel in the Confederate army. Sent to fight in western Virginia during the summer of 1861, he was captured by General George McClellan's men at the Battle of Rich Mountain. Pegram was exchanged in April 1862 and sent to serve with General Pierre G. T. Beauregard in Mississippi. He fought in Tennessee and Kentucky and earned a promotion to brigadier general. After the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863, Pegram was transferred to General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. He was wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864, but recovered to fight with General Jubal Early during the Shenandoah Valley campaign in the summer of 1864. That fall, he was sent to defend his native city of Petersburg. On January 19, Pegram married Hetty Cary, a prominent Richmond socialite who many called the "handsomest women in the Southland." Even in the gloom of the ongoing siege, the ceremony was a grand affair attended by nearly all of the high-ranking Confederates, including President Jefferson Davis and his wife, Varina. The bride, commented onlookers, was a vision of beauty and one said that the "happy gleam of her beautiful brown eyes seemed to defy all sorrow." Just three weeks later, Pegram's body was returned to the same church, St. Paul's Episcopal, and his young widow knelt beside his coffin as the minister who married them presided over the dashing general's funeral.
    1867 - The Peabody Fund is established to promote Black education in the South.

(see the Letters of Robert C. Winthrop:
    1869 – “Uncle Sam” first appeared as a picture with chin whiskers in Harper's Weekly.
    1891 - The Dalton Gang's first attempt at train robbery was a fiasco as Bob, Grat, and Bill tried to rob a Southern Pacific train near Alila, California. While Bill kept any passengers from interfering by shooting over their heads, Bob and Grat forced the engineer to show them the location of the cash-carrying express car. When the engineer tried to slip away, one of the brothers shot him in the stomach. Finding the express car on their own, Bob and Grat demanded that the guard inside open the heavy door. The guard refused and began firing down on them from a small spy hole. Thwarted, the brothers finally gave up and rode away. The Daltons were accused of the robbery, based on little evidence. Grat escaped and Bill was acquitted, but Grat was arrested, convicted, and given a 20-year prison sentence. According to one account, Grat was handcuffed to one deputy and accompanied by another while being transferred by train. After the train had gone some distance, one deputy fell asleep and the other was talking to other passengers. It was a hot day, and all the windows were open. Suddenly, Grat jumped up and dived head first out of the train window. He landed in the San Joaquin River, disappeared under water, and was carried downstream by the current. The deputies were astounded. Grat must have taken the key to the handcuffs from the first deputy's pocket as he slept and timed his escape for when the train would be on a bridge. If he had landed on the ground, he would almost certainly have been killed. Grat found his brothers, and they made their way back to Oklahoma Territory.  The Daltons would have done well to heed the ominous signs of that first failed robbery and seek safer pursuits. Instead, they returned to Oklahoma, reunited with young Emmett, and began robbing in earnest. A year later, the gang botched another robbery, boldly attempting to hit two Coffeyville, Kansas, banks at the same time. Townspeople caught them in the act and killed Bob, Grat, and two of their gang members. Emmett was seriously wounded and served 14 years in prison. Of all the criminal Dalton brothers, only Emmett lived into old age. Freed from prison in 1907, he married and settled in Los Angeles, where he built a successful career in real estate and contracting.
    1895 - George Herman “Babe” Ruth was born at Baltimore, MD in a home that is now the Babe Ruth Museum.  His father’s saloon was at what is now the outfield of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. One of the baseball's greatest heroes, Ruth was raised at St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys after repeated failed attempts by his parents to keep him in line. On February 27, 1914, he was signed to a minor league baseball contract by Jack Dunn of the Baltimore Orioles and became known as “Dunn's Babe.” Soon sold to the Red Sox, by 1916 he had built a reputation as an outstanding pitcher who sometimes hit long home runs, a feat unusual for any player in the pre-1920 dead-ball era. Although Ruth twice won 23 games in a season as a pitcher and was a member of three World Series championship teams with Boston, he wanted to play every day and was allowed to convert to an outfielder. He responded by breaking the single season HR record in 1919.  Until Whitey Ford broke it in the 1961 World Series, Ruth held the record for most consecutive scoreless innings in the World Series, and he was considered by many to be the left-handed Walter Johnson.  After the 1919 season, Sox owner Harry Frazee, needing cash for his play, “No, No, Nanette” and wanting to rid himself of Ruth’s incessant behavior, sold him to the New York Yankees where he proceeded to take on stardom not only of baseball but all sports.  With Ruth, the Yankees went to the World Series for the first seven times in their history, winning four.  He hit 714 home runs (holding the record until 1974 when Hank Aaron hit #715) in 22 major league seasons of play and played in 10 World Series. He was the game's greatest star and became an enduring legend and American icon. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Charter Class in 1936. Died at New York, NY, on August 16, 1948 after a long bout with cancer.  He was one of the first cancer patients to receive both drugs and radiation treatment simultaneously, then considered experimental.
    1898 - Melvin Tolson was born in Moberly, MO.  An African-American Modernist poet, educator, columnist, and politician, his work concentrated on the experience of African-Americans and includes several long historical poems. His work was influenced by his study of the Harlem Renaissance, although he spent nearly his entire career in Texas and Oklahoma. Tolson died on 8/29/1966.
   1899 - The Treaty of Paris was ratified by the United States Senate by one vote, ending the Spanish-American War.  The Treaty allowed temporary American control of Cuba, and ceded indefinite colonial authority over Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines, essentially dismantling Spain’s global possession.
    1900 – President McKinley appointed William Howard Taft as commissioner to report on the Philippines.
    1902 - The Young Women's Hebrew Association was organized in New York City. Mrs. Bella Unterberg was the founder and the first president. The first building used by the organization was at 1584 Lexington Avenue, New York City.    
    1910 – Mobster Carlos Marcello was born in Tunisia.  Marcello is high among conspiracy theorists as one of the Mafia heads behind the assassination of President John Kennedy in 1963.  He became head of the New Orleans crime family during the 1940s.  On March 24, 1959, Marcello appeared before a Senate committee investigating organized crime. Serving as Chief Counsel to the committee was Robert F. Kennedy whose brother, Sen. John F. Kennedy, was a member of the committee. In response to committee questioning, Marcello invoked the Fifth Amendment in refusing to answer any questions relating to his background, activities and associates.  In 1960, Marcello donated $500,000, through Teamsters union President Hoffa, to the Republican campaign of Richard Nixon, challenging the Democrat John F. Kennedy.  In its investigation of the Kennedy Assassination, the House Select Committee on Assassinations noted the presence of "credible associations relating both Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby to figures having a relationship, albeit tenuous, with Marcello's crime family or organization." Their report stated: "The committee found that Marcello had the motive, means and opportunity to have President John F. Kennedy assassinated, though it was unable to establish direct evidence of Marcello's complicity."  In his 1994 autobiography, Frank Ragano said that he relayed a message from Hoffa to Trafficante and Marcello asking the two Mafia bosses if they would kill Kennedy.   Santo Trafficante was head of the Chicago family and it is known that one of Kennedy’s mistresses, Judith Exner, was also seeing Trafficante.  Marcello died in 1993.
    1911 - Birthday of Ronald Wilson Reagan, 40th president of the US (1981-89) at Tampico, IL. Former sportscaster, motion picture actor, governor of California (1967-74); he was the oldest and the first divorced person to become President. He would visit John Birch meetings down the street from us in the Pacific Palisades, CA, as I parked cars for our neighbor who held the meeting at his house. I also delivered flowers to his house when I was working for Oliver Bente Florist in Brentwood, CA. Married actress Jane Wyman in 1940 (divorced in 1948); married actress Nancy Davis, Mar 4, 1952.  Late in life, Reagan suffered from the effects of Alzheimer’s disease that ultimately led to his death on June 5, 2004.
    1911 – The first old-age home opened in Prescott, Arizona
    1918 - Birthday of trumpet player Howard McGhee, Tulsa, OK,  Died July 17, 1987, New York City, NY
    1919 - A heady display of labor's growing power concluded when a general strike was called off in Seattle, Washington. World War I had swelled the ranks of the nation's unions, while the Marxist revolution in Russia raised hopes of deliverance for the world's workers. In the days before the war, a strong alliance of craft unions enabled Seattle's 35,000 dockworkers to gain some of the highest wages in the nation. With the outbreak of war, the government placed constraints on the shipyard worker's wages, in hopes of rolling their earnings back in line with the rest of the country. In January, the dockworkers retaliated by walking off the job, and on February 1, 25,000 of Seattle's other workers joined the dockworkers on the picket line. The workers began the strikes in response to government sanctioned wage cuts. A riff occurred in the various labor unions, some say due to anarchists, Marxists, socialist and other “malcontents.” The mood definitely was to protest the wage cuts. The five-day strike effectively shut down Seattle: factories, shops and the waterfront all sat dormant, waiting for a resolution to the dispute. A General Strike Committee swiftly stepped in and established temporary systems for feeding and protecting Seattle's citizens. Although the strike was peaceful, and the Committee judged that people were rapidly "learning to manage" the city's daily operations, local government and business chiefs threatened action against the country's unions. Feeling the fire of a potential legal or political nightmare, national labor leaders stepped in and urged Seattle's workers to end their strike. Seattle's strikers had not yet gained ground on their wage demands, but they heeded the call and headed back to work, releasing the city from their grip on this day in 1919.
    1919 – Zsa Zsa Gabor was born in Budapest, Hungary as Gábor Sári.  Nine husbands later, she is still with us at age 97.
    1921 - "The Kid", starring Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan, released.
    1921 - Birthday of lead trumpet player Ernie Royal, Los Angeles, CA,,487546,00.
    1922 - Lead trumpet player great Conrad Gozzo’s birthday in New Britain, CT.
    1924 – Birthday of arranger Sam Nestico, Pittsburgh, PA
    1924 - Station KFSG (Kall Four Square Gospel) went on the air. One of the earliest radio stations licensed, it broadcast the services of Angelus Temple, the flagship congregation of the International Foursquare Gospel Church, founded by Aimee Semple Mc Pherson in 1923.
    1926 - Norman Rockwell's Colonial Sign Painter cover for the Saturday Evening Post” was the first to appear in full color. It depicted a Rockwell kindred spirit--a Colonial sign painter
    1929 - Rudy Vallee recorded "Deep Night"
    1931 – Actor Rip Torn was born Elmore Rudolph Torn, Jr.  in Temple, TX.
    1931 - Mamie Van Doren was born Joan Lucille Olander in Rowena, SD.  She was an actress, model, singer, and sex symbol who is known for being one of the first actresses to recreate the look of Marilyn Monroe…and there were several!.
    1933 - The 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted, allowing the president to take office in January instead of March.
    1933 – Birthday of Walter E Fauntroy (Representative-D-DC, 1971-1991) in DC.
    1935 – ‘Monopoly’ went on sale for the first time.
    1936 – Birthday of rocker Otis Williams (Charms and the Temptations) in Texarkana, TX.|
    1937 – Donnie Brooks was born John Dee Abohosh in Dallas.  His March 1960 hit single, "Mission Bell" peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  Brooks died in 2007 of a heart attack.
    1937 - John Steinbeck's novella Of Mice and Men”, the story of the bond between two migrant workers, is published. He adapted the book into a three-act play, which was produced the same year. The story brought national attention to Steinbeck's work, which had started to catch on in 1935 with the publication of his first successful novel, Tortilla Flat”. Steinbeck was born and raised in the Salinas Valley, CA where his father was a county official and his mother a former schoolteacher. A good student and president of his senior class in high school, Steinbeck attended Stanford intermittently in the early 1920s. In 1925, he moved to New York City, where he worked as a manual laborer and a journalist while writing stories and novels. His first two novels were not successful. In 1930, he married Carol Henning, the first of his three wives, and moved to Pacific Grove, California. Steinbeck's father gave the couple a house and a small income while Steinbeck continued to write. He shortly thereafter moved to Los Gatos, California, where he lived in two homes, trying to avoid visitors and celebrity status. His third novel, Tortilla Flat” (1935), was a critical and financial success, as were such subsequent books as In Dubious Battle” (1935) and “Of Mice and Men” (1937), both of which offered social commentaries on injustices of various types. In 1939, Steinbeck won the Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath”, a novel tracing a fictional Oklahoma family as they lose their family farm in the Depression and move to California seeking a better life. His work after World War II, including Cannery Row” and “The Pearl”, continued to offer social criticism but became more sentimental. Steinbeck tried his hand at movie scripts in the 1940s, writing successful films like Forgotten Village” (1941) and “Viva Zapata” (1952). He also took up the serious study of marine biology and published a nonfiction book, The Sea of Cortez, in 1941. His 1962 nonfiction book, Travels with Charlie”, describes his travels across the United States in a camper truck with his poodle, Charlie. Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize in 1962 and died in New York in 1968.
    1938 - Birthday of Isaac Hayes, one of the most important forces in the development of Memphis soul music, in Covington, Tennessee. He played piano in the house band at Stax Records in the 1960's, and also began composing hit songs, such as "Soul Man" and "Hold On, I'm Coming" for Sam and Dave and "BABY" for Carla Thomas. Hayes's 1969 album "Hot Buttered Soul" established his reputation as a performer. The lushly orchestrated and often lengthy songs that became his trademark laid the foundation for the disco music of such artists as Barry White. Hayes himself, with tights, cape and gold chains around his bare chest was the '70s forerunner to Mr. T. Hayes's commercial peak came in 1971 with his double soundtrack album for "Shaft." "The Theme From Shaft" hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and made Hayes an international superstar. But by 1976, mismanagement and personal excesses had forced Isaac Hayes into bankruptcy. He made several comeback attempts, one of them in 1979 producing the gold album, "Don't Let Go." He is currently the voice of 'Chef' on the hit adult cartoon "South Park".
    1939 – Actor Mike Farrell was born in St. Paul, MN.  He is forever known as Capt. BJ Hunnicutt on the television series “M*A*S*H (1975–83).
    1939 – Vernon Presley, Elvis’ father, was released from prison after serving 8 months for altering a check.
    1940 - TV media journalist Tom Brokaw was born in Yankton, SD.
    1943 - Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed commander-in-chief of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in North Africa.
    1943 - Frank Sinatra makes his first appearance on “Your Hit Parade.”
    1943 - Birthday of singer Fabian, born Fabiano Anthony Forte in Philadelphia, PA. One of several manufactured teen idols to come out of Philly in the late 1950's, with Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell, Fabian had three big hits in 1959, then disappeared from the charts. His most popular record was "Tiger," which hit number three on the Billboard Hot 100. Fabian later turned to acting, and in 1974 posed nude for Playgirl magazine.
    1943 - Swashbuckler screen actor Errol Flynn, age 33, was acquitted of three charges of statutory rape by a jury in Los Angeles Superior Court. It was well known that he had a penchant for teenage girls, and in the later years of his life lived openly in Havana, Cuba with 16-17 year old Beverly Aadland. While it is true, “In Like Flynn” became a popular expression during the 40's, the origination according to “A Dictionary of Catch Phrases” (Eric Partridge, 1986) came from: Edward J. Flynn (1892-1953), a New York City political boss who became a campaign manager for the Democratic Party during FDR's presidency. Boss Flynn's "Democratic Party machine exercised absolute political control over the Bronx.... The candidates he backed were almost automatically 'in,' and he himself permanently so," Partridge comments.

    1943 - US government requires the 110,000 Japanese-Americans imprisoned in internment camps to answer loyalty surveys. The first questionnaire was issued on February 3 at Tule Lake, CA and by this date all the internment camp require their “prisoners” to answer: Question 27 asks draft-age men: "Are you willing to serve in the US armed forces on combat duty, wherever ordered?"
22% of the 21,000 second-generation respondents will answer "no" or give no response. Known as Nisei [nih-say], these U.S.-born Japanese-Americans are not expressing disloyalty but their protest against the internment. In January 1944, the Selective Service began reclassifying to 1-A the Nisei men who answered "yes" to the question and issuing draft notices. After more than 300 Nisei refuse to be inducted, authorities arrest and indict Frank Emi and six others for conspiracy to violate the Selective Service Act. The seven are found guilty and sentenced to four years at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in Kansas.
    1945 - Birthday of Bob Marley at Rhoden Hall in northern Jamaica. With his group, The Wailers, Bob Marley was one of the most popular and influential performers of reggae music, an "off-beat-accented Jamaican" music closely associated with the political/religious Rastafarian movement who were admirers of the late Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie, who was formerly called Ras Tafari. In 1963, Marley formed a vocal quintet, the Wailers, who achieved some success, but little financial reward, in their native country, before disbanding in 1966.  The Wailers reunited in 1968, but for several years seemed no closer than before to establishing steady careers. Then, in 1972, Chris Blackwell signed them to Island Records and advanced them the money to record an album in Jamaica. The result was "Catch a Fire," the first album by Bob Marley and the Wailers to be marketed outside Jamaica. It was the start of their climb to international fame, aided by Eric Clapton's hit single of Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff."   Over the next several years, Marley and the Wailers were largely responsible for the worldwide popularity of reggae music. Marley became a superstar in Jamaica, where he survived an assassination attempt in 1976. In 1980, a tour of the US was cancelled when Marley collapsed on stage during a concert. He had developed brain and lung cancer, which killed him in May, 1981, Miami, FL.
    1946 - Birthday of Canadian folk singer Kate McGarrigle in St. Sauveur-des-Monts, Quebec. She and her sister Anna first attracted international attention in the 1970's as songwriters. Anna's "Heart Like a Wheel" was recorded in 1972 by McKendree Spring and served as the title song for a 1975 album by Linda Ronstadt. The duo's 1976 debut in London resulted in one British critic saying they were among "the very best voices to be heard in popular music today." The McGarrigles sing both their own songs and French-Canadian folk tunes.
    1949 - Top Hits
“A Little Bird Told Me” - Evelyn Knight
“Far Away Places” - Margaret Whiting
“Powder Your Face with Sunshine” - Evelyn Knight
“I Love You So Much It Hurts” - Jimmy Wakely
    1950 - Birthday of singer Natalie Cole (“This Will Be,” “Unforgettable'), daughter of Nat “King” Cole, in Los Angeles, Ca.
    1951 – The third-worst rail disaster in US history occurred in Woodbridge, NJ when a Pennsylvania railroad passenger train derailed, killing 85 people and injuring over 500 more.
    1953 - US controls on wages and some consumer goods were lifted
    1955 - Horace Silver Quintet records “The Preacher” (Blue Note 5062)
    1956 – The University of Alabama refused admission to African-American Autherine Lucy
    1957 - Top Hits
“Too Much” - Elvis Presley
“Young Love” - Tab Hunter
“Banana Boat (Day-O)” - Harry Belafonte
“Young Love” - Sonny James
    1957 - The Del-Vikings' first and biggest hit, "Come Go with Me," debuts on the pop chart. In four weeks, it peaks at #5 while on the R&B chart, it hits #3. “…dom, dom, dom ,dom, dom-dee-dobee-dom, dom, dom, dom, dom…”
    1958 - Ted Williams signs with Red Sox for $135,000, making him highest paid in baseball. He retired from the Boston Red Sox at the end of the 1960 season, homering into the right field seats at Fenway in his last at-bat, with a lifetime batting average of .344, a lifetime home run count of 521 and a reputation that endures.

    1959 – Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments filed the first patent for an integrated circuit.
    1960 – Singer Jesse Belvin, “Goodnight, My Love” and his wife died in an automobile accident in Los Angeles.
    1961 - The Capris' "There's a Moon Out Tonight" enters the R&B charts.
    1962 - Birthday of singer Axl Rose [William Bailey] in Lafayette, IN (Guns & Roses)
    1965 - Top Hits
“You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'” - The Righteous Brothers
“The Name Game” - Shirley Ellis
“This Diamond Ring” - Gary Lewis & The Playboys
“You're the Only World I Know” - Sonny James
    1965 - The Temptations' "My Girl" hits #1 R&B.
    1967 - Muhammad Ali retained his world heavyweight title and won the WBA heavyweight title with a 15-round decision over Ernest Terrell in the Houston Astrodome.
    1968 - Joan Whitney Payson was elected as president of the New York Mets. One year later, the ‘Miracle' Mets would become world champions.
    1968 - The X Winter Olympic Games opened in Grenoble, France. Some 18,000 people participated in the opening ceremonies as the games were dedicated by General Charles de Gaulle. Thousands of scented paper roses were dropped from helicopters against a background of five circles drawn in the sky by the smoke of parachutists. And Olympic flags were shot into the air by cannons.
    1970 – The NBA expanded, adding teams in Buffalo (Sabres), Cleveland (Cavaliers), Houston (Rockets) and Portland (Trail Blazers).
     1971 - NASA Astronaut Alan B. Shepard took a six-iron stashed inside his spacecraft took a swing at three golf balls on the surface of the moon. Shepard whiffed the first swing. The others were good shots that went a few hundred yards in space's vacuum. Because his moonwalk suit was so bulky, he didn't get enough of a swing to launch the golf balls into orbit. But he did get a couple of divots.
    1973 - Top Hits
“Crocodile Rock” - Elton John
“Why Can't We Live Together” - Timmy Thomas
“Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?” - Hurricane Smith
“She Needs Someone to Hold Her (When She Cries)” - Conway Twitty
    1974 – The House of Representatives began determining grounds for the impeachment of President Nixon.
    1976 - In testimony before a US Senate subcommittee, Lockheed president Carl Kotchian admitted that the company had paid out approximately $3 Million to the office of Japanese Prime Minister Tanaka.
    1978 - A massive nor'easter buried the cities of the northeastern U.S. Storm totals included 18 inches at New York City, 16 inches at Philadelphia, and 14 inches at Baltimore. The Boston area received 25 to 30 inches in "The Great New England Blizzard", and the mayor outlawed travel in the city for an entire week.   [I was living in Wilmington, DE at the time and we got about two feet.  After the storm left us, it went out over the Atlantic, picked up more moisture and hit New England and Long Island.  It then circled back over the Atlantic and hit Boston again.  I recall that the city was paralyzed for over a week.  Our neighbors in Wilmington recalled that it was the worst snowstorm there since 1887. Ralph Mango.]
    1981 - Top Hits
“The Tide is High” - Blondie
“Celebration” - Kool & The Gang
“I Love a Rainy Night” - Eddie Rabbitt
“I Feel like Loving You Again” - T.G. Sheppard
    1985 - For the first time in 123 years, French mineral water company, Perrier, debuted a new product. On grocery store shelves and in trendy establishments, you could find water with a twist of lemon, lime or orange.
    1985 - Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer and inventor of the best-selling Apple II computer, resigned from the company. The company, which started in Wozniak's garage in 1976, had become a massive bureaucracy by the mid-1980s. Wozniak had developed his first computer, the Apple I, as a project to impress his friends in the Homebrew Computing Club. With Steve Jobs' help, he created the Apple II, which went on sale in 1977 and quickly became popular with mass-market consumers, not just electronics hobbyists. As the fastest growing company in history, Apple experienced serious growing pains, including the hiring of a professional management team. Wozniak, who preferred to remain an engineer rather than participate in management politics, objected to the tactics and strategies of Apple's management. He lives in Los Gatos, California, where he has attempted to start several companies, but basically remains a “dilettante.” The San Jose Technology Museum is located on a street named after him called “Woz Way.”
    1985 - Skier Dianne Roffe, 17, took first place in a giant slalom race to become the first US woman to win a gold medal in a World Alpine Skiing Championship race.
    1985 - Microsoft announced it would develop a word processing program for the IBM PC. Microsoft later adapted the program, called Word, to the Macintosh. At first, Word was an underdog, competing with category dominator WordPerfect; however, Word's intuitive, user-friendly design quickly won users over, making it the most popular software in history. Word marked an important turning point for Microsoft, which moved from being an operating-systems company catering to computer manufacturers, to a consumer-oriented software company. Perhaps the best marketing ploy was the Microsoft Suite, where the software programs were bundled at a very low price and coordinated with each other: Word, Excel, Access, Money, and originally Publisher (later replaced by the browser Internet Explorer). It took up to 14 hard floppy disks to install and was quite time consuming and large for its day, but the integration between Word and Excel doomed the very popular Word Perfect and other spread sheet programs (Lotus 1-2-3) that were perhaps superior to Excel at the time but more difficult to learn and more expensive, plus they did not interface with other software.
    1987 - President Ronald Reagan turned 76 years old, adding another year to his already established record as the oldest United States President. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the previous record holder, by serving the country at age 70.
    1987 - No-smoking rules were implemented in federal buildings.
    1987 - Sonny Bono declared his candidacy for mayor of Palm Springs.
    1988 - Arctic cold invaded the south central and eastern U.S. Sixteen cities reported new record low temperatures for the date. Squalls in the Great Lakes Region produced a foot of snow at Arcade, NY in three hours.
    1988 – Michael Jordan made his signature dunk from the free throw line, inspiring the Air Jordan line of basketball shoes and the Jumpman logo.
    1989 - Top Hits
“When I'm with You” - Sheriff
“Straight Up” - Paula Abdul
“When the Children Cry” - White Lion
“What I'd Say” - Earl Thomas Conley
    1989 - The first nude musical, "Oh! Calcutta!" closed on Broadway after 5,059 performances. John Lennon was one of the writers who contributed to the show, which opened off-Broadway in 1969
    1989 - Forty-one cities in the western U.S. reported new record low temperatures for the date. Lows of -30 degrees at Ely, NV and -33 degrees at Richfield, UT were all-time records. Morning lows of 31 degrees at San Francisco and -15 degrees at Reno, NV were records for February. Logan Canyon, UT was the cold spot in the nation with a low of 54 degrees below zero, and Craig, CO hit 51 degrees below zero.
    1990 - Ground breaking began on Baltimore Orioles' new $102 million stadium that would become known as Oriole Park at Camden Yards.   While at US Leasing, we became finalists for the leasing of the scoreboard, external signs and advertising panels when the Commission failed to appropriate sufficient funds for them and decided to lease them instead.  I think the award went to Allied Irish Banks.
    1990 - Brett Hull of the St. Louis Blues scored his 50th goal of the season to join his father, Hall of Fame left wing Bobby Hull, as the only father-son combination in NHL history to score 50 goals in a season.   
    1992 - Bob Dylan made a rare TV appearance on David Letterman's 10th anniversary special. He performed "Like a Rolling Stone," backed by an all-star band that included Emmylou Harris, Chrissie Hynde and Carole King.
    1993 - Tennis champion Arthur Ashe died of complications brought on by AIDS that he received from a blood transfusion.
    1995 - Keith Lockhart replaced John Williams as conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. Williams had led the orchestra since 1980, when he took over after the death of the legendary Arthur Fiedler.  
    1995 – Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys wed Melinda Ledbetter
    1996 – Willamette Valley in OR suffered severe flooding and over $500 million in property damage throughout the Pacific Northwest. 
     1998 - Washington National Airport was renamed Ronald Reagan National Airport, for U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
    1998 - Carl Wilson, the Beach Boys' lead guitarist and youngest of the Wilson brothers, died at age 51 in Los Angeles. He'd been diagnosed with lung cancer which then spread to his brain. Despite chemotherapy, Wilson lost the battle. During the group's publicized ups and downs with drugs over the years, Carl's steady influence reportedly was responsible for keeping the group together. He went to University High School, West Los Angeles, CA. He really was a surfer, personal testimony; Zuma Beach, Malibu, rarely Santa Monica Beach.
    1998 - President Bill Clinton says he would never resign, 'I would never walk away from the people of this country and the trust they've placed in me', during a press conference.
     2000 - The NFC defeated the AFC 51-31 which set an NFL record for most points scored by a conference and total points combined for a Pro Bowl.
    2000 - Janice Mirikitani, wife of Rev. Cecil Williams of Glide Memorial, was named the poet laureate for San Francisco for 2000.
    2000 - First Lady Hillary Clinton launched her successful candidacy for the U.S. Senate from New York.
    2002 - A federal judge ordered John Walker Lindh to be held without bail pending trial. Lindh was known as the "American Taliban."
    2011 – Super Bowl XLV attracted a record high television audience; the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25.  Super Bowl XLIV just became the most watched TV show ever as the New England Patriots survived a monumental blunder by Seattle at the goal line with 26 seconds remaining to defeat the Seahawks, 28-24.  There are almost 115 million viewers to this classic with 71 share.
    2013 - The U.S. postal service announced that after August 5, 2013, it will no longer deliver first-class mail on Saturdays.
    2014 – Jay Leno’s last show as host of “The Tonight Show”.



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