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Friday, January 15, 2016

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

Dash Menkin, Riverine Duty
Same Duties as Crew who Stumbled into Iran Waters
New Hires---Promotions in the Leasing Business
and Related Industries
Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted
This Way Up/Credit Analyst
Beige Book Reports Lending Activity Mostly Up
Positive Bank and Finance Report
PC sales hit an eight-year low in 2015
Another Credit Card Processing Lessor Loses Cases
  in Forum Selection Clause Battle
By Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor
The Hateful Eight/The Revenant]
Black Mass/Queen of Earth/Experimenter
Film/Digital Reviews by Fernando Croce
Baby Labrador Retriever
Boston, Massachusetts Adopt-a-Dog
Tombstones---Park Western Leasing
  Recently Leased Equipment
News Briefs---
GM to sell 30,000 company-owned used cars online
Website launches in February
GE to move headquarters to Boston from Connecticut
   Majority of ex-GE Capital Employees Live in Conn.
JPMorgan’s Fourth-Quarter Profit Rises 10%
   Rising Water Rises All Boats
JPMorgan Results Offer Strong Case
   for Financial Technology
PayPal Adds Bitcoin Entrepreneur To Its Board
  To Focus On The Future Of Money
Export-Import Bank earned a profit of $432 million
  for taxpayers last year despite shutdown
Northern Power systems Offering Equipment
  with 100% Financing for business, farms, property owners

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Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months (Be Careful of Doing Business)
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Dash Menkin, Riverine Duty
Same Duties as Crew who Stumbled into Iran Waters

Readers may remember the stories I wrote about my son Dash (short for Dashiell) as he was a Riverine "plank owner" in the Iraq War.

Dash, Bahrain Base, 2005

In August, 2005, he wrote, "Dad, tell your friend (Dwight Galloway) Quantico was the first Marine Corp Base I trained at... When in North Carolina I was training with the guys from LeJeune at a place called BlackWater. I am sure he knows all about it. My home base is now Portsmouth, Virginia."

Here are two 2008 photos from Leasing News:

In 2008, his Riverine unit escorted Marines, Navy SEALs, plus guarded oil fields and operations off the coasts of Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Yemen.

Four tours in waters of Iraq (two on a destroyer guarding oil platforms, in small craft then, too, inspecting ships in the area; two in Riverine on land and sea. He was here in 2005 and said he particularly remembers 2008 as they had better crafts with 50 caliber machineguns. He also served in the "Brown Navy," a dirt soldier with Army and became a Chief Petty Officer.  He is proud of his Iraq Campaign Medal (combat vet); now a Chief Electrician as a Merchant Marine on a US Navy major supply ship, also equipped for other duties. I spoke to him in Bahrain, major US Navy base in this small island off of Saudi Arabia (we communicate by email; and by phone when he is on land---his phone plan gives him no charge calls from anywhere he can connect).

"I could tell you a lot of sea stories,” he told me “... old stomping grounds fer sure!"

He told me he remembers the GPS system is not very accurate in certain parts as well as it easy to get off course in the close waters. Often boats were not well equipment with navigation gear. And if you were off course, you didn’t want to go on radio and let others hear you didn’t know where you were.

He told me stories of buying his own special shoes to wear and other gear. Seems I remember things he told me in 2005 about Humvees not have armor underneath, and other such things. Most of the stories I cannot repeat. He says the military could have better equipped the soldiers when he was on duty. It was giving your position away.

He had some others things to say, but best not to repeat them.

--- Kit Menkin, editor/father

‘Navigational error’ — not lack of fuel
— led US sailors into Iranian waters  



New Hires---Promotions in the Leasing Business
and Related Industries

Dustin Arbogast was hired as Marketing Specialist, Trios Health, Pasco, Washington.  Previously, he was Marketing Coordinator, Financial Pacific Leasing (January, 2013 – December, 2015); Marketing Coordinator and Graphic Design Production Artist, TrueBlue Inc. (May, 2012 – January, 2013); Assistant Brand and Customer Relations Specialist, Heaven's Best (February, 2011 – July, 2011); Shipping and Receiving Coordinator, Heaven's Best Carpet Cleaning (May, 2007 – January, 2011). Honors & Awards: Employee of the Month, Financial Pacific Leasing, October, 2013. Employee of the Year, Financial Pacific Leasing (2014). Education: Brigham Young University, Idaho.
Communications, Advertising, Graphic Design (2007 – 2011)

Rick Baginski was promoted to VP Credit, Franchise & Structured Financing at CIT Bank; he is based in Jacksonville, Florida. He joined CIT Group, October, 2007, and previous position was VP/Director Problem Loan Management.  Prior, he was Credit Officer, Large Ticket Underwriter, Citibank (June, 1996 – October, 2007). Languages: Polish.  Volunteer: Humane Society support, Jacksonville Humane Society. Education: Kean University, Bachelors, Political Science, History (1989 – 2004). Majored in Political Science, Criminal Justice, & History

Ray Borgaard was hired as Director, Accounts Receivable at First Financial Corporate Services, Placentia, California; he is based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Previously, he was Principal, RB Asset Management (August, 2008 – December, 2015); Manager, Credit and Collections, Stericycle, Inc. (October, 2006 – July, 2006); Director, Accounts Receivable, Operations, Customer Service, Peacock Interiors, LLC (May, 2003 – September, 2006). Prior, he was Manager, Accounts Receivable, Comdisco, Inc, 1986; promoted to Director, Accounts Receivable (April 1999 – May 2003). Languages: German. Education
North Park University, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies.

Eric Freeman was promoted to Vice President, National Sales, Summit Funding Group, Inc., Mason, Ohio; he is based in Orange County, California. "Mr. Freeman joined Summit Funding Group in 2012 as Vice President of Sales where he led a team focused on financing hard collateral equipment for companies with revenue below $500MM. After successfully ramping up this division over the past two and a half years Mr. Freeman will also assume sales leadership over the company’s Enterprise Leasing division, which focuses on leasing technology, manufacturing, and product needs of companies with revenue greater than $500MM."  Prior, he was Vice President of Sales
First National Capital (May, 2007 – December, 2012); Senior Vice President, CG Commercial Finance (June, 2002 – February, 2007). Education: University of California, Santa Barbara, Bachelor of Arts, Business Economics; Accounting and Finance

Jerry Herrman was promoted to Director, Capital One Equipment Finance, Melville, New York. He joined the firm April, 2013. Previously, he was Vice-President, Webster Capital Finance (March, 2012-April, 2013); Vice President, SunTrust Equipment Finance & Leasing (January, 2004-March, 2012), Vice President, GMAC Commercial Mortgage-Asset Backed Lending (February, 2002-January, 2004); Director, Sales (Pure Markets corporation (2000-2002), Vice President, Banc One Leasing Corporation (1997-2000); Vice President, NationsBanc Leasing Corp (1992-1997); Account Officer (1990-1992).
Education: State University of New York College at Oneonta, Bachelor of Science, Economics & Accounting. Organizations: FAA: Private Pilot, BSA, St James Cycling Club.

Joe Houston was hired by Stonebriar Commercial Finance, Plano, Texas, as "Director of Originations covering the Southern Region, managing Stonebriar Commercial Finance’s origination efforts in that area including the states of Louisiana and Texas." Previously, he was Director, SunTrust Equipment Finance & Leasing Corp. (December, 2002 – January, 2015). Education: Florida State University, College of Business, BS, Management (1981 – 1984). Activities and Societies: Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity

Thomas Karren was announced as Partner/Chief Operating Officer of WK Financial Group, LLC, Greater Salt Lake City, Utah. Previously, he was Vice President of Credit, Paradigm Equipment Finance (August, 2013-November, 2015); Commercial Banking Manager, TAB Bank (July 2011–July 2013); Assistant Vice President - Relationship Manager, Zions Bank (July 2010–April 2011). Education: Weber State University, Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Business Administration and Management (2006–2010); Weber State University, Associate of Arts and Sciences (A.A.S.), Business Administration, Management and Operations (2003–2006).

Curt Ritter was hired as SVP, Head of Corporate Communications at Church Pension Group, New York, New York, October, 2015. He joined CIT, April, 2006 as Vice President, External and Internal Communications & Media Relations; promoted to Vice President, External and Internal Communications & Media Relations, February, 2014.  Prior, He was First Vice President and Director of Corporate Communications, W. P. Carey & Co. LLC (April, 2001 – April, 2006); First Deputy Press Secretary, Office of the Mayor City of New York/Rudy Giuliani (June, 1997 – April, 2001); Account Executive, Edelman Public Relations (November, 1994 – June, 1997). Organizations: Chatham Township mayor; The Chatham Turkey Trot President & Founder; Delbarton School Alumni Association Class Representative & Former President; Delta Upsilon Fraternity Alumni; Summit Elks Lodge 1246.  Honors & Awards: 2013 Silver Telly Award Recipient. 2012 Aurora Award - Platinum Best of Show Recipient. 2012 Bronze Telly Award Recipient. 2010 Leasing News Person of the 2010 Silver Anvil Award of Excellence, Crisis Communications Recipient from the Public Relations Society of America. 2009 PRWeek Crisis Management Campaign of the Year Finalist. 2009 Financial Communications Society Interactive Media Campaign Bronze Award Recipient for CIT’s “5 Minute Capital” executive podcast series. PRSA Bronze Anvil Award Recipient for strategic media relations campaign “Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater – Making the Case for Off Balance Sheet Financing.” PRSA Big Apple Award Recipient for KeyCorp’s “Key Forum: Big Issues for Small Businesses,” a national conference for small business owners held in Washington, D.C. Education: Columbia University, Columbia Business School, MBA (2005 – 2006). Arizona State University, BA, Broadcasting, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication (1989 – 1994). Activities and Societies: Delta Upsilon Fraternity Delbarton, High School Diploma (1985 – 1989).

Mike Schlosser was hired as Chief Operating Officer at Mintaka Financial, Gig Harbor, Washington. Previously, he was Credit Officer Summit Leasing (July, 2001 – November, 2015). Volunteer: Past President of The First Tee of Yakima, current board member The First Tee of Yakima. Education: Minnesota State University, Moorhead, BS, Business Administration (1978 – 1982). Acquired a BS Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Finance.
Mandan Senior High School (1975 – 1978).

Penny Wamsley was hired as Account Executive, LEAF Commercial Capital, Inc., Moberly, Missouri. Previously, she was Regional Sales Manager, Balboa Capital (March, 2015 – December, 2015); Account Executive, LEAF Commercial Capital, Inc. (March, 2012 – March, 2015); Search Consultant, TimeLine Recruiting (2008 – 2009); Account Executive, GE Capital (2008 – 2009). Education: South Central Career College, Paralegal, Monette High School

Adam Wicker announced as Partner/Chief Executive Officer at WK Financial Group, LLC, Greater Salt Lake City area. He co-founded the firm November, 2015.  Previously, he was Chief Operating Officer & Partner, Paradigm Commercial Capital Group (January, 2013 – November, 2015); Relationship Manager/Assistant Vice President, Zions Bank (January, 2008 – December, 2012). Education: Weber State University

Bon Wier was hired as President at EcoDev Capital Advisors, LLC.; based in Austin, Texas.  Previously, he was Wholesale Account Manager, De Lage Landen (February, 2014 – December, 2015); Senior Financial Analyst, Economic Development Bank, Office of the Governor, State of Texas (March, 2012 – February, 2014); Syndications Manager, Dell Financial Services (August, 2005 – July, 2011); Manager Credit and Syndications, State and Local Government, Oracle Corporation (February, 2004 – August, 2005); Regional Manager, Leasing Group, Inc. (1995 – 2004). Education: Texas State University, BS, Economics – Agriculture (1990 – 1995).




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This Way Up/Credit Analyst


Credit Analyst
Your Choice, Locate in Either Office:
Anaheim,CA; Federal Way, WA; Tigard, OR 

$150K -$500k equipment leases, financing (recourse/non-recourse lines of credit) 
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Please click here for more information.
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Beige Book Reports Lending Activity Mostly Up
Positive Bank and Finance Report

"Banking and Finance
Lending activity appears to have improved on net. Loan demand grew on balance in the Philadelphia, St. Louis, and San Francisco Districts. Cleveland, Richmond, and Kansas City reported stable credit demand, on balance, while Dallas noted some recent softening. Philadelphia reported the strongest loan growth for autos, commercial real estate, and commercial and industrial deals, while residential lending was flat to down. San Francisco noted robust growth of automobile loans and mortgage originations. Atlanta reported an increase in residential mortgage lending and refinancing, while New York reported weaker demand from the household sector, but steady commercial demand. Chicago noted continued strength in auto lending and some slowing of loan demand from small and middle-market businesses, while most other household lending was little changed. The slumping energy sector was cited as a factor for lower loan demand by some contacts in the Cleveland, Richmond, and Atlanta Districts.

"Credit conditions generally improved. New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, and San Francisco cited improved credit quality, declining delinquencies, or both, in all or part of their Districts. Cleveland reported no change in delinquencies. Dallas contacts noted increasing delinquencies of loans to oil and gas companies. New York, Cleveland, Richmond, and Kansas City reported little or no change in credit standards. Seven Districts described some competitive conditions, including competition from nonbank, online entities, whereas New York cited some narrowing of spreads in all loan categories. However, Chicago noted signs of slight tightening of credit supply."



PC sales hit an eight-year low in 2015

by Matt Rosoff

PC sales hit an eight-year low in 2015, according to Gartner, shrinking about 8% from the previous year.

As you can see in this chart compiled by Statista, global PC sales peaked in 2011 at 365 million units. One year later, Microsoft released Windows 8, and it's been all downhill since then. One can't blame Windows 8 entirely — there was also a broader slowdown in the economy, particularly in developing economies that had been growing very fast a few years ago, and new competition from the iPad, Surface, and other tablets, and rapidly improving smartphones in a mobile workforce.

Whatever the reasons for the decline, both Gartner and IDC believe that the PC market has almost hit bottom, and are forecasting a slight recovery or at least flattening in late 2016, driven in part by the rise of convertible tablet-PC hybrids and in part by enterprise adoption of new Windows 10 PCs.

(It should be noted that semiconductor companies are changing their
direction, such as Intel, once primarily a producer of chips for PC's,
now trying to reach a much broader and more diversified lineup. A very good indication was their $16.7 billion acquisition of Altera, here in Silicon Valley, finalized last month.  Altera is a leader in making programmable chips, key to data centers, the internet, and consumer
products. Editor)



Another Credit Card Processing Lessor Loses Cases
in Forum Selection Clause Battle
By Tom McCurnin
Leasing News Legal Editor

Lessor Could Not Enforce Forum Selection Clause in New York Where
Lessee Had No Contact with New York

Lease Fin. Grp. LLC v. Indries, 49 Misc. 3d 1219(A) (N.Y. Civ. Ct. 2015)

Last year I reported about a credit card processing lessor whose case was tossed out because the lessee was elderly and resided in California (1). Well, here comes another one. The facts follow. 

Lessee Traian Indries, a California corporation, signed a personal property equipment lease with California based lessor Global Leasing Company for the acquisition of some credit card processing machines. The lease had a forum selection clause whereby the lessee agreed that New York would be the exclusive forum for any dispute in connection with the lease. 

As seems to be the case with many of these leases, the lessee had problems with the equipment and second thoughts about the equipment and services. The lessee defaulted. 

Meanwhile, lessor Global Leasing assigned the lease to New York based Lease Finance Group, which commenced a suit in New York for the princely sum of $2,254.00 plus attorney fees. 

The lessee filed a motion to dismiss the action based on the forum selection clause. The lessee filed affidavits stating that English is not his first language and he has the equivalent of an eighth grade education. So much for the sophisticated businessman argument of the lessor. 

The court found that the forum selection clause was unconscionable because it was shown by the lessee to be unreasonable or unjust, overreaching, and that trial in New York would be gravely difficult, so as deprive the lessee of its day in court. The court found that the lessee would have to travel two thousand seven hundred (2,700) miles from California to New York City to defend himself in a case seeking roughly $2,600.00. The court further found that in this case, the forum selection clause is substantively unconscionable and outrageous. Although the assignee tried to argue that it was a holder in due course, it failed to submit any evidence of its relationship with the original lessor. 

Accordingly, the lessee’s motion was granted solely to the extent that the forum selection clause in this lease agreement between these parties is illegal and unenforceable on substantive unconscionability grounds. Lessor/Assignee loses, and lessee wins. The case would have to be moved to California.

What are the lessons here?

•  First, I was amazed at the chutzpa of the assignee in this case to commence litigation and then defend the forum selection clause after the Northern Systems case decided last year. The amount of money at issue was stupidly small, and it might have been a better move to just ding the guy’s credit and give the file to a contingency collection firm in California.

•  Second, in light of the Northern Systems decision of last year, the application of these clauses need to be re-evaluated in New York, which seems particularly sympathetic to claims made by lessees who are elderly, are of immigrant status, or who reside very far away. I think the days of glibly thinking that the courts will rubber stamp these clauses are over, at least for some borrowers.

The bottom line to this case is that equipment lessors need to re-evaluate their forum selection clauses in light of these New York decisions. 

  1. Northern Leasing Systems, Inc. v. French, 48 Misc.3d 43, 44–45 [App T 1st Dept 2015]

Lease Finance v Traian Indries (6 pages)

Tom McCurnin is a partner at Barton, Klugman & Oetting
in Los Angeles, California.

Tom McCurnin
Barton, Klugman & Oetting
350 South Grand Ave.
Suite 2200
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Direct Phone: (213) 617-6129
Cell (213) 268-8291
Visit our web site at
Previous Tom McCurnin Articles:

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Fernando's View
By Fernando F. Croce

A pair of snow-bound adventures ("The Hateful Eight," "The Revenant") make for a harrowing double-bill at the box-office, while DVD releases include brooding gangsters ("Black Mass"), an unnerving drama ("Queen of Earth"), and an unconventional biopic ("Experimenter").

In Theaters:

The Hateful Eight (The Weinstein Company): Award-winning provocateur Quentin Tarantino ("Pulp Fiction," "Inglorious Basterds") gathers many of his favorite actors and sharpens his trademark provocative dialogue for this viciously entertaining blend of Western and whodunit. Set in a snowy corner of Wyoming following the Civil War, the story charts the various tensions simmering as a group of bilious strangers are stranded by a blizzard in a shop. There's a battered prisoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh) chained to a bounty hunter (Kurt Russell), a former Union fighter (Samuel L. Jackson) butting heads with a Confederate rebel (Walton Goggins), and a whole slew of untrustworthy characters. Who will be left standing at the end? Brutal and confrontational as it often is, Tarantino's film is a masterfully assembled genre piece that doubles as an acidic broken mirror of American history.

The Revenant (Twentieth Century Fox): Alejandro González Iñárritu follows his Oscar-winning "Birdman" with this ambitious, wildlife adventure, inspired by true events and featuring an anguishedly committed performance by Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio stars as Hugh Glass, a fur trapper struggling to survive the harsh realities of 1820s frontier life. In between dodging confrontations with the natives and enduring harrowing bear attacks, Glass finds himself betrayed and left for dead by Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), the unstable leader of his hunting expedition. With his son dead, he becomes determined to stay alive and track down Fitzgerald and, perhaps, save his own soul. Made with grueling grit and photographed by the virtuoso Emmanuel Lubezki ("The Tree of Life"), Iñárritu's epic aims to blend meditative beauty with human savagery.

Netflix Tip: Responsible for bringing a transformative look to many American classics of the 1970s, cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond (1932-2016) was deservedly heralded as a master of light. So check out his most famous films, which include "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" (1971), "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977), "The Deer Hunter" (1978), and "Blow Out" (1981).


Black Mass (Warner Bros.): Johnny Depp gives his strongest performance in years in this brooding gangster tale, based on a true story. Depp stars as James “Whitey” Bulger, the leader of a small-time criminal gang in 1970s Boston, who rules the city’s underworld with a cold and brutal hand. When his power is challenged by Mafia-backed upstarts, he becomes involved with FBI agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) and turns informant, though Bulger’s unpredictability makes him a most volatile partner. With betrayals and violent outbursts often threatening to unravel the investigation, can the truce between criminal and lawmaker stay strong? Directed by Scott Cooper (“Crazy Heart,” “Out of the Furnace”), the film gives Depp a galvanizing spotlight while gripping with tightly-wound suspense and a strong supporting cast which includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, and Kevin Bacon.


Queen of Earth (MPI): After the acidic comedy “Listen Up Philip,” writer-director Alex Ross Perry turns to psychodrama in this strange, one-of-a-kind story about a friendship gradually enveloped by darkness. Set mostly in a claustrophobic New York lake house, the story charts the mysterious friction that grows between two longtime pals, Catherine (Elisabeth Moss) and Ginny (Katherine Waterson). As the weekend unfolds, the time that was originally planned for artistic relaxation instead begins to show cracks in Catherine’s sanity. With her behavior growing more erratic and feral, the line between the two women’s psyches stretches thinner by the instant. With a style that’s reminded critics of visceral classics like “Repulsion” and “Persona,” Perry’s film is an unnerving portrait of emotional dynamics featuring a remarkable performance by Moss.

Experimenter (Magnolia): Known for experimental projects like the vampire drama "Nadja" and Ethan Hawke's "Hamlet," director Michael Almereyda crafts a characteristically unconventional biopic in this study of the controversial social psychologist Stanley Milgram. Subtly played by Peter Sarsgaard, Milgram is depicted as a saturnine man endlessly fascinated by the unnerving sides of human nature, famously manifested in his series of 1961 experiments analyzing the willingness of patients to follow questionable orders. This interest in comformity continues as the years pass and Milgram and his wife Sasha (Winona Ryder) face changing times. With an inventive visual approach and surprising dashes of humor, Almereyda takes the audience inside his subject's cerebral headspace—an engrossing and rewardingly contemplative ride.


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News Briefs---

GM to sell 30,000 company-owned used cars online
Website launches in February

GE to move headquarters to Boston from Connecticut
   Majority of ex-GE Capital Employees Live in Conn.

JPMorgan’s Fourth-Quarter Profit Rises 10%

JPMorgan Results Offer Strong Case for Financial Technology

PayPal Adds Bitcoin Entrepreneur To Its Board To Focus On The Future Of Money

Export-Import Bank earned a profit of $432 million for taxpayers last year despite shutdown

Northern Power systems Offering Equipment with 100% Financing for business, farms, property owners




--You May Have Missed It

Rene Angelil, Celine Dion's husband and ex-manager, dies at 73


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

10 Unhealthy Foods that are Actually Good for You


Football Poem

by Martha Collins

Draw a line. Write a line. There.
Stay in line, hold the line, a glance
between the lines is fine but don't
turn corners, cross, cut in, go over
or out, between two points of no
return's a line of flight, between
two points of view's a line of vision.
But a line of thought is rarely
straight, an open line's no party
line, however fine your point.
A line of fire communicates, but drop
your weapons and drop your line,
consider the shortest distance from x
to y, let x be me, let y be you.

from Some Things Words Can Do, 1998
The Sheep Meadows Press, Riverdale-on-Hudson, N.Y.



Sports Briefs----

49ers hire Chip Kelly as coach

Chip Kelly and the 49ers Are the Worst Match Imaginable

Chip Kelly, Colin Kaepernick could turn each other's careers around

49ers store pulls Kaepernick merchandise out of clearance after Chip Kelly hire

Giants bet fate of franchise on Ben McAdoo being ‘ready’

What's next for the Raiders in Oakland?

San Diego Aims to Restart Talks as NFL Leaves Chargers’ Fate in Limbo

Browns have fooled us before, but Hue Jackson hire seems like a home run

Class Action Says Rams Misled Fans on Move

Rams banners inside Dome come down

Eagles to hire Doug Pederson as coach once Chiefs end season

An NFL kicking expert explained what went wrong on the Vikings' brutal missed field goal


Receivables Management LLC

John Kenny

• End of Lease Negotiations & Enforcement 
• Third-Party Commercial Collections | ph 315-866-1167|

(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for investigative
reporting provided by John Kenny)


California Nuts Briefs---

El Nino conditions already weakening

Two years later, former NFL coach fighting owners of defunct Sacramento team over $1 million in back pay

Resident student enrollment dropped at University of California last year

Yosemite National Park's famed Ahwahnee Hotel to change name in trademark dispute

Al Hart, Bay Area radio legend, dies at 88


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


“Gimme that Wine”

America's Best Value Pinot Noirs

White lies on wine labels:
 why your wine is probably boozier than you think

The wine legend who helped put Burgundy on the world map

How IBM is Bringing Watson to Wine

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in American History

Quarterly Estimated Federal Income Tax Payer's Due Date
(For those individuals whose fiscal year is the calendar year and who make quarterly payments)

    1697 - The citizens of Massachusetts spent a day of fasting and repentance for their roles in the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. Judge Samuel Sewall, who had presided over many of those 20 capital judgments, published a written confession acknowledging his own "blame and shame.”
    1716 - Birthday of Phillip Livingston (d. 1778) at Albany, NY.  Merchant and signer of the Declaration of Independence.
    1762 - Fraunces Tavern opens in New York City, owned by “Black Sam,” one of the most prominent Blacks involved in the American Revolution (thought to be born in the West Indies). The tavern was a frequent haunt of George Washington, and main meeting place for the Sons of Liberty.
    1777 - Vermont and New Connecticut declared their independence from Britain and established a republic and separate colony, respectively, which lasted until they joined the Union as states.
    1781 - A British naval expedition led by Benedict Arnold burned Richmond, Virginia.
    1825 - The first tax enacted by a state to support public schools was “an act providing for the establishment of free schools” by Illinois. It provided for a common school in each county, open to every class of white citizens between the ages of 5 and 21 years and supported by a tax of $2 of every $100 and five-sixth of the interest from the school fund.
    1845 - Birthday of Ella Flagg Young (d. 1918), Buffalo, NY.  Educator, first woman president of the National Education Association, superintendent of the Chicago school system (1909), and the first woman to supervise a school system in a major U.S. city. When an anti-woman faction tried to unseat her in 1913, she drew on all her political experience and rallied public pressure that forced four of her opponents to resign.
    1852 - Mt. Sinai Hospital was incorporated by Sampson Simson and eight associates in NY City. It was the first Jewish hospital in the U.S.
    1852 - Between January 15th and February 24th, a total of 1378 railroad cars were drawn by horses across the frozen Susquehanna River to engines waiting at Havre De Grace, MD.
    1862 - The first ironclad naval vessels were the Benton and the Essex, 1,000 tons each. Seven others of 512 tons each, were delivered at St. Louis, MO, where they were accepted for the government by Captain Andrew Hull Foote and made part of the Western Flotilla. They were also known as the Gunboat Flotilla on Eastern Waters, or the Mississippi Squadron.
    1863 - In the United States, "The Boston Morning Journal" became the first paper in the country published on wood pulp paper.
    1865 - Fort Fisher in North Carolina falls to Union forces, and Wilmington, the Confederacy's most important blockade-running port, is closed. When President Lincoln declared a blockade of southern ports in 1861, Rebel engineers began construction of a fortress at the mouth of New Inlet, which provided access to Wilmington. Fort Fisher was constructed of timber and sand, and it posed a formidable challenge for the Yankees. The walls were more than 20 feet high and they bristled with large cannon. Land mines and palisades made from sharpened logs created even more obstacles for potential attackers. Union leadership did not make Fort Fisher a high priority until the last year of the war. After the Federals closed Mobile Bay in August 1864, attention turned to shutting down Wilmington. Union ships moved into place in December and began a massive bombardment on Christmas Eve. The next day, a small force failed to capture the fort but the attempt was renewed in January. On January 13, a massive three-day bombardment began. On the third day, 9,000 Yankee infantry commanded by General Alfred Terry hit the beach and attacked Fort Fisher. The Confederates could not repulse the attack. The damage was heavy on both sides: the Union suffered more than 900 Army casualties and 380 Navy casualties, and the Confederates suffered 500 killed or wounded and over 1,000 captured. After the loss of this last major Confederate port, it was only three months before the war concluded.
    1870 - A Thomas Nast cartoon titled, "A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion", was printed in "Harper's Weekly." The cartoon symbolized the Democratic Party with a donkey, a concept still in use today.
    1885 - Tenor Henry Burr (d. 1941), the most prolific recording artist of his day, was born in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. He began his recording career for Columbia in 1902, and is estimated to have recorded an astounding 12,000 titles for dozens of companies. From 1910 to 1928, Burr also managed a vocal group which recorded for Columbia as the Columbia Male Quartet and for Victor as the Peerless Quartet. After his recording career waned, he was a great favorite singing old-time ballads on the "National Barn Dance" from radio station WLS in Chicago.
    1888 - Birthday of folksinger Huddie William Ludbetter (Lead Belly), Shiloh, LA. Died Dec. 6, 1949.
    1891 – Ray Chapman, the only man in Major League history to die (1920) as a result of being hit by a pitch, was born in Beaver Dam, KY.  He played nine seasons, was a regular in eight of those seasons, and had accumulated over 1,000 hits when his career ended.  Chapman put together another fine season as shortstop for the Cleveland Indians in 1920, hitting .304 with 97 runs scored through his first 110 games. Facing the NY Yankees on August 16, he was struck in the head (this was before helmets were mandatory) by a pitch by Carl Mays. He was knocked to the ground but eventually was able to walk toward the clubhouse with the assistance of teammates. However, he collapsed near second base and was rushed to a hospital. He died the next day.
    1899 - Birthday of Goodman Ace (d. 1982) at Kansas City, MO.  Radio and TV writer, actor, columnist and humorist. With his wife, Jane, he created and acted in the popular series of radio programs (1928-45) “Easy Aces”, and he was called “America’s greatest wit” by Fred Allen. He died at New York City soon after asking that his tombstone be inscribed, “No flowers, please, I’m allergic.”
    1907 - William H. Taggart, a Chicago dentist, invented dental inlay made of gold, and presented the technique to the New York Odonatological Society. It is a method of casting gold inlays by the inverted pattern procedure, using the ancient principle of “disappearing core.”
    1907 - Dr. Lee De Forest, widely regarded as the "father of radio and the grandfather of television," patented the Audion radio tube, which turned radio into a practical transmission device for voice and music. Previously, wireless technology was primarily used for telegraph signals. Unfortunately, De Forest's business partners were prone to fraud: The De Forest Radio Telephone Company began to collapse in 1909, leading to De Forest's indictment for promoting a "worthless device"--the Audion tube. De Forest was later acquitted. Several years later, De Forest devised a way to connect a series of Audion tubes in order to amplify radio signals far beyond what a single tube could do. This process was essential in the development of radio and long-distance telephone. De Forest, despairing of business success, sold his patents at bargain-basement prices to several companies, including American Telephone and Telegraph, which used the repeating Audion tube as a key component in long-distance telephone technology.
    1908 - The first sorority for African-American students was Alpha Kappa Alpha, founded at Howard University, Washington, DC by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle. The first president was Lucy Slowe.
    1909 - Gene Krupa (d. 1973) birthday, Chicago.  The premier drummer of the big band era, besides leading his own band, he is best known for his work with Benny Goodman. After most of the big bands disbanded, Krupa led small jazz groups through most of the 1950's and '60s. A film loosely based on his life, "The Gene Krupa Story,” starring Sal Mineo, was released in 1959.
    1915 - Birthday of folk music collector Alan Lomax (d. 2002), Austin, TX.
    1920 - The Dry Law goes into effect in the United States. Selling liquor and beer becomes illegal.
    1927 - The Dumbarton Bridge opened, carrying the first auto traffic across San Francisco Bay between Fremont and Menlo Park.
    1929 - Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at Atlanta, GA.  Civil rights leader, minister, advocate of nonviolence and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (1964). He was assassinated at Memphis, TN, Apr 4, 1968. After his death, many states and territories observed his birthday as a holiday. I remember interviewing Dr. King in the early 1960's at KFRC radio. Harold Light had brought Dr. King to the Bay Area and introduced me. He was a shy man, the first time I met him. The second time, he was more vocal, and after the Selma march, there were press conferences, not single radio interviews. He was an excellent dresser, very articulate, very attractive, very handsome in person, and grew into a statesman for freedom for all and equal opportunity for all. In 1983, the Congress approved HR 3706, "A bill to amend Title 5, United States Code, to make the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., a legal public holiday." Signed by the President on Nov 2, 1983, it became Public Law 98-144. The law sets the third Monday in January for observance of King's birthday. First observance was Jan 20, 1986.
    1932 - Up to two inches of snow whitened the Los Angeles basin of California. The Los Angeles Civic Center reported an inch of snow, and even the beaches of Santa Monica were whitened with snow, in what proved to be a record snowstorm for Los Angeles.
    1933 - After nearly a century of cooperative living, the utopian Amana colonists of Iowa begin using U.S. currency for the first time. The wide-open spaces of the West have always appealed to visionary reformers attempting to start new societies. Among others, the Mormons in Utah, the Hutterites in South Dakota and Montana, and the Swedenborgians in California all moved West for the same reason: cheap land and freedom from interference. Most reformers moved west after the Civil War, when travel became easier and the threat of Indian resistance was declining. As with the Mormons, the Amana colonial movement began in New York. Christian Metz, taking his cue from the writings of 18th century German mystics, established the group in 1842 on 5,000 acres near Buffalo, New York. Metz and his followers were similar to the Mormons in their rejection of the selfish individualism and dog-eat-dog competition of capitalism in favor of a more cooperative economic system. They isolated themselves from national and global markets and built a largely self-sufficient means of meeting their agricultural and material needs. Barter within the community helped them avoid using American currency. The community's agricultural and craft operations grew so quickly that the members soon found they needed more land than was cheaply available in New York. Like many of other land-hungry Americans, they looked westward. In 1855, the first members began setting up a new colony in Iowa called Amana, purchasing 30,000 acres of contiguous land as a base for their agricultural and craft operations. Amana (located near modern-day Iowa City) flourished in the decades to come. By the turn of the century, the colonists had built seven largely self-sufficient villages with farms, stores, bakeries, woolen mills, wineries, furniture shops, and the other necessities of independent living. The Amana community thrived for nearly 80 years, but its isolation from the rest of the world inevitably began to wane during the 20th century. In the early 1930s, the colony experienced severe economic problems, in part due to the Great Depression. The people voted to abandon their communal life in 1932, and they reorganized the colony on a capitalist basis with each member receiving stock in a new community corporation. The people of Amana began using American currency in January 1933. Although it violated the original precepts of their founders, the decision to bring Amana into the national marketplace actually saved the community. Today, the Amana colony is the center of a thriving business empire of woolen mills, meat shops, bakeries, and wineries. Though its original vision is no longer the same, visitors to the colony will still find a communal society dedicated to preserving many elements of Old World life and craftsmanship.
    1934 – Yankees slugger Babe Ruth signed a one-year contract worth $35,000. While the contract is considered a lucrative one for the times, it represents a pay cut of $17,000.  This would be his last contract with the Yankees who released him after the season, at age 39.
    1936 - Owens Illinois Glass of Toledo, OH completed the first all-glass windowless structure, using eight thousand translucent water-clear hollow glass blocks weighing about 150 tons for a two-story building.  It had 39 rooms and an aggregate floor area of 20,000 square feet. Do not know if the building is still standing.
    1937 - 1.77 inches of rain fell at Washington, DC, making it the wettest inaugural day of record. Temperatures were only in the 30s as Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn in for his second term.
    1937 - The record low temperature for the state of California was set at Boca when the thermometer dropped to 45 degrees below zero.
    1939 – The San Francisco Municipal Railway and Market St. RR began service to the Transbay Terminal.
    1939 – In the first NFL Pro Bowl, the New York Giants defeated the All-Stars, 13-10.
    1942 - Benny Goodman Band records “Jersey Bounce.”
    1942 - The Glen Gray Orchestra records their hit "It’s the Talk of the Town".
    1942 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent his famed "Green Light Letter" to MLB Commissioner Landis, encouraging the Majors to continue playing during World War II. President Roosevelt states that he believes playing the sport would be good for Americans and encourages the owners to have more games at night to give war workers an opportunity to attend games. Despite a loss of many star players to military service, all 16 teams will continue to play regular schedules for the duration of the war. Ironically, the Chicago Cubs, who had signed an agreement with a contractor to install lights at Wrigley Field, dropped their plans because of the military's need for the material. It was 35 more years before lights are finally installed at the venerable ballpark.
    1943 - Pentagon completed.  The world's largest office building with 6.5 million square feet of usable space, the Pentagon is located in Virginia across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, and serves as headquarters for the Department of Defense.
    1943 - Famous temperature antics occurred in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The temperature was 52 degrees above zero at Lead and 16 degrees below zero degrees at Deadwood simultaneously. The places are only 1.5 miles apart, but there is an elevation difference of 600 feet.
    1945 - BEYER, ARTHUR O., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company C, 603d Tank Destroyer Battalion. Place and date: Near Arloncourt, Belgium, 15 January 1945. Entered service at: St. Ansgar, lowa. Born: 20 May 1909, Rock Township, Mitchell County, lowa. G.O. No.: 73, 30 August 1945. Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry in action. His platoon, in which he was a tank-destroyer gunner, was held up by antitank, machinegun, and rifle fire from enemy troops dug in along a ridge about 200 yards to the front. Noting a machinegun position in this defense line, he fired upon it with his 76-mm. gun killing 1 man and silencing the weapon. He dismounted from his vehicle and, under direct enemy observation, crossed open ground to capture the 2 remaining members of the crew. Another machinegun, about 250 yards to the left, continued to fire on him. Through withering fire, he advanced on the position. Throwing a grenade into the emplacement, he killed 1 crewmember and again captured the 2 survivors. He was subjected to concentrated small-arms fire but, with great bravery, he worked his way a quarter mile along the ridge, attacking hostile soldiers in their foxholes with his carbine and grenades. When he had completed his self-imposed mission against powerful German forces, he had destroyed 2 machinegun positions, killed 8 of the enemy and captured 18 prisoners, including 2 bazooka teams. Cpl. Beyer's intrepid action and unflinching determination to close with and destroy the enemy eliminated the German defense line and enabled his task force to gain its objective.
    1947 - Birthday of trumpet player/composer Baikida Carroll, St. Louis. MO.
    1949 - Birthday of Ronnie Van Zandt, lead singer of the southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, born in Jacksonville, Florida. The band built a loyal following, beginning in the American South in 1973. Their best known songs were "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird," a tribute to Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band. Lynyrd Skynyrd seemed on the verge of superstardom in 1977 when a plane crash in Mississippi killed Ronnie Van Zandt and five others, including Skynyrd guitarist Steve Gaines.
    1951 - Top Hits
“Tennessee Waltz” - Patti Page
“The Thing” - Phil Harris
“My Heart Cries for You” - Guy Mitchell
“The Golden Rocket” - Hank Snow
    1952 - A six day snowstorm was in progress in the western U.S. The storm produced 44 inches of snow at Marlette Lake, NV, 52 inches at Sun Valley, ID, and 149 inches at Tahoe, CA, establishing single storm records for each of those three states. In addition, 24 hour snowfall totals of 22 inches at the University of Nevada, and 26 inches at Arco, ID, established records for those two states. The railroad streamliner, 'City of San Francisco' was snowbound in the Sierra Nevada Range, near Donner Summit.
    1954 - The coldest temperature ever recorded in the 48 contiguous states was recorded at Rogers Pass, MT. The temperature dropped to 69.7 degrees below zero.
    1954 - Joe DiMaggio marries Marilyn Monroe in San Francisco at City Hall.
    1955 - A young singer named Elvis Presley performs at the Louisiana Hayride, Municipal Auditorium, Shreveport, LA, performing "Hearts of Stone," "That's All Right, Mama" and "Tweedle Dee." In the audience is "Colonel" Tom Parker, who was witnessing Elvis for the first time.
    1957 – The Brooklyn Dodgers extended their five-year lease on Ebbets Field by signing a new three-year lease with real estate developer Marvin Kratter, who bought the field in 1953. Less than a year later, the Dodgers moved to LA.
    1958 - Elvis Presley records "Hard Headed Woman," "Trouble," "New Orleans," "King Creole," "Crawfish"
    1959 – Top Hits
“The Chipmunk Song” - The Chipmunks
“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” - The Platters
“My Happiness” - Connie Francis
“City Lights” - Ray Price
    1961 - The "Kennedy Inaugural snowstorm" belted the mid-Atlantic area and New England. Up to 29 inches of snow fell in northern New Jersey and southeastern New York. Areas north and west of Boston, MA received over two feet. This was the second of three major snowstorms during the 1960-61 winter season in the northeastern U.S.
    1964 - Giants center fielder Willie Mays, the highest paid player in baseball, signs for $105,000.
    1965 - The NFL teams pledged not to sign college seniors until completion of all their games, including bowl games.
    1966 - The Beach Boys enter Billboard's Hot 100 for the 23rd time with their version of "Barbara Ann", previously a #13 hit for the Regents in 1961. The song was recorded live at a party and actually features the voice of Dean Torrence of Jan and Dean on lead vocal. The record will peak at number 2 in the US.
    1966 - Petula Clark's "My Love" entered the Billboard chart, where it would become her second #1 hit
    1966 - The Supremes' "My World is Empty Without You" enters the pop charts.
    1966 - The Rolling Stones receive their third gold record for the album "December's Children." It features the tunes "Get Off My Cloud," "Route 66," "As Tears Go By" and "I'm Free."
    1967 - The film “The Fastest Guitar Alive,” starring Roy Orbison and Sheb Wooley, premieres in New York City.
    1967 - Ed Sullivan refuses to let the Rolling Stones sing their big hit "Let’s Spend the Night Together" on his CBS show of the same name unless they change the title and lyrics to "Let's Spend Some Time Together." The band does as it's told, but lead singer Mick Jagger mocks the censorship by making faces at the camera while he sings the cleaned-up line.
    1967 - Considered the “First Super Bowl,” the Green Bay Packers won the first NFL-AFL World Championship Game, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Packers quarterback Bart Starr completed 16 out of 25 passes and was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Pro football's title game later became known as the Super Bowl.
    1967 - Top Hits
“I’m a Believer” - The Monkees
“Tell It Like It Is” - Aaron Neville
“Good Thing” - Paul Revere & The Raiders
“There Goes My Everything” - Jack Greene
    1968 - Elvis Presley records "Too Much Monkey Business"
    1968 - JOHNSON, DWIGHT H., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Specialist Fifth Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 1st Battalion, 69th Armor, 4th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Dak To, Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam, 15 January 1968. Entered service at: Detroit, Mich. Born: 7 May 1947, Detroit, Mich. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp5c. Johnson, a tank driver with Company B, was a member of a reaction force moving to aid other elements of his platoon, which was in heavy contact with a battalion size North Vietnamese force. Sp5c. Johnson's tank, upon reaching the point of contact, threw a track and became immobilized. Realizing that he could do no more as a driver, he climbed out of the vehicle, armed only with a .45 caliber pistol. Despite intense hostile fire, Sp5c. Johnson killed several enemy soldiers before he had expended his ammunition. Returning to his tank through a heavy volume of antitank rocket, small arms and automatic weapons fire, he obtained a sub-machine gun with which to continue his fight against the advancing enemy. Armed with this weapon, Sp5c. Johnson again braved deadly enemy fire to return to the center of the ambush site where he courageously eliminated more of the determined foe. Engaged in extremely close combat when the last of his ammunition was expended, he killed an enemy soldier with the stock end of his submachine gun. Now weaponless, Sp5c. Johnson ignored the enemy fire around him, climbed into his platoon sergeant's tank, extricated a wounded crewmember and carried him to an armored personnel carrier. He then returned to the same tank and assisted in firing the main gun until it jammed. In a magnificent display of courage, Sp5c. Johnson exited the tank and again armed only with a .45 caliber pistol, engaged several North Vietnamese troops in close proximity to the vehicle. Fighting his way through devastating fire and remounting his own immobilized tank, he remained fully exposed to the enemy as he bravely and skillfully engaged them with the tank's externally-mounted .50 caliber machine gun; where he remained until the situation was brought under control. Sp5c. Johnson's profound concern for his fellow soldiers, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.
    1969 - In South Florida, Barbara Jo Rubin, 19, was to ride as the first woman jockey at a major race track - and then was taken off her mount by track officials. Reportedly it was money, not chivalry that was at the heart of the matter. A winning jockey gets ten percent of the purse and the jockeys, always a very touchy group because of their smallness and their constant dieting, didn't want to share the pots of gold (and ego) with a GIRL! Finally, on February 22, 1969, Barbara Jo was able to ride at Charles Town, West Virginia without the world stopping - and she won her first race. She crossed the finish line first in 11 of her first 22 starts. Unfortunately Barbara Jo at 5'5" was tall by jockey standards and was still growing. Her height combined with an old knee injury ended her racing career in less than a year.
    1969 - Elvis Presley records--"A Little Bit of Green," "Gentle on My Mind"
    1971 - George Harrison releases "My Sweet Lord".
    1972 - Elvis Presley was censored from the waist down by Ed Sullivan, but still reportedly brought in largest audience for a single television show, to that time, in a live worldwide concert from Honolulu, Hawaii.
    1972 - Don McLean's classic single, “American Pie,” jumped to Number 1 on Billboard's popular record charts, and stayed there for 4 weeks.  In the UK, the single reached No. 2 on its original 1972 release and a reissue in 1991 reached No. 12. The song was listed as the No. 5 song on the RIAA project “Songs of the Century.”  Except to acknowledge that he first learned about Buddy Holly’s February 3, 1959 death when he was folding newspapers for his paper route on the morning of February 4, 1959 (the line "February made me shiver/with every paper I'd deliver"), McLean has generally avoided responding to direct questions about the song lyrics. McLean dedicated the “American Pie” album to Holly.  The original manuscript sold at auction in April, 2015 for $1.2MM. [It was also a fixture at the weddings of all three Mango daughters!  Coincidentally, I first learned of the crash as I was folding the Newark Star-Ledger on my paper route but I did not consider it significant until McLean memorialized it.]
    1973 - Citing "progress" in the Paris peace negotiations between National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho of North Vietnam, President Richard Nixon halts the most concentrated bombing of the war, as well as mining, shelling, and all other offensive action against North Vietnam. The cessation of direct attacks against North Vietnam did not extend to South Vietnam, where the fighting continued as both sides jockeyed for control of territory before the anticipated cease-fire.
    1974 - During the Watergate affair, an expert testifies before the House Judiciary Committee that an 18-1/2-minute gap discovered during a critical subpoenaed recording of a White House conversation between President Richard M. Nixon & White House staff member H. R. Haldeman was caused by “deliberate and repeated erasures”. The White House fails to satisfactorily explain the long silence during the key conversation between Nixon and Haldeman. The Watergate affair began after a break-in to the Watergate Hotel by White House officials was uncovered by journalists and the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, and then escalated when President Nixon attempted to use executive privilege and national security as reasons to suppress the subsequent investigation. On July 16, 1973, former White House aide Alexander P. Butterfield brought the existence of official recordings of Nixon's White House conversations to the attention of the Senate committee investigating Watergate, and on July 26, the Senate subpoenaed the nine Watergate tapes. Nixon failed to comply with the subpoena, and on August 9, the Senate committee filed suit against the president. Finally, on October 23, Nixon agreed to turn over the tapes, but when the tapes finally arrive at the Capitol, two of the nine are missing, and an eighteen-and-a-half-minute gap on one of the tapes is discovered. The White House fails to satisfactorily explain the long silence during the key conversation between Nixon and Haldeman, although an expert determined that the gap had been deliberately erased. Nixon's failure to comply in a timely fashion to the subpoena for the Watergate tapes contributed to the articles of impeachment voted against him on July 30, 1974, and helped force his resignation one week later
    1974 - “Happy Days” premiered on TV. This nostalgic comedy set in Milwaukee in the 1950s starred Ron Howard as teenager Richie Cunningham with Anson Williams as his best friend "Potsie" Weber and Don Most as his best friend Ralph Malph. Tom Bosley and Marion Ross played Richie's parents and his sister, Joanie, was played by Erin Moran. The most memorable character was The Fonz--Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli--played by Henry Winkler. In 1977, it remained number 1 in the Neilsen ratings for the season. "Happy Days" remained on the air until July 12, 1984, and has been in syndication ever since. The comedy launched two spin-offs: “Laverne and Shirley” and “Joanie Loves Chachi”. Happy Days originated as a 1972 skit on Love, American Style.
    1975 - Top Hits
“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” - Elton John
“You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” - Barry White
“Junior’s Farm/Sally G” - Paul McCartney & Wings
“Ruby, Baby” - Billy "Crash" Craddock
    1975 - "I've got bad news and I don't expect any applause," President Gerald Ford warned Congress before launching into his very first State of the Union address. During the ensuing speech, Ford painted a grim portrait of America's economic woes. The state of the union, he confessed, was "not good”. Millions of Americans are out of work. Recession and inflation are eroding the money of millions more. Prices are too high and sales are too low." Along with these problems, Ford offered an ominous budget estimate that showed the government running increasingly in the red over the next few fiscal years. However, Ford, who had recently been installed as the President after Richard Nixon's scandal-ridden resignation, attempted to balance the bad news by offering a remedy for the America's fiscal ailments. He unveiled a relief package that featured a few rounds of tax cuts for individuals and corporations, as well as an energy program that promised to raise money, albeit through raising costs and taxes on oil for consumers and businesses. James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, Jr was elected president of the United States in 1976 with 297 electoral votes to outgoing president Ford 240.
    1977 - Leo Sayer's "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" hits #1
    1977 - The Eagles' “Hotel California” album hits #1
    1978 - Super Bowl XII (at New Orleans): Dallas Cowboys 27, Denver Broncos 10. The first Super Bowl played without a sky. This one opened the Louisiana Superdome. Tom Landry was the Cowboys’ coach, Roger Staubach was their quarterback. Co-MVPs: DT Randy White and DE Harvey Martin (only co-MVPs in Super Bowl history). Tickets: $30.00.
    1978 - Snowblitz!  A paralyzing nor'easter blasted New England and the mid-Atlantic states. Boston, MA recorded 21 inches in 24 hours to set a new record 24 hour snowfall amount -- only to have it broken 2 weeks later.  The city was complete shut down for nearly a week.  Snowfall was under forecast since a predicted changeover from snow to rain did not occur.  Instead the storm went out to sea, picking up additional moisture, then circled back across the city, more than doubling the previous storm’s fall.  We were living in Wilmington, DE at the time and the snow dropped over 2 feet…the worst storm there since 1888!
    1979 - Birthday of New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees, born Austin, Texas.
    1981 – Bob Gibson was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  In 17 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Gibson won 251 games, struck out 3,117 batters, compiled a 2.91 ERA, won 20 games five times, and earned two World Championship rings. In 1968, Gibson enjoyed his best season ever, going 22-9 with a 1.12 ERA and captured the Cy Young Award.  The next season, the mound was lowered to generate more offense, largely due to Gibson’s dominant year.
    1981 - Minutes after the presidential inauguration of Ronald Reagan, Iran releases 52 Americans held 444 days in exchange for the release of $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets seized by the U.S. Later, it's revealed that the release was delayed until the first hours of the administration by Reagan's transition team, in order to make him look good.
    1981 - “Hill Street Blues” premiered on TV. This immensely popular NBC police series created by Stephen Bochco and Michael Kozoll that focused more on police officers than on crime. The show was very realistic and highly praised by real policemen. “Hill Street Blues” was set in an anonymous northern city (the exteriors were actually filmed in Chicago) and was the first real attempt by television to portray police officers as fallible human beings. Each episode began with the 7 a.m. roll call led by Sergeant Esterhaus. He closed the roll call with his trademark refrain, "Let's be careful out there." Hill Street Blues not only changed the way that Americans viewed police officers, it also revolutionized the television drama itself. The show resisted formula and introduced the ensemble cast. Whereas early cop shows like Dragnet and Adam-12 were centered around a couple of officers who always got their man by the end of the hour, the full squad house of regulars on “Hill Street Blues” rarely resolved cases in one episode.
It won a slew of Emmys and ran for seven seasons. Cast: Daniel J. Travanti as Captain Frank Furillo, Veronica Hamel as public defender Joyce Davenport, Michael Conrad as Sergeant Phil "Let's be careful out there" Esterhaus, Barbara Bosson as Fay Furillo, and as the wonderfully drawn cops, Bruce Weitz (Mick Belker), Taurean Blacque (Neal Washington), Kiel Martin (Johnny LaRue), Joe Spano (Henry Goldblume), James B. Sikking (Howard Hunter), René Enríquez (Ray Calletano), Michael Warren (Bobby Hill), Betty Thomas (Lucy Bates), Ed Marinaro (Joe Coffey) and Charles Haid (Andy Renko).  The last telecast was on May 19, 1987.
    1983 - Top Hits
“Down Under” - Men at Work
“The Girl is Mine” - Michael Jackson /Paul McCartney
“Dirty Laundry” - Don Henley
“I Can’t Even Get the Blues” - Reba McEntyre
    1985 - At Carnegie Hall, in New York, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored 79 year old actress, Myrna Loy, who never received an Academy nomination although she appeared in 120 films.
    1987 - Paramount Home Video said, for the first time, it would put a commercial at the start of one of its video releases. The movie "Top Gun" had a 30-second Diet Pepsi ad tacked on to its beginning. The idea behind adding something else to be fast forwarded through was to reduce the price of the video by $3. The difference to Paramount would be made up by Pepsi money. It was also thought more consumers would buy the Tom Cruise picture rather than paying more for videos without the commercial.
    1987 - A powerful storm over the Southern Plateau and the Southern Rockies produced 24 inches of snow at Colorado Springs, CO, including 22 inches in 24 hours, a January record. High winds in the southwestern U.S. gusted to 65 mph in the Yosemite Valley of California.
    1988 - A small storm over the Atlantic Ocean produced heavy snow along the coast of North Carolina. The five inch total at Wilmington, NC was their third highest for any storm in January in 117 years of records.
    1988 - Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder makes racist remarks about black athletes.  Snyder made his comments in a lunchtime interview at Duke Zeibert's, a Washington restaurant.  He said that black athletes perform better than white athletes for reasons that went back to slave times.  "The slave owner would breed his big black (man) to his big woman so that he could have a big black kid . . . . That's where it all started." he said.  Coincidentally, James Michener’s “Sports in America, published in 1976, made similar assertions but there was no reference to that in any of the reporting around the incident.  An embarrassed CBS fired him the next day.
    1990 - ‘Big’ George Foreman, on the comeback-trail at 42 years of age, knocked out Gerry Cooney in the second round at Atlantic City, NJ. (Foreman became the oldest [age 45] ever to win the heavyweight title when he knocked out Michael Moorer on Nov 5, 1994.)
    1990 - While one Pacific storm crossed the Central Rockies, another approached the west coast. The northern mountains of Utah were buried under 17 to 35 inches of snow while the mountains of southern Utah received another 12 to 16 inches. Eighteen cities in the central U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date as readings warmed into the 50s and 60s. Wichita, KS reported a record high of 68 degrees.
    1991 - Top Hits
“Justify My Love” - Madonna
“High Enough” - Damn Yankees
“Love Will Never Do” (“Without You”) - Janet Jackson
“Unanswered Prayers” - Garth Brooks
    1992 - The Seventh Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are held in New York City. Inductees include Bobby "Blue" Bland, Booker T. and the MGs, Johnny Cash, The Isley Brothers, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Sam and Dave, and The Yardbirds.
    1992 - Tim Berners Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, released a simple line-mode Web browser on the Internet. Berners Lee had first proposed the Web in 1990 and had presented early versions of Web clients, servers, and browsers to his colleagues throughout 1991.
Until then you needed the actual address or had to rely on Archer or Gopher to search for a website which basically was cumbersome and very slow.
    1993 - In the southern U.S., train echo thunderstorms drenched Lafayette and Baton Rouge, LA with 10.83 and 9.02 inches of rain in 24 hours, respectively.
    1994 - Frigid conditions persisted over the northeastern U.S. Rangeley, ME reported 45 degrees below zero for a morning low for the cold spot in the nation. First Connecticut Lake, NH dropped to a frigid 44 degrees below zero. Both Pittsburgh, PA and Cleveland, OH completed their longest stretch of subzero readings on record, with 52 and 56 consecutive hours, respectively.
    1994 - "Dazzey Duks" by Duice was on the Billboard Hot 100 for the 54th consecutive week, the longest run ever on any of the magazine's charts. Also on the Hot 100 that week, Tag Team's "Whoomp! (There It Is)" was in the top-ten for the 24th week - another record.
    1995 - The San Francisco 49ers beat the Dallas Cowboys 38-28 in the NFC championship game and the San Diego Chargers edged the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-13 in the AFC title game. (The 49ers beat the Chargers 49-26 in Super Bowl XXIX.)
    1995 - The Golf Channel began on some U.S. cable systems. Four years later, the world’s first 24-hour golf network was seen in over 30,000,000 homes.
    1997 - During a heated Chicago vs. Minneapolis basketball game, Chicago Bulls star Dennis Rodman brazenly kicked a courtside cameraman in the groin. Rodman later claimed it was an accident, but the incident was captured from several angles by other cameramen, and was seen by millions of people across the country. Eugene Amos, the cameraman, was treated at a hospital and then released - the extent of his injuries were not released. Prosecutors told the press later that they were considering assault charges against Rodman. If suspended, it would be the second of the season for the temperamental, flamboyant athlete. Rodman was later suspended from 23 games and heavily fined; the suspension was the second-longest in NBA history. A few days later, a financial settlement between Amos and Rodman was reached; Amos received $200,000 from Rodman.
    2009 - U.S. Airways Flight 1549 ditched in the Hudson River shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport in NYC.  The aircraft was disabled by striking a flock of geese during its initial climb. All of the 155 passengers and crew aboard the aircraft survived. Capt. Chesley Sullenberger walked the unflooded part of the passenger cabin twice to make sure everyone had evacuated before retrieving the plane's maintenance logbook and being the last to evacuate the aircraft.  Pictures showed the passengers standing on the wings of the plane floating in the river as emergency boats picked them up.
    2014 - The LA Dodgers signed P Clayton Kershaw to the biggest deal in baseball history, as the seven-year, $215 million package averages to $30.7 million per season, making Kershaw the highest-paid player in baseball.
    2014 - The National Security Agency, NSA, was revealed to be using software to spy on nearly 100,000 computers around the world.  Most of the software is implanted by accessing the Internet, but some technology enables data to be entered or altered through radio wave transmission.


Super Bowl Champions:

    1967 - Green Bay Packers
    1978 - Dallas Cowboys

**** Super Bowl
The year was 1966, and war was raging in professional football. It was a bidding war for talent and it had been going on since the American Football League came onto the scene in 1960 to challenge the National Football League, 40 years its senior.

At first, the battles were for college players, and the AFL scored an early victory when a court ruled in favor of the Houston Oilers over the NFL's Los Angeles Rams after both clubs had signed Billy Cannon, the Heisman Trophy winning halfback at Louisiana State.

Although the leagues agreed to a "no tampering" rule on existing player contracts, the stakes became high for college talent. Bonuses went sky-high. The AFL's New York Jets signed Alabama quarterback Joe Namath in 1965 to a $400,000 contract, the largest amount ever for a collegian. In 1966, the NFL's Atlanta Falcons gave Texas linebacker Tommy Nobis a $600,000 package and the Green Bay Packers forked over $711,000 to Texas Tech running back Donny Anderson.

Meanwhile, veteran players were settling for small raises on relatively small salaries. For example, John Brodie, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, received $35,000 in 1965 and was asking for a raise to $65,000 after leading the NFL in completions, completion percentage, yardage and touchdown passes.

Then came a back-breaker. Buffalo Bills place-kicker Pete Gogolak [Ralph Mango’s Delta Upsilon Fraternity brother at Cornell and the first soccer-style kicker in pro football], who had played out his option in 1965, signed with the NFL's New York Giants. The "no tampering" code had been broken. The conflict was in the open, and it was time for action.

On April 7, 1966, peacemaker Joe Foss resigned as AFL commissioner and the next day Al Davis, general manager of the Oakland Raiders, took over. Davis was a hawk in regard to the NFL, and he had a plan.

Davis organized an AFL war chest and urged owners to start talking to established NFL stars. The NFL had bragged of its superiority because of the caliber of its quarterbacks. Davis wanted to sign those quarterbacks for the AFL.

The Raiders quickly signed Los Angeles quarterback Roman Gabriel to a commitment starting in '67. Houston offered the 49ers' Brodie $75,000, spread over 10 years, to sign a five-year deal with the Oilers. Reportedly, eight of the NFL's starting quarterbacks were negotiating with the AFL.

The NFL had no choice. On June 8, 1966, two months after Davis became the AFL commissioner, a merger agreement was announced. There would be a common draft starting in 1967, interleague preseason games starting in '67 and regular-season play combining the leagues in 1970. Territorial indemnification of $18 million was to be paid to the 49ers and Giants over a 20-year period.

Most important, from the standpoint of football fans, was the immediate establishment of a championship game between the leagues. This was the AFL-NFL World Championship Game -- which was popularized as the Super Bowl from its inception.

Gabriel never went to the Raiders and Brodie never left the 49ers, but Brodie collected a million dollars on the agreement he had made in his talks with Houston.  Davis resigned as AFL commissioner a month after the merger. He clearly had won his battle.



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