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Friday, February 8, 2008


Two Corrections:
    Classified Ads—Asset Management
        Government Stimulus Bill—Leasing
Two Bulletin Board Complaints
Alta, Kropschot SWC Credit Leasing
Southwest Credit, San Antonio, TX
    Books on Leasing
        U.S. Employers Slashed Payrolls in January
Classified Ads---Help Wanted
    Cartoon—Personalized TV News
        Two Meetings Next Tuesday
San Francisco Valley Leasing
by Christopher Menkin
    MicroFinancial Fourth Quarter Results
Fitch: Credit Market Concerns
Spread to Leveraged Loans and CLOs
    H. Daniel Kramer New CMO Icon Capital
        BB&T names Tom Jaschik as president
News Briefs---
    You May have Missed---
        California Nuts Brief---
Sports Briefs---
    "Gimme that Wine"
        Calendar Events
Snapple Real Facts
    Today's Top Event in History
        This Day in American History
Winter Poem
        Daily Puzzle
News on Line---Internet Newspapers
Northern Arizona Verde Independent

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


Two Corrections:
February 6, 2001--CLP closes Tilden Office

(It is not CLP, but CPL, abbreviation for Colonial Pacific Leasing. This was corrected on line. editor )

Looks like Equilease not sold

(Somehow two stories were combined, convoluted, and the Studebaker-Worthington name mixed into it. Equilease was not sold is true, as it was never for sale. Studebaker-Worthington
may be for sale. Equilease began using OSG Billing services. It is as simple as that. As soon as the mixing of the two stories was realized, it was immediately pulled from the web site; the eMail is connected to the web site.

(The full and correct story should be:)

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

Equilease Contracts OSG Billing Services for Direct Billing

Top Leasing Company Realizes Increased Security

and Greater Efficiency by Outsourcing Invoice Production

ENGLEWOOD, NJ - - OSG Billing Services today announced an agreement to manage invoice presentment and distribution services for Equilease Financial Services, Inc., a full-service leasing company that finances industrial and commercial equipment for vendors, manufacturers and end-users.

Due to the company's rapid growth rate, Equilease is now outsourcing its invoice production to OSG Billing Services to improve print and mail efficiencies, reduce postage costs and gain increased security over client data.

Equilease will increase their promotional efforts through the invoice by utilizing selective inserts and OSG Envelope MessagingSM. By creating customized messaging and targeted marketing campaigns, the company can be better able to offer promotions that will generate additional revenue.

Additionally, Equilease will take advantage of OSG Dynamic MessagingSM, an online application that uses simple word processing commands to create messages with graphics or photographs on the front page of the invoice. This will further provide them with advanced communications and marketing opportunities.

"We at Equilease are excited with our new relationship, and believe this will allow us to more effectively communicate with our customers," said Joseph O'Beirn, assistant vice president of operations of Equilease. "We are confident that OSG Billing has the resources and knowledge to enhance the growth of our portfolios."

"We are very proud to be working with Equilease," said Ron Whaley, vice president of sales and marketing of OSG Billing Services. "Their new invoice will go a long way in helping the company to realize faster turn-around time and better cash flow, as well as giving them the freedom to focus on what they do best."

About Equilease Financial Services

Equilease is a full-service leasing company that finances industrial and commercial equipment for vendors, manufacturers and end-users.

The company serves a broad spectrum of capital intensive industries, including: Transportation, General Construction, Road Construction, Manufacturing, Waste Management, Plastics, Packaging and Printing. For more information, see

About OSG Billing Services

OSG Billing Services provides fast, accurate and dependable invoice presentment and distribution services. As a trusted partner, we advise customers on direct billing strategies to improve the overall quality of the invoice and increase customer satisfaction. With a proven process for invoice design, set-up and production, we can get invoices into the consumers hands quickly and error-free. We guarantee it.

The services we offer include: invoice consultation and design, error-free print and mail, targeted marketing programs, an automated document factory, online invoice management and electronic bill presentment and payment. These capabilities have made OSG Billing Services an award-winning direct billing provider. Visit or call 1-888-EASY

You can find us at these upcoming events:

  • · Billing Output 2008 Conference
  • · Hear Steve Dubner's presentation about "The State of eBilling, Presentment and Payment: Defining and Realizing Success" at 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, January 31, 2008
  • · NAA Marketing Conference
  • · CompTel Plus Spring

(Leasing News apologizes for the errors and hopes this prominent placement will help correct them. editor)


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

Classified Ads—Asset Management

Massachusetts, MA
Started in credit and collections 30 years ago with a private agency. My skills are negotiating with Attorney's, Insurance Companies & Large & small companies. | Resume
New York, NY
10+ years in equipment leasing/secured lending. Skilled in management & training, documentation, policy and procedure development & implementation, portfolio reporting. Strong work ethic.
Seattle, WA
20 years combined experience in Asset Management and Collections. History of successfully maximizing the residual position through superior negotiation skills
and remarketing.
United States
Multi- talented individual looking to relocate back to mainland. Over 20 years of experience in Asset Management, Venture Leasing, Operations and
Senior Management Positions.
RESUME | Email:

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

To place a free “job wanted” ad here, please go to:



Government Stimulus Bill—Leasing

The bill almost doubles the value of the Section 179 expense perk, allowing businesses to deduct as much as $250,000 of qualified expenses in 2008, with the phase-out threshold for that perk rising to $800,000. The idea is the incentive will give business more of a reason to purchase equipment or finance it.

Before, the deduction was limited to $128,000 worth of expenses in 2008 and the phase-out was $510,000. Also, the stimulus package makes the business depreciation provision more valuable, allowing a company to depreciate an additional 50% of the cost of an asset bought in 2008.

It appears the stimulus is good for 2008 and the details on equipment may be the same as for current requirements. It will be of benefit to businesses in 2009.

Since most leases, according to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation study, 88% are capital leases, there does not appear to be much tax effect for leasing and finance companies. Companies that can pass the depreciation to single investors may realize benefits.
The main benefit is to give businesses incentive to purchase $250,000 or more in equipment to deduct the cost in one year rather than spread the cost by depreciation over time schedule.

John C. Deane in Wednesday's edition warned about a "boomerang" effect.

Section 179 Depreciation Schedule
(COLA is cost of living adjustment)

*Some Non-qualifying Property:
• Property held for the production of income
(investment property, most rentals).
• Real property, including buildings and their structural components, air conditioning and heating units.
• Property acquired by gift, inheritance or trade.
• Property purchased from certain related parties.
• Controlled group to controlled group transactions.
• Property used outside the United States.
• Property used in connection with furnishing lodging.
• Property used by tax-exempt organizations and governmental units.
• Property used by foreign persons or entities.
• Property held by an estate or trust.
• Property used by a passive activity.
• Intangible property (including computer software).

See Terry Winder’s recent article on depreciation:

$1.00 purchase options:



Two Bulletin Board Complaints
Southwest Credit, San Antonio, TX

Southwest Credit, 13750 San Pedro, Suite #150, San Antonio, TX 78232 claims to be a direct funding source and in operations since 1999 on their web site:
Leasing News has two complaints that they have not responded to repeated e-mails and
telephone calls.

Leasing News has confirmed that as claimed on their web site that they are members of the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers (NAELB). James Lopez is the contact person. Email to Mr. Lopez comes back as addressee not known.

From Bob New:

"Here is a front and back copy of our check that we sent to Southwest Credit functioning as agent for our potential lessee Cuauhtemoc Becerra. Also enclosed is a copy of the document signed by Cuauhtemoc Becerra on which Southwest Credit is attempting to stand in their effort to retain this $8,034.58. I am certainly in favor of a funder retaining deposit if the lessee fails to go forward on the agreed upon lease after being provided credit approval. This is not the case here.

"Southwest Credit fooled around and was very inefficient in handling the case. So much so that the product to be leased was sold out from under our client. Still wanting to go forward Cuauhtemoc Becerra put forth the effort necessary to find a similar acceptable product. Again long time fool around with Southwest Credit and again the to be leased product was sold out from under our customer three days before we got approval. Discouraged to the point of exasperation Cuauhtemoc Becerra asked for his money and decided not to lease at all."

818.247.3530 T
818.247.3536 F

A copy of the check was received and indicated it was cashed by SouthWest Credit. Here is a copy of the documents, dated June 5, 2007, which appear not to have any bilateral agreement that money is to be kept by SouthWest Credit:

From Rod Bennett

“We sent them a deal this last November for a client out of Tennessee who was getting some construction equipment. All of the paperwork was executed and returned to them and they have drawn advances, security deposits and processing fees from the customer (ACH). These funds were drawn early December.

“They claimed they couldn't fund the deal in December because they were changing banks lines. The vendors were okay with this. The vendors were promised they would be funded by January 11th. At this point they claim they are still trying to process the funding. All site inspection and verbal requirements have been done.”

Rod Bennett
Premier Funding Group
770-625-4500 x 229



Leasing Books

Books on Equipment Leasing by Source:

Master Index

Direct Purchase
Certified Leasing Professional (CLP) Foundation
Equipment Leasing Association
Equipment  Leasing and Finance Foundation Reports
United Association of Equipment Leasing

Library Research from Home



U.S. Employers Slashed Payrolls in January

Weekly Jobless Claims (Seasonally Adjusted),
Week Ending 01/26 (reported 01/31):

Weekly Jobless Claims Change
from Previous Week (seasonally adjusted):

Payroll Employment (Nonfarm Jobs Created or Lost),
January -17,000

Unemployment Rate:
January 4.9 percent

Full Labor Statistics:



Leasing Industry Help Wanted



Los Angeles, CA

Require Great Plains & 5+ yrs of accounting exp.  CPA & exp. in equip. leasing are desired but not required.  Must have BA in accounting/finance field. Send resume to

About the Company : Jules & Associates, Inc. is at forefront of the equipment finance industry.  Founded in 1989, we have been ranked twice by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S.

Lease Officer


SMALL TICKET LESSOR, providing superior service for 35+years Transactions- $10Kto $1MM, Seeks seasoned sales professionals To learn more: sandyspringbank.tms or contact Scott Wheeler at





Leasing Association Events-Meetings Open to All

Arizona Equipment Leasing Association

Tuesday, February 12 – 5 P.M.
Starfire Golf Club
11500 North Hayden RD
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Keynote Speaker:
Vickie Bouffard

Speaker, Performance Coach, Author

Vickie Bouffard is the author of the in-demand sales guide, “High Performance Results! A No Kidding Approach to Increasing Sales.” She also has extensive experience as both a sales person and sales trainer.

As a salesperson, Vickie has sold residential mortgages, insurance, computer training, publishing and educational products and has been a top producer wherever she worked.

As a sales trainer, Vickie taught the 12-week-long Dale Carnegie Sales Course for seven years and has also worked as a corporate training manager responsible for training sales and operations personnel in all aspects of wholesale mortgages and basic sales training. Additionally, she has trained and coached communication and presentation skills to new and seasoned sales people.

Today, Vickie, who is a member of the National Speakers Association and the American Society of Training & Development, uses her sales and sales training experience to inspire others to greatness through personal coaching as well as numerous workshops, training sessions and motivational seminars that are held all over the country.

Fee: $20 payable in advance or at the door.

RSVP/Registration form to Patrick McCann or fax 480-218-0525


Eastern Association of Equipment Lessors

February 12, 2008
Baltimore Networking Meeting

Hosted by: Nancy Pistorio, CLP Madison Capital and Bruce Winter, CLP FSG Leasing, Inc. and Scott Wheeler, CLP The Equipment Leasing Company

Members: $50
Non-Members: $65

5 to 8pm.
Clyde's of Columbia
10221 Wincopin Circle
Columbia, MD 21044

Share Ideas--Make New Contacts at this great Networking event!

Alison Pryor
Eastern Association of Equipment Lessors
fax: 212.809.1650


To view Leasing Association Conferences in 2007, please click here.



by Christopher Menkin

“The Wives”

(This is fiction; all names, places, circumstances are fictional.)

One of the first things that Larry Faber’s wife Nora said when
she attended her first equipment leasing conference
was how overweight most of the people in the leasing business were.
She told Larry if he got that fat, he would have to sleep
in a separate bed. She told him she was looking forward
to that, too, as he also snored too much.

Larry loved his wife and two kids, but his wife’s candor was
one of the reasons he liked to play golf so much, or softball
after work on the weekends.

He didn’t like to take her to too many conventions, either, as she always wanted to go to lunch, not attend the convention dinners, and took too long in getting dressed, he thought. She also spoke her mind. Larry thought she was more Jewish than he was, although she converted from Catholicism to marry him. Her parents were Christian Persians
(they never called it “Iran.”) Most of her friends over-dressed, Larry thought, wore too much jewelry, wore expensive designer clothes, and he thought Nora spent too much time putting her make-up on. After all, this was only a leasing convention.

He really couldn’t complain much as Nora had terrific style, a well built hour-glass shape, a very pretty face, beautiful hair, great nails, great clothes, great taste in almost everything, a great sense of humor and everyone liked her, even though she was often quite direct in her comments. She also worked at his office for free, took great care of their two kids, and even converted to Judaism to marry him. Her father even liked Larry, especially to argue with him over international politics. Larry could hold his ground, and her father really respected him, although never told him that. How could
Larry ever understand the middle-east, let alone Iran, he never grew up there. Larry was very well-read, on time of current events, and to argue with him on almost any political topic, you would lose if you didn’t agree with his viewpoint.

She was working late at San Francisco Valley Leasing, doing
billing, bookkeeping, and following up on paper work, so Larry
went down to Frank’s office at 5pm. Normally Frank would
come to Larry’s office with a glass of brandy and to smoke
his Camel cigarettes.

“How do you want your brandy?” Frank asked.

“In a glass.”

“I mean with or without ice?”

“Ice. And you better not smoke as if Nora comes down
here, she’ll tell your wife you are back to smoking.”

Frank poured two glasses of brandy with ice. Gave one to
Larry. Then lit up a cigarette. He seemed to really suck
the smoke into his mouth, then exhaled with a large smile
on is face.

“I run five miles a day, “he said. “One or two cigarettes
isn’t going to kill me.”

“But the cancer will.”

“You sure are funny, Larry.”

“I’m going to the California Association leasing conference in Palm Springs this year, but I don’t want to take Nora. I want to leave early, play a lot of golf, make some new contacts, play a lot of golf, and have a good time.”

“I’m not stopping you.”

“Yes, you are. I told Nora you were going with me.”

“But I’m not.”

“That’s the point. If you say you are going, then she will
understand it is all business.”

“But it isn’t all business.”

“All you have to do is say you are going.”

“But I’m not going.”

Larry took a big swig of the brandy. He would have preferred
wine or even a cocktail, but not brandy. He thought it was a lady’s
drink, or one of those English aristocrat drinks. Come to
think of it, he would have preferred a beer or anything to brandy,
but he wanted Frank to come to the leasing conference, or
at least say he was planning to come, so he took a big gulp,
and drank half the glass. Just as he did, the door burst open
and scared him.

In through the door came Charlene. Frank immediately jumped
up from his chair. It was his wife pulling a surprise visit.

“I thought I would catch you, “she said. “ I could smell
it on your clothing. Who do you think you are fooling?”

Charlene was almost as tall as Frank, and slim, too. She had very
long black hair, was wearing a green colored wrap over a gray
blouse and black slacks. She had long legs and while dressed
as she was, moved as if she was wearing a long dress. She
was angry.

“You put a shower in your office to use after running in the morning,
but you should use it before you come home. The smell of
tobacco is all over you. Who do you think you are fooling?”

Frank immediately put the cigarette out in the ashtray, which
he was lucky, was empty.

“And don’t offer me a brandy. If you want to come home and
have one, you should---not stay here so you can smoke
your cigarettes.”

And she walked back out the door as quickly as she came in.

Frank sat down, relieved that she left. He automatically started to reach for a cigarette.

“I wouldn’t do that, “Larry said. “ She may be coming back.
Women are tricky, you know.”

Later that night, Nora told Larry that Charlene had visited
him after her surprise visit. She had caught Frank smoking.
She also said Frank was not going to the leasing conference,
and so Nora was planning on accompanying him. Larry could
take her shopping in some of the high end clothing stores
in Palm Springs, she told him. She named a couple of the
stores, but he had already tuned her out.


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

MicroFinancial Incorporated Announces Fourth Quarter and Year End 2007 Results

WOBURN, Mass.----MicroFinancial Incorporated (AMEX-MFI), a financial intermediary specializing in vendor-based leasing and finance programs for microticket transactions, today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and the year ended December 31, 2007.

2007 Accomplishments Include:

-- Second consecutive full year of profitability with net income
of $6.2 million, a 58.4% increase as compared to $3.9 million
in 2006;

-- Continued investment in sales and marketing efforts resulting
in a 154% increase in originations from $21.5 million in 2006
to $54.6 million;

-- An 11.6% or $1.7 million reduction in selling, general and
administrative expenses compared to 2006;

-- A 6.9% or $2.8 million increase in cash received from
customers compared to 2006;

-- Cash dividends paid of $2.8 million for a 3.2% dividend yield;

-- The addition of 903 new vendors; and

-- A return on average assets of 9.8% and return on average
equity of 10.6% with a ratio of total liabilities to total
equity of less than 0.2 times at December 31, 2007.

Fourth Quarter 2007 Results

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2007 was $1.7 million or $0.12 per diluted share based upon 14,154,862 shares, compared to net income of $1.8 million, or $0.13 per diluted share based upon 13,979,368 shares for the same period last year.

Revenue in the fourth quarter of 2007 was $8.6 million compared to $7.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2006 as expected declines in rental income and other revenue during the quarter were more than offset by growth in the leasing revenues associated with our new lease originations. Revenue from leases was $4.2 million, up $2.7 million from the same period last year and rental income was $2.9 million, down $1.6 million from December 31, 2006. Other revenue components contributed $1.5 million for the current quarter, down $0.1 million from the same period last year.

Full press release here:


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

Fitch: Credit Market Concerns Spread to Leveraged Loans and CLOs

Fitch Ratings-New York-07 February 2008: The dislocation in the credit markets has spread to leveraged loans and collateralized loan obligations (CLOs) and will continue to affect performance in 2008, as discussed by Fitch Ratings in a new report published today.

The report, 'Developments in the U.S. Leveraged Loan and CLO Markets,' chronicles events in the leveraged loan and CLO markets leading up to and including the dramatic shift in market sentiment in 2007 and provides a view of these markets going forward.

'The ongoing credit crunch is reshaping the leveraged loan market,' said William May, Senior Director of Fitch Credit Market Research. 'Aggressive loan structures, in particular, will be put to a significant test over the coming year.'

As with all structured finance vehicles, CLO performance is inextricably linked to the performance of underlying collateral. As such, CLOs are not immune to the crisis embroiling the credit markets and the forces behind it which are having a significant negative impact on high yield bonds and loans.

Risk in the leveraged loan market had in fact been building for some time due to declining structural protections and other aggressive features of new deals brought to market in recent years. The abundance of loans originated to fund shareholder-oriented activities, such as leveraged buyouts (LBOs), as well as covenant-light and second-lien loans, was a part of this trend.

As weaker macroeconomic conditions, softer credit fundamentals, and constrained liquidity push up corporate default rates, these risks will continue to weigh on market sentiment and performance. Recovery rates are also expected to suffer as a result of loan-heavy capital structures and weak structural protections.

Beyond credit issues, Fitch's new study also discusses technical challenges faced by CLOs including the role of mark-to-market pricing, a diminished CLO investor base, and the potential for complications due to structural constraints.

The report also offers an overview of Fitch's recently published proposal to update its CDO rating methodology in order to address emerging credit concerns and changing market dynamics.

The full report titled 'Developments in the US Leveraged Loan and CLO Markets' is available on the Fitch Ratings web site at '' under the credit market research link.

If you have trouble viewing the report, please click on the link below.


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

H. Daniel Kramer New CMO Icon Capital

New York, New York – ICON Capital Corp., a global asset manager with a longstanding specialty in equipment finance, today announced the appointment of H. Daniel Kramer as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, with responsibility for leading ICON’s marketing and sales efforts in sourcing and syndicating equipment acquisitions, both domestically and internationally. Mr. Kramer will report directly to the Co-CEOs, Michael Reisner and Mark Gatto.

“Dan’s extensive background in equipment finance combined with his proven track record of success makes him ideal to head up our growth strategy here and abroad,” said Michael Reisner, Co-President and Co-CEO of ICON Capital Corp.

Mr. Kramer has more than 30 years of equipment leasing and structured finance experience. Most recently, he was part of the Equipment Finance Division of CIT Commercial Finance, and was responsible for offering equipment leasing and financing solutions to complement public and private companies’ capital structure. Prior to that role he was Senior Vice President, National Sales Manager with GMAC Commercial Equipment Finance and was responsible for leading a direct sales origination team. Kramer was also Senior Vice President and National Sales Manager for the Structured Equipment Finance Division of ORIX.

“Dan’s extensive industry experience, superb leadership skills, sharp intellect, and business acumen make him the right steward to lead ICON’s sales and marketing efforts into the future,” said Mark Gatto, Co-President and Co-CEO of ICON Capital Corp.

About ICON Capital Corp.
ICON is a global asset manager with an unparalleled expertise in equipment leasing and structured finance. ICON specializes in providing financing solutions to private and public companies in capital asset intensive industries and our investment capital has aided a diverse group of organizations in the IT/Telecommunications, energy, marine, manufacturing, medical and transportation industries.
Founded in 1985, ICON is the largest independent, privately-held equipment leasing and specialty finance company in the United States. Headquartered in New York City, ICON operates from offices in San Francisco, Boston, Toronto and London. ICON's experience in evaluating, acquiring, and managing a wide range of business essential equipment and our focus on structuring flexible, responsive, and customized asset based solutions has made us one of the leading equipment financing and leasing specialists for today's middle market companies worldwide.


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

BB&T Equipment Finance Corp. names Jaschik as president

CHARLOTTE, N.C., -- BB&T Equipment Finance Corporation today named Tom Jaschik as its new president. He succeeds Joel Rutledge, a retiring BB&T veteran who joined BB&T's Equipment Finance unit in 1992.

Jaschik, 51, comes to BB&T with 30 years of equipment leasing experience, most recently with LaSalle National Leasing Corporation where he served as chief operating officer and group senior vice president. He joined LaSalle Leasing, a subsidiary of LaSalle National Bank, in 1996.

"The reputation Tom has earned in the industry is based on unwavering integrity and a penchant for execution," said Jeff McKay, subsidiary manager in BB&T's Specialized Lending Group. "We are excited to have such a highly regarded industry professional join the BB&T family."

Jaschik serves on the board of the Washington, D.C.-based Equipment Leasing and Finance Association. He also has served as a board member, president and chairman of the Association for Governmental Leasing and Finance.

Jaschik earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Towson University and his master of business administration degree from Loyola College of Maryland.

BB&T Equipment Finance Corporation specializes in commercial equipment leasing. Working closely with BB&T's Banking Network and Capital Markets groups, it serves more than 15,000 clients. BB&T Equipment Finance offers a consultative review of alternative and tax-advantaged equipment financing options for most capital asset categories, including transportation, construction, material handling, manufacturing and energy sectors.

"The equipment finance market is very competitive. However, knowledgeable clients know it's not all about price," Jaschik said. "Rather than simply providing the capital to support their equipment acquisitions, clients want an equipment financing partner that can tailor financing to meet their specific tax, accounting or asset management issues. I look forward to leading BB&T's effort to provide this solutions-based equipment financing to its clients."

Charlotte-based BB&T Equipment Finance Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Branch Banking and Trust Company, the principal subsidiary of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T Corporation
(NYSE: BBT: 34.62, +0.75, +2.21%).

With $132.6 billion in assets, BB&T Corporation is the nation's 14th largest financial holding company. It operates nearly 1,500 financial centers in 11 states and Washington, D.C. More information about the company is available at

SOURCE BB&T Corporation


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

News Briefs----

US Roll Call: Economic Stimulus bill by name and state:

Stores Post Disappointing January Sales,0,97850.story

Caterpillar plant in Mississippi felled by storm

Creators of Credit Crisis Revel in Las Vegas

Holocaust restitution sought for Kraft plant,0,16272.story



You May have Missed---

Consumers Can Scan Bank Deposits at Home



California Nuts Briefs---

Pebble Beach has plenty of star power



“Gimme that Wine”

Exporting grows in California

Wine's impact on Washington: $3B per year

The Chronicle Wine Selections: Carneros Pinot Noir

Wine lovers: He's passionate about red, she's devoted to white - how to bridge the color divide

Calistoga becomes labeling flashpoint Launches New Cellar Management Tool

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.



Calendar Events This Day

Boy Scout Day

Kite Flying Day

Laugh and Get Rich Day
Recognition of laughter’s power to add to the bottom line.

National Molasses Bar Day

Slovenia: Culture Day
National holiday. Honors France Preseren, Slovenia’s national poet, who died Feb 8, 1849

Saint feast Days



In Sumatra, workers on coffee plantations gather the world's most expensive coffee by following a gourmet marsupial who consumes only the choicest coffee beans. By picking through what he excretes, they obtain the world's most expensive coffee -'Kopi Luwak', which sells for over $100 per pound.

(The story in “Bucket List” is true.)



Today's Top Event in History

1931- Birthday of James Dean, American stage, film and television actor . He achieved immense popularity during a brief career. He is considered an "icon" today to several generations. Born at Fairmont, Indiana. Best remembered for his role in" Rebel Without a Cause" with Natalie Wood. Died driving his Porsche convertible at a very high speed on a desert highway near Cholame, CA, Sept 30, 1955, at age 24. Stamp collectors made the US postal stamp bearing Dean's likeness the most popular stamp of 1996.


This Day in American History

    1517- Francisco Hernandez de Cordova sailed from Cuba with three ships to procure slaves for the mines as Columbus was bringing many slaves back to Europe. He landed on the Isla de las Mujeres, to which he gave this name because the idols he found . He and his crew became the first Spaniards to purposefully reach the mainland of what is now Mexico . He died after an encounter with Mayan Indians. Some say he landed in Florida, where he actually passed away from the wounds from the battle.
    1735- The first opera produced in the colonies was performed at the Courtroom, at Charleston, SC. The opera was Flora; or the Hob in the Well, written by Colley Cibber.
    1820- Birthday of William Sherman, Union General Sherman, especially remembered for his devastating march through Georgia during the Civil War and his statement "War is hell." Died at New York, NY, Feb 14, 1891.
    1829-Birthday of Captain John Newton Sloan, a remarkable man thought found dead during the Civil War, but survived in a heroic manner.
    1835 - A severe cold wave gripped the southeastern U.S. The mercury dipped to 8 above at Jacksonville FL, and to zero at Savannah GA. Orange trees were killed to the roots.
    1837- The first vice-president elected by the Senate was Richard Mentor Johnson, who was chosen by the Senate because no candidate had received a majority of the electoral votes. He served from March 4, 1837 to March 4, 1841, under President Martin Van Buren. In the future, president and vice-president were to run on one ticket.
    1835 - A severe cold wave gripped the southeastern U.S. The mercury dipped to 8 above at Jacksonville FL, and to zero at Savannah GA. Orange trees were killed to the roots.
    1851 – Birthday of American feminist writer Kate Chopin born, St. Louis, Missouri.
    1865- Martin Robinson Delany, received his commission and became the first Army major who was African-American. He was stationed in Charleston, South Carolina.
    1881- Frederic Ives, a photographer at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY received a patent for a halftone printing plate for reproducing photographs in books, magazines, and newspapers. In 1878 he converted negative into a screen gelatin relief from which he made a printing plate with good fidelity. He further developed this, which revolutionized the printing industry.
    1885-- The City of Tokio arrived in Honolulu carrying the first 944 official migrants from Japan to Hawaii.
    1887- President Cleveland signs the Dawes Land Allotment Act, dissolving Indian tribes as legal entities. It distributes territory held in common by American Indian nations to individual families. Each family is to get 160 acres. All other land will be sold, with proceeds going to an educational trust fund. The Dawes Land Allotment Act entitled each family on the Great Sioux Reservation to own 160 acres. Since the reservation contained twice the land needed for allotments, the law dispossessed the Sioux of half their rightful territory. The Act ultimately results in the loss of tens of millions of acres of treaty land. "The commune shall give way to the dignity and rights of American citizens . . . the heathen idols shall give place to the Christian altars, and . . . the tribal organization shall be broken up and the individuality of the Indian encouraged and developed, and the lands unnecessarily reserved for them opened to the pioneer [so that] intelligence and thrift may find lodging there."
    1889- The first production of steam tractors were loaded on a car at San Leandro, California, designed and made by Daniel Best. They were called the Best Tractor. Until gasoline powered engines came along, the steam tractor was the Best.
    1899- Blues guitarist and singer Lonnie Johnson was born in New Orleans. More respected for his playing than his singing, Johnson developed his distinctive style as early as 1927 when he recorded with Louis Armstrong's Hot Five. Johnson's 1948 recording of "Tomorrow Night" was very popular, spending seven weeks on Billboard's rhythm-and-blues chart, and even making the top 20 of the pop chart. From the mid-1960's, he spent much of his time in Toronto. Lonnie Johnson suffered a stroke after a serious accident in 1969, and died the following year.
    1906- Birthday of Henry Roth, American author who gained first international fame with his novel Call It Sleep (1934). Originally seen as an important proletarian novel of the 1930s, it was soon out of print and forgotten, but in the 1960s it was hailed as the finest Jewish-American novel of the first half of the century and one of the richest modernist novels to appear in America. Roth published no other novels until 1994, working several jobs, among others as a precision metal grinder, mental nurse, poultry farmer, and teacher. Died 1995.
    1906-Birthday of 1906 -- Chester F. Carlson, inventor of the photocopier, born Seattle, Washington.
    1910- The Boy Scouts of America was founded at Washington, DC, by William Boyce, based on the work of Sir Robert Baden-Powell with the British Boy Scout Association.
    1911-Birthday of American Poet Elizabeth Bishop born Worcester, Massachusetts; winner of a Pulitzer Prize for her book of poems, North and South, in 1956.
    1915- The Clansman, or the Birth of the Nation, 12 reels, produced by D.W.Griffith, and starring Henry Walthall and Lillian Gish, with a cast of 18,000 people and 3,000 horses premiered at Clune’s Auditorium, Los Angeles. It was based on the Clansman by Thomas Dixon. It was the first movie to gross $50 million, an astronomical sum in those days. Two performances were presented daily. There was a matinee at 2:30pm, admission 25 cents and 50 cents, and an evening show at 8:om, admission 75 cents.
    1919—trombonist and band leader Buddy Morrow birthday

    1925- birthday of Jack Lemmon, Stage, screen and television actor, born John Uhler Lemmon III at Boston, MA. Often paired with actor Walter Matthau, he starred in such films as The Odd Couple, The Fortune Cookie and The Front Page. He was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning in 1955 for his supporting role in Mister Roberts and in 1974 for his leading role in Save the Tiger. Other films included Some Like It Hot, Days of Wine and Roses and Grumpy Old Men. He also starred in television versions of Inherit the Wind and Twelve Angry Men, and won an Emmy in 2000 for the TV movie Tuesdays with Morrie. He was a favorite for many years at the Bing Crosby, now AT&T Golf Tournament in Pebble Beach, CA. He died at Los Angeles, CA, June 27, 2001.
    1926- alto sax player Pony Poindexter birthday, New Orleans, LA.
    1926- Beat author Neal Cassidy born Salt Lake City, Utah
    1929- Eddie Condon’s Hot Shots ( Jack Teagarden, Mezz Mezzrow, Joe Sullivan ) record
:” I’m Gonna Stomp,” “ Mr. Henry Lee.” Victor V-38046 )
    1931- Birthday of James Dean, American stage, film and television actor . He achieved immense popularity during a brief career. He is considered an "icon" today to several generations. Born at Fairmont, Indiana. Best remembered for his role in" Rebel Without a Cause" with Natalie Wood. Died driving his Porsche convertible at a very high speed on a desert highway near Cholame, CA, Sept 30, 1955, at age 24. Stamp collectors made the US postal stamp bearing Dean's likeness the most popular stamp of 1996.
    1932- birthday of John Williams, pianist, conductor ( formerly with Boston Pops) composer ( scores for Jaws, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List ) , New York City, New York.
    1936 - The temperature at Denver CO plunged to a record 30 degrees below zero.
    1937-Birthday of Shirley Bassey, Welsh-born popular British and American singer at her zenith in the 60s and 70s. Although her strong voice carried well on records, her forte was concerts and cabaret acts. Among her best known renditions are "For All We Know" and "Never, Never, Never."
    1941- Folksinger Tom Rush birthday, Portsmith, NH.
    1950- Man o’War was voted the greatest race horse of the first half of the 20th century in a poll conducted by the Associated Press. Man o’ War raced as a 2- and 3- year old, winning 20 of 21 races and setting five track records.
    1951---Top Hits
My Heart Cries for You - Guy Mitchell
Tennessee Waltz - Patti Page
If - Perry Como
There’s Been a Change in Me - Eddy Arnold
    1952- Webb Pierce entered the Billboard country chart for the first time with "Wondering." Pierce dominated the country charts in the 1950's with his pure honky-tonk sound. Between 1952 and '62, he placed 44 songs on the Billboard chart, 38 of which made the top ten. Pierce's influence can be heard in the music of such contemporary country artists as Ricky Skaggs and Dwight Yoakam.
    1954 – Beat author Jack Kerouac, hitchhiking from NY on the 27th of January, visits Neale and Carolyn Cassady in Los Gatos, California, not too far from where I live. . Kerouac's interest in Buddhism begins as he reads Dwight Goddard's A Buddhist Bible; he also begins writing "Some of the Dharma." In March Kerouac settles in San Francisco.
    1956-Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers' "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" and the Teen Queens' "Eddie, My Love" enter the R&B chart.
    1956- Buddy Holley signs a recording contract with Decca Records, one which mistakenly drops the "e" from his last name. Buddy, knowing a good thing when he sees it, drops the letter from his name as well.
    1958-The Quarrymen perform at the Wilson Hall in the Garston section of Liverpool, England. Afterwards, member Paul McCartney introduces his friend George Harrison to John Lennon.
    1959---Top Hits
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - The Platters
The All American Boy - Bill Parsons
Stagger Lee - Lloyd Price
Billy Bayou - Jim Reeves
    1960- Mark Dinning's "Teen Angel" hits #1
    1960- The US Congress opened hearings on payola, whereby a radio station or its employees, usually a disc jockey, accept payment for broadcasting records. Among those accused were DJs Alan Freed and Dick Clark. Clark was called the most influential person in the popular music industry because of his interests in music publishing and record companies. But he denied any wrongdoing and escaped the inquiry virtually unscathed. Alan Freed was not so fortunate. He had few friends in the music business because of his practice of playing records by black artists rather than white cover versions. When the investigation started, Freed was blackballed. And when he finally came to trial in 1962, he was a broken man. Freed pleaded guilty to two counts of commercial bribery, was fined $300 and received a suspended sentence. He never worked in radio again and died in January 1965. Congress eventually outlawed payola, and the offence was punishable by a maximum $10,000 fine. But the significance of payola was greatly diminished by this time because of the growth of Top-40 radio. Disc jockeys were governed by a rigid play list and were not allowed to choose their own music.
    1963- less than two months after defeating the Houston Oilers in the second championship game of the American Football League, the Dallas Texans, owned by Lamar Hunt, moved to Kansas City and were renamed the Chiefs.
    1964- during the congressional debate over the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Representative Martha Griffiths delivered a memorable speech advocating the prohibition of discrimination based on sex. Her efforts resulted in adding civil rights protection for women to the 1964 Act. She later successfully led the campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment in the House of Representatives.
    1964-Songs released today include the Temptations' "The Way You Do the Things You Do" on Motown, the Beach Boys' "Fun, Fun Fun" is out on Capitol and the album "Beatlemania in the USA!" by the Liverpools is released on Wyngate Records.
    1964- The Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There" enters the pop charts.
    1964-Max Firetag, publisher of "Louie Louie" as recorded by the Kingsmen for Wand Records, denies Indiana Governor Matthew Welsh's claim that the song is "pornographic." Firetag offers $1,000 to anyone who can find anything "suggestive" in the song's lyrics.
    1964- Billy Kidd and Jim Heuga became the first American men to Win Olympic medals in Alpine skiing when they captured the silver and bronze medals respectively, in the slalom at the IXth Winter Olympics at Innsbruck, Austria.
    1965-The Supremes' "Stop in the Name Of Love" is released.
    1967---Top Hits
I’m a Believer - The Monkees
Georgy Girl - The Seekers
Kind of a Drag - The Buckinghams
There Goes My Everything - Jack Greene
    1969- The Supremes and Temptations' album TCB enters the charts.
    1968-Ex-Cream guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker and ex-Traffic keyboardist and singer Stevie Winwood announce they are forming a new band and auditioning for a bassist, with the addition of ex-Family bassist Rich Grech, the band will become the "supergroup" Blind Faith.
    1973- Carly Simon is awarded a gold record for her single "You're So Vain," the only Number One song of her career. Many speculate as to the identity of the song's subject. Many assume it's Mick Jagger, whose voice can be clearly heard singing behind Simon in the chorus. However, it turns out that the subject is actor Warren Beatty.
    1975 - For the first time in U.S. history, a woman, Betty S. Murphy is named chair of the National Labor Relations Board, the first woman member of the board. On this same day, for the first time in U.S. history, a woman, Ella Grasso of Connecticut, takes office as the first woman governor elected in her own right.
    1975---Top Hits
Fire - Ohio Players
You’re No Good - Linda Ronstadt
Boogie on Reggae Woman - Stevie Wonder
Then Who Am I - Charley Pride
    1982-- Cher makes her Broadway debut in Come Back To The Five And Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.
    1983---Top Hits
Africa - Toto
Baby, Come to Me - Patti Austin with James Ingram
Shame on the Moon - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Inside - Ronnie Milsap
    1986- The musical "Evita" ended its eight-year run in London. The show earned 32-million dollars and was performed 2,913 times during its run at the Prince Edward Theatre. Based on the life of former Argentine President Juan Peron and his wife, Eva, the show remained popular even at the height of the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina in 1982.
    1987 - A powerful storm produced blizzard conditions in the Great Lakes Region. Winds gusted to 86 mph at Janesville WI and Cleveland OH received 12 inches of snow. North winds of 50 to 70 mph raised the water level of southern Lake Michigan two feet, and produced waves 12 to 18 feet high, causing seven million dollars damage along the Chicago area shoreline. It was the most damage caused by shoreline flooding and erosion in the history of the city of Chicago
    1987- Nancy Lopez won the 35th LPGA tournament of her career, the $200,000 Sarasota Classic, and earned induction into the LPGA Hall of Fame.
    1989 - A winter storm over California produced snow from the beaches of Malibu to the desert canyons around Palm Springs, and the snow created mammoth traffic jams in the Los Angeles Basin. Sixteen cities in the western U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date. Marysville CA reported an all-time record low reading of 21 degrees above zero.
    1990 - Unseasonably mild weather prevailed across the south central and eastern U.S. Twenty-two cities, including five in Michigan, reported record high temperatures for the date. The afternoon high of 53 degrees at Flint MI surpassed their previous record by ten degrees, and the high of 66 degrees at Burlington IA exceeded their old record by eight degrees.
    1991---Top Hits
The First Time - Surface
Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) - C & C Music
Factory featuring Freedom Williams
Play that Funky Music - Vanilla Ice
Daddy’s Come Around - Paul Overstreet
    1996- the National Football League approved the transfer of the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. Owner Art Modell agreed to leave the team’s nickname and colors in Cleveland and later decided to call his team the Ravens. The NFL awarded Cleveland an expansion franchise in 1998.
    1997- The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-5, in overtime, to make Coach Scotty Bowman the first NHL coach to reach the 1,000-win plateau.
    2000---Top Hits
I Knew I Loved You- Savage Garden
Thank God I Found You- Mariah Carey Featuring Joe
What A Girl Wants- Christina Aguilera
Get It On Tonite- Montell Jordan
    2002 -XIX Winter Olympics opens in Salt Lake City UT/Québec City.



Winter Poem

An Old Man's Winter Night

    by Robert Frost

All out of doors looked darkly in at him
Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars,
That gathers on the pane in empty rooms.
What kept his eyes from giving back the gaze
Was the lamp tilted near them in his hand.
What kept him from remembering what it was
That brought him to that creaking room was age.
He stood with barrels round him -- at a loss.
And having scared the cellar under him
In clomping there, he scared it once again
In clomping off; -- and scared the outer night,
Which has its sounds, familiar, like the roar
Of trees and crack of branches, common things,
But nothing so like beating on a box.
A light he was to no one but himself
Where now he sat, concerned with he knew what,
A quiet light, and then not even that.
He consigned to the moon, such as she was,
So late-arising, to the broken moon
As better than the sun in any case
For such a charge, his snow upon the roof,
His icicles along the wall to keep;
And slept. The log that shifted with a jolt
Once in the stove, disturbed him and he shifted,
And eased his heavy breathing, but still slept.
One aged man -- one man -- can't keep a house,
A farm, a countryside, or if he can,
It's thus he does it of a winter night.




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



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