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


Monday, January 4, 2016

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

Shannon (Berry) Green, CLFP, Passes Away
Tribute to be Held Tentative January 21st
Alister McNeill Passes Away
  Southern California Broker/Lessor
Position Wanted---Senior Management
  Seeking New Position
Top Stories December 28
(Opened Most by Readers)
Personnel Changes at Axis Capital
  Grand Island, Nebraska
Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted
Excellent Positions Available
“Should I use Facebook to find a new position?”
Career Crossroad---By Emily Fitzpatrick/RII
“Lease Consultant” vs. “Broker” or “VP, Mid-markets"
Leasing 102 by Mr. Terry Winders, CLFP
Lender Group Snagged by Slick Transfer
   of Assets of Auto Parts Company
  by Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor
Chart: Wi-Fi Hotspots per 1,000 People
  France Leads the Pack
Labrador Retriever Mix
Tacoma, Washington  Adopt-a-Dog
2016 Leasing/Finance Association Conferences
  --Save the Date--
News Briefs---
FASB Proposes to Curb What Companies Must Disclose
The proposal: change the definition of materiality
Ireland continues to lead in aircraft leasing
Lease operators based in Ireland 21% of global total
Report: Leases, long-term auto loans increase
   in popularity
RealtyShares Now Lets Investors Put Money
  Into Individual Real Estate Markets
CFPB gives mortgage lenders a Christmas present
  New Regulations Also Slow Down the Process
Before the word Fintech was popularized:
 These are the Top 10 now called “Fintech Innovations”
What is and what is not FinTech
Humpback whales slow to arrive in Hawaii
10,000+ humpback whales make the winter journey from Alaska

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (writer's columns)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months (Be Careful of Doing Business)
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You May have Missed---
   SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer
    Sports Briefs---
      California Nuts Brief---
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          This Day in American History
           Daily Puzzle
               Weather, USA or specific area
                 Traffic Live----

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

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Shannon (Berry) Green, CLFP, Passes Away
Tribute to be Held Tentative January 21st

Shannon (Berry) Green, CLFP
President & Chief Operating Officer
Orion First Financial, LLC
Chief Operating Officer at Mintaka Financial, LLC

Many readers notified Leasing News about the passing of Shannon Green on Christmas Day, reportedly from a long time fight with cancer.

She recently celebrated her 16 years as a member of the Certified Leasing and Finance Profession, which tells much about her career:

“I began working in the commercial equipment leasing industry at Financial Pacific Leasing in early 1984, however; my career began when I decided to become a CLFP. At the time, as a young woman in the industry, I had the drive and desire to increase my knowledge of the business and found the Certified Lease and Finance Professional program as a means to accomplish this.

“Encouraged and supported by the management at Financial Pacific, we had a group of employees who wanted to take the CLFP exam. Dave Schaefer, CLFP, and Jim McCommon, CLFP arranged for onsite course instruction and a day for the exam at our office in Tacoma, Washington.

“I fondly remember our instructor, Johnnie Johnson, CLFP, and the handful of leasing professionals outside our company who joined the classes and sat for the exam with us. If memory serves me correctly our class had an exceptional pass rate. This accomplishment gave me a sense of pride and confidence that has remained with me. I would forever see the initials “CLFP” after my name and I was proud!

“Over the years, I have found that the studying and discipline required to complete the CLFP courses and pass the exam have been of great benefit in more ways than I ever imagined. It gave me a reason to learn and understand all aspects of our business for which I have no regrets.  In fact, I have been extremely thankful for it.

“As a CLFP in good standing, Director serving on the CLFP Board and President of a lease services company, I’m a big supporter of ongoing education. The CLFP program encourages higher learning and provides a beneficial education choice for those wanting to make leasing a career. I became a CLFP because it was a challenge and it offered learning opportunities in areas of the business I wouldn’t otherwise have been involved in.

“I support the CLFP Foundation because I believe it increases the knowledge and value of those who have earned the designation.”

Two Shannons
April, 1994, “Western Association of Equipment Lessors Regional Report”

“Shannon Green, AVP, (left) and Shannon McNerthey, special projects coordinator, Financial Pacific Company (right) welcome over 80 attendees to the Columbia Winery last month for a combination wine tour/Washington Regional Meeting. Guest speakers from McGavick Graves, Attorneys at Law discussed “Article 2A” and “Lessor Liability.”

Shannon McNerthey is now Shannon Hall, married to Brent Hall of Pinnacle Capital, Tacoma, Washington.

As soon as the plans for Tribute for Sharon are finalized, Leasing News will let readers know time, date, and place.


Facebook Profile Page


Alister McNeill Passes Away
Southern California Broker/Lessor

Facebook Profile Photo

Posted on Alister McNeill Facebook page:
"Our father, Alister McNeill, lost his battle with cancer on 12/30. He fought long and hard and passed away at home with his family around him. There will be a memorial service later in the month at Pacific View in Newport Beach. Will post more info later."

"Alister McNeill, president of Podium Financial Group, Inc. has been analyzing, structuring and funding equipment finance deals since 1990. He originally formed Podium Financial to service lease brokers who did not have the time or the expertise to work difficult credit or “structured” transactions on their own but has now expanded it to the full service lease funding entity it is today."

Podium Financial Group, Inc.
Costa Mesa, CA
Allster McNeill
$50,000 to $1,000,00

Third Column: YCS - Year Company Started | YELB - Years in equipment Leasing Business

A - City Business License | B- State License | C - Certified Leasing Professional |D - State(s) sales/use tax license |E - Named as "lessor" on 50% or more of lease contract signed.


Position Wanted---Senior Management
  Seeking New Position

Each Week Leasing News is pleased, as a service to its readership, to offer completely free ads placed by candidates for jobs in the industry. These ads also can be accessed directly on the website at:

Each ad is limited to (100) words and ads repeat for up to 6 months unless the candidate tells us to stop. Your submissions should be received here by the end of each week.

Please encourage friends and colleagues to take advantage of this service, including recent graduates and others interested in leasing and related careers.

Senior-level leasing executive accomplished in sales, finance, operations and marketing. Seeking new opportunity to capitalize on my strategic, ideation, communication and analytical strengths to identify opportunities, formulate solutions and articulate strategies that inspire cross-functional teams to enhance corporate performance and shareholder value. Adept negotiator of multi-million dollar lease program agreements and contracts. Driver of increased sales productivity, incremental revenue, operating expense reductions and customer acquisition/retention.


Top Stories December 28
(Opened Most by Readers)

(1) No Longer taking Broker/Discounting Business
    plus Leasing Companies Out of Business - Updated

(2) Mar Vista Financial No Longer Active
     A Subprime Operating Lease Company

(3) New Hires---Promotions in the Leasing Business
          and Related Industries

(4) Leasing #102 by Mr. Terry Winders, CLFP
            Obtaining Vendor Business

(5) November, 2015 -The List
         —History of Leasing from 1998

(6) Owners of failed Premier Bank found guilty of fraud
   Defrauded another Local Bank to Obtain $8.1 Million Loan

(7)  Skip Tracers Held to be Collector for Purposes
           of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
By Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor

(8) Credit/Collections #102 by Ben Carlile
       Annual Employee Reviews are Toast!

(9) Position Wanted –Credit
Work Remotely or Relocate for Right Opportunity

(10) Asset-Based Capital Conference Jan 26 -27
      Commercial Finance Association


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


Personnel Changes at Axis Capital
Grand Island, Nebraska

There are several changes at Axis Capital, Grand Island, Nebraska, specialist in the small and mid-ticket finance ranging from $10,000 to $2 million. They are very popular with brokers for the low rates who reportedly value collateral as more important than credit or financial statements.

Kimberly Brown was the Sales Coordinator for Axis Capital, Lincoln, Nebraska, and third party originators were sent notice to send transactions to her attention.

Gordon Glade
Executive VP, Amur Finance
CEO, Axis Capital

Reportedly Co-Founder Gordon Glade has been moved from the CEO and credit approval position, to another position by the parent company, Amur Finance Company, Inc., by its Founder, Chairman & CEO Mostafiz Shah Mohammed. According to the memo, Wholesale Business Development Manager Don Anderson will take his place. (1)

McKayla Nelson remains Senior Credit Analyst/Senior Sales Coordinator,

There is more to the story, but cannot confirm nor receive denial.


  1. This month marks the fifth anniversary of the relationship between Axis Capital and majority owner Amur Finance Company. This milestone is an opportunity to reflect on what we have accomplished together and to share our excitement at our prospects for the next five years and beyond.

    In the past five years we have expanded our sectors to include aviation, energy, shipping and logistics, with the objective of developing Amur into a diversified finance and operating company. We currently employ more than 400 people in 11 offices around the world. Axis remains a pillar of Amur's strategy to provide capital to North American businesses. We expect continued demand for smart capital, and are confident that Axis is well positioned to capture it and make the leap to the next level.

    Axis has made several changes that we are excited to announce, that will enable us to continue growing. Gordon Glade has taken a new role of Vice Chairman, Business Development with the goal of expanding Axis into Canada, a market we believe has tremendous opportunity. Gordon's expertise and skills make him ideally suited to develop the right team to continue to build Axis and ensure it is integrated under the Amur umbrella. As Gordon takes on this new role, our Wholesale Business Development Manager Don Anderson will become your main point of contact for strategic communication. Don has great expertise and has already been working with many of you. Additionally, Andrea Zana and I are both pleased to be joining the Axis team and look forward to continuing to build on the solid foundation that we are all so proud of.

    As we expand upon our expertise and capabilities at Axis, we want to make sure we continue to provide you with the superior service you expect and deserve. Please continue to work closely with your Sales Coordinator on day-to-day deal flow. We will continue to pursue the collaborative strategy that has helped us achieve so much over the past five years with you as our partners. We want to thank each of you for your continued support and contributions to Axis' growth since its inception and wish you a very prosperous 2016.



Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted
Time to apply is today


Credit Analyst
Anaheim,CA; Federal Way, WA; Tigard, OR

$150K -$500k equipment leases, financing (recourse/non-recourse lines of credit)
Requires five or more years of credit underwriting. Work with third party originators, brokers, as well as clients & vendors of Umpqua Bank
Please click here for more information.
A subsidiary of Umpqua Bank


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

Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees. 



“Should I use Facebook to find a new position?”
Career Crossroad---By Emily Fitzpatrick/RII


Question: What do you think about using Facebook for finding a new position? I heard it’s a great resource …

Answer: NO – NO … And NO
Facebook is a Social Networking Site – used for sharing personal updates/pics, etc…; hence, a Social Site.

Though Social Media outlets will NEVER take the place of direct contact (phone / personal email), there are some sites that are MUCH better for Professional / Career networking such as LinkedIn.

If you are using your LinkedIn (or similar sites) Profile for Career networking, make sure it is appropriate and condensed / short and to the point. If you are going to include a picture on your Profile – MAKE sure it a professional one (pictures of your pet or your favorite vacation spot = Facebook aka a social networking site).

Again, if you are utilizing one of the Professional / Career sites, use it strictly for networking and gathering information. Sending a Hiring Manager a note that you are looking for a position – not the best option.

On the other hand if you are utilizing to: contact (1) Recruiters that specialize in your field (2) Gather company information of a potential employer, etc… – then Facebook and other career sites are a great resource.

Emily Fitzpatrick
Sr. Recruiter
Recruiters International, Inc.
Phone:  954-885-9241
Cell:  954-612-0567
Invite me to Connect on LinkedIn
Also follow us on Twitter #RIIINFO

Career Crossroads Previous Columns



“Lease Consultant” vs. “Broker” or “VP, Mid-markets"

In the 1970’s until the middle 1980’s, those who made presentation to lessees were called “lease consultants.” Today they are either known as a “broker” or “vice-president, mid-markets” or “vice-president, transportation.”

Few today call themselves “lease consultants” trained to understand financial statements, tax returns, and more important, “true leasing.” Accounting changes will not much change the directions of “capital leases” with bargain purchase options, but perhaps the “true lease” or “operating lease” may become as important, especially for a profitable company. And to understand the fundamental, you must understand how depreciation benefits both the lessee, if they decide on a “capital lease,” or the lessor, if it is a “true lease.”

The document provided by the IRS for depreciation is sometimes hard to understand the first time you see it. Prior to 1981 Asset recovery “ADR” (depreciation benefits) was tied as close to the actual term of use as a chart could be with short, medium, and long terms with many, many categories.

Because of the poor economy in 1981, the Reagan administration introduced as stimulus called the “Accelerated Cost Recovery System” (ACRS) to shorten recovery periods to save tax payers money so they could invest it in new equipment. In addition they raised the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to 10%.

In 1986 Reagan obtained an overhaul of the income tax code, which eliminated many deductions such as credit card interest, business meal expenses, and exempted millions of people with low incomes. At the end of his administration, the Nation was enjoying its longest recorded period of peacetime prosperity without recession or depression.

The ACRS and ITC greatly accomplished improving the economy, however, by 1986 a huge deficit was created so Congress decided to modify the recover periods by doubling most of them. So since 1986 we have the MACRS form of depreciation. In Addition they created the alternative minimum corporate tax which lowered depreciation even more, and they decided to eliminate the ITC as Congress believed it was being abused in various tax shelters for wealthy individuals rather than business which it was aimed to provide a stimulus to acquire new equipment.

Today, if you want to offer a true lease, you will be the tax owner of the equipment. Therefore you must look at The IRS Table of Class lives and Recovery Periods to determine what your depreciation benefits will be. The form is confusing at first, so let’s review the headings to see their purpose.

I suggest opening “(1) IRS Depreciation Schedule (personal property).” In the attachment, go to the list of equipment after the charts. The first column is the asset class reported in a numerical fashion. 00.11 is the first class and the heading of the second column the description of the equipment and we find next to 00.11 office, furniture, and fixtures. You must read the definition completely to make sure you have this kind of equipment. In some cases the descriptions leave a lot to be desired. For instance looking for medical equipment you need to go to 57.0 Distributive Trades and Services where in the description you find “professional services”. Not really a clear presentation for medical equipment.

The first page from 00.11 to 00.4 are assets that are depreciated regardless of what use they are put. The second page and through the balance of the guide describe assets used in different industries and therefore the asset is depreciated based on that industry. A forklift is a good example. It can be used in many industries so you must look up the industry to determine its asset class life. You must also record the class life and report it to your tax preparers so they use the same classification.

The three columns on the right hand side of the page will tell you the term of depreciation. The most common is the center one market MACRS. However if the use of the equipment is for a non-profit then the first column class life in years is used on a straight basis. The third column called ADS is for the depreciation, if the alternative minimum tax is necessary and the depreciation benefits are reduced.

Determining the correct class life can be a problem so sometimes I suggest you call the lessee’s tax preparer or his accountant to determine which class life they have used in the past.

Once you have the correct Asset Class life and know the allowed term of depreciation, you can go to the depreciation rate for recovery period and see the percentage of the “fair value” of the equipment that is depreciated each year. The reason I say “fair value” is you cannot depreciate anything over the fair value and on occasion a vendor will increase the price to cover a loss on a trade in without telling you.

The term of depreciation has nothing to do with the term of your lease. Only the allowed percentage can be used as a deduction of your taxable income (lessee’s rent payments due and received in the current tax year. Your term of lease may be shorter or longer than the MACRS depreciation.

When a lease terminates early, the undepreciated tax balance must be reconciled with the amount required to offset the accounting balance and usually there is a tax effect that must be considered to determine a correct investment return for the Lessor. If the tax is added to the sale price (early termination amount), you have just increased the tax because of the increased price to cover the tax, so you have increased the tax and so on and so on. You need a computer to figure the correct early termination sale price (stipulated loss value) to maintain the lessor’s yield.

To properly price a true lease, you must have a computer based pricing program like Ivory Consulting’s “SuperTRUMP” so you can not only determine the correct rent payment but it will compute a stipulated loss value for each month of the lease. Some people believe that because the tax depreciation is part of the lessor’s return that the payments will always be cheaper. The truth is that short term leases usually have higher payments because the rent is so high and the depreciation is over a longer term. We say in these cases the Lessor takes on the “burden” of the depreciation, allowing the lessee to expense the rents over the term of the lease which is better for the lessee than MACRS depreciation.

Learning how to handle true lease pricing and payoffs requires the understanding of how capital recovery works and the use of the government forms. If you need help make sure you obtain it before jumping in to true leasing. By the way you cannot avoid recording the lease payments as income and trying to say that it was a financing. The tax rules work both ways and once a true lease is consummated, you are the tax owner of the equipment

(1) IRS Depreciation Schedule (personal property)

Previous #102 Columns:



Lender Group Snagged by Slick Transfer
of Assets of Auto Parts Company
by Tom McCurnin
Leasing News Legal Editor

Senior Lenders of Transamerican Auto Parts Company Arranged Transfer of Substantially All the Assets of the Company to New Company
 and Now Face Successor Liability

TAP Holdings, LLC v. Orix Fin. Corp., 45 Misc. 3d 1217(A) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2014)

Banks hire really smart lawyers who sometimes are too clever for their own good, and get snared by their own trap.  In today’s case auto parts giant Transamerican Auto Parts was indebted to two sets of lenders, senior and junior.  The senior lenders, instead of conducting a foreclosure, structured an asset transfer agreement to a newly formed entity, New Tap, leaving the junior lenders high and dry.  A New York Court refused to sanction the transfer, either as transfer in lieu of foreclosure or as foreclosure sale, leaving the senior lenders subject to $28 million in successor liability claims. 

For the collection lawyer, this is a textbook example of over-thinking things and simply getting too clever.  The facts follow.

TAP is four wheel drive auto parts store and was indebted to a group of senior lenders in the sum of $110 million dollars.  The deal included a minority stake in TAP for the senior lenders, as well a provision that allowed them to take control of the company in the case of a default, according to court documents.   That's exactly what happened in 2008, according to court documents. 

TAP was also indebted to a group of junior lenders in the sum of $38 million dollars. 

In 2009, the senior lenders allegedly orchestrated a plan whereby a newly formed entity, New TAP, bought all of TAP's assets for $66 million, about equal to the balance owed to the senior lenders, it excluded the $7 million in loans that the junior lenders were forced to buy out, and left TAP without any way to pay $38 million it owed to the junior lenders.

The junior lenders argued that the transfer from TAP to New TAP Auto was done with fraudulent intent, to extinguish TAP's obligations to the junior lenders.  The senior lenders argued that the transfer was a “strict foreclosure,” a statutory remedy of secured creditors to keep the collateral in satisfaction of the debt.  Alternatively, the senior lenders argued that it was a normal foreclosure sale, conducted in a commercially reasonable manner.

The obvious problem for me was that the senior lenders never “accepted” the assets of TAP, so there could be no “strict foreclosure,” and the sale was not noticed as a customary foreclosure sale.  I’m not sure why the senior lenders had to be so clever, but this was pretty slick.

The trial court ruled that there was no notification of the strict foreclosure as required by the Uniform Commercial Code, and no acceptance by the senior lenders.  Instead, the assets went directly from TAP to New Tap.  The terms of the senior lenders’ foreclosure agreement suggest a private sale of an entire business as a going concern, rather than the simple taking of collateral by a secured party.  The idea that the sale was an actual foreclosure sale (when no notices were ever sent out) was quickly rejected by the Court. 

The senior lenders now face a trial for successor liability in the action brought by the junior lenders.

What are the lessons here?

First, at its simplest core, the UCC allows two types of foreclosure sales, the normal typical foreclosure sale with notice and a “strict foreclosure sale” by accepting collateral in full satisfaction.  I remain mystified why the senior lenders chose to do neither option and structure a direct sale of the assets to a newly formed corporation.

Second, sometimes simplicity and structuring deals to fit familiar legal concepts is really the best way to go. 

The bottom line to this case is that I think the senior lenders got too clever for their own good. 

TAP Holdings LLC v Orix Finance Corp. (12 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:

Previous Tom McCurnin Articles:

(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for appraisals and equipment valuations provided by Ed Castagna)



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)


Labrador Retriever Mix
Tacoma, Washington  Adopt-a-Dog

Breed: Labrador Retriever mix
Gender: Spayed Female
Size: Large
Age: 4 years
Color: Tan
Location: 023

"Hi, my name is LUCY and I would love to meet you. I am a Spayed Female Labrador Retriever mix. The shelter staff thinks I am about 4 years old. I have been at the shelter since Dec 22, 2015."

For more information about this animal, call:
Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County at (253) 383-2733

Ask for information about animal ID number A496381

Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County
2608 Center Street
Tacoma, WA 98409
(253) 383-2733

Adoption Hours
Mon-Friday: 11:00 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Sunday: Closed

Adopt a Pet



2016 Leasing/Finance Association Conferences
--Save the Date--

Jan 26 - Jan 27
Commercial Finance Association
Asset-Based Capital Conference 2016
Four Seasons Hotel
Los Vegas, Nevada



March 3 - March 4
National Equipment Finance Summit
Hotel Monteleone
214 Rue Royale
New Orleans, Louisiana  70130


March 22
14th Annual IMN/ELFA
Investors Conference
Union League Club
New York, New York

April 19 - 21
28th Annual National Funding Conference
Siwssotel Chicago
Chicago, Illinois


April 28 – April 30, 2016
2016 Annual Conference
25th Anniversary
Tropicana Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV

May 4 - May 6
36h Annual AGLF Conference
Omni Charlotte Hotel
Charlotte, North Carolina

September 16-17, 2016
2016 Eastern Regional Meeting
Cincinnati Airport Marriott
Hebron, KY
Conference Chair:
Rodny Blecha, Precision Leasing


October 23 -25th
2016  55th Annual Conference
Palm Desert Springs
Palm Desert, California

November 11-12, 2016
2016 Western Regional Meeting
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Anaheim-Orange County
Orange, CA



News Briefs---

FASB Proposes to Curb What Companies Must Disclose
The proposal: change the definition of materiality

Ireland continues to lead in aircraft leasing
Lease operators based in Ireland 21% of global total

Report: Leases, long-term auto loans increase
   in popularity

RealtyShares Now Lets Investors Put Money
  Into Individual Real Estate Markets

CFPB gives mortgage lenders a Christmas present
  New Regulations Also Slow Down the Process

Before the word Fintech was popularized:
 These are the Top 10 now called “Fintech Innovations”

What is and what is not FinTech

Humpback whales slow to arrive in Hawaii

Credit Analyst
Anaheim,CA; Federal Way, WA; Tigard, OR

$150K -$500k equipment leases, financing (recourse/non-recourse lines of credit)
Requires five or more years of credit underwriting. Work with third party originators, brokers, as well as clients & vendors of Umpqua Bank
Please click here for more information.
A subsidiary of Umpqua Bank





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CEOs Who Make $1 Salary in 2015$1-Salary/dollar_ceo/executive-list/1


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

Walnut Health Benefits


Football Poem

I practiced my cornet in a cold garage
Where I could blast it till the oil in drums
Boomed back; tossed free throws till I couldn't move my thumbs;
Sprinted through tires, tackling a headless dummy.

In my first contest, playing a wobbly solo,
I blew up in the coda, alone on stage,
And twisting like my hand-tied necktie, saw the judge
Letting my silence dwindle down his scale.

At my first basketball game, gangling away from home
A hundred miles by bus to a dressing room,
Under the showering voice of the coach, I stood in a towel,
Having forgotten shoes, socks, uniform.

In my first football game, the first play under the lights
I intercepted a pass. For seventy yards, I ran
Through music and squeals, surging, lifting my cleats,
Only to be brought down by the safety man.

I took my second chances with less care, but in dreams
I saw the bald judge slumped in the front row,
The coach and team at the doorway, the safety man
Galloping loud at my heels. They watch me now.

You who have always homed your way through passages,
Sat safe on the bench while some came naked to court,
Slipped out of arms to win in the long run,
Consider this poem a failure, sprawling flat on a page

David Wagoner's “Traveling Light :From Collected Poems, 1956-1976

When my kids were growing up, I only had a few rules about participating in different activities: if you started something you had to finish it; if you played you had to do your best; and, you could always quit at the end of the season if you wanted to, it was your choice, not mine. As a result, they both seem to have grown up more confident than I ever was and are both willing to risk many things I never would.

All of us are probably haunted by our failures, but the real failures are those who are afraid to take the chances to do what they really want to do. There's no reason to play football, or participate in one particular activity, but it's a mistake not to play football or participate in a play simply because you're afraid you will fail. Failure is less destructive than not giving life a chance.

Needless to say, I don't consider this poem a failure.



Sports Briefs----

49ers officially fire Tomsula

Harbaugh sees 49ers from afar: 'You will reap what you sow'

Raiders end up with No. 14 pick in NFL draft
Tennessee Gets top Pick, Browns 2nd, San Diego 3rd

Peyton Manning's return vaults Broncos to No. 1 seed in AFC playoffs

Final: 49ers rally to defeat Rams, finish 5-11 for worst record since 2007

Chiefs beat Raiders 23-17 to enter playoffs on streak

 As miserable season ends, Cowboys need to either get better players or better coaches

Chargers officially will file for relocation Monday

NFL playoff picture: Broncos seize top seed;
   Steelers take final spot



California Nuts Briefs---

Santa Clara: Hearing set for suit to halt NFL's Super Bowl
    takeover of youth soccer field


“Gimme that Wine”

California North Coast winery, vineyard sales brisk in 2015
North Coast winery, vineyard sales brisk in 2015

Viognier gains strength with Northwest wine lovers

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in American History

     1493 – Christopher Columbus left the New World on return from his first voyage.
    1754 – Columbia University was founded as Kings College.
    1780 - A snowstorm hits Washington's army at Morristown New Jersey.
    1790 – President George Washington delivered the first State of the Union address
    1838 - Charles Sherwood Stratton (d. 1883), known as “Tom Thumb”, perhaps the most famous midget in history, was born at Bridgeport, CT. He eventually reached a height of three feet, four inches and a weight of 70 pounds. Discovered by P.T. Barnum in 1842, Stratton, as “General Tom Thumb,” became an internationally known entertainer and performed before Queen Victoria and other heads of state. On Feb 10, 1863, he married another midget, Lavinia Warren.
    1847 - Samuel Colt rescues the future of his faltering gun company by winning a contract to provide the U.S. government with 1,000 of his .44 caliber revolvers. Before Colt began mass-producing his popular revolvers in 1847, handguns had not played a significant role in the history of either the American West or the nation as a whole. With the help of Eli Whitney and other inventors, Colt developed a system of mass production and interchangeable parts for his pistols that greatly lowered their cost. Though never cheap, by the early 1850s, Colt revolvers were inexpensive enough to be a favorite with Americans headed westward during the California Gold Rush. Between 1850 and 1860, Colt sold 170,000 of his "pocket" revolvers and 98,000 "belt" revolvers, mostly to civilians looking for a powerful and effective means of self-defense in the Wild West.
    1863 - Union General Henry Halleck, by direction of President Abraham Lincoln, orders General Ulysses Grant to revoke his infamous General Order No. 11 that expelled Jews from his operational area.
    1865 - The NYSE opened its first permanent headquarters at 10-12 Broad in New York City.
    1869 - The first School for blind African-American students was the state School for the Blind and the Deaf, opened in Raleigh, NC, with 26 pupils.  
    1888 - Sacramento, CA, received 3.5 inches of snow, an all-time record for that location. The heaviest snow in recent history was two inches on February 5th in 1976.
    1889 - The Oklahoma Land Rush opened 2 million acres of former Indian Territory in Oklahoma Territory to first serve first come settlers on April 22.
    1893 - President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation granting full amnesty and pardon to all persons who had since November 1, 1890, abstained from unlawful cohabitation of a polygamous marriage. This was intended in the main for a specific group of elderly Mormons who had continued in the practice of contracting serial marriages. Amnesty was based on the condition that those pardoned must obey the law in the future or be “vigorously prosecuted." The practice of polygamy as a factor interfering with attainment of statehood for Utah.
    1896 - Six years after Wilford Woodruff, president of the Mormon Church, issued his Manifesto reforming political, religious, and economic life in Utah, the territory is admitted into the Union as the 45th state. In 1823, Vermont-born Joseph Smith claimed that an angel named Moroni visited him and told him about an ancient Hebrew text that had lost been lost for 1,500 years. The holy text, supposedly engraved on gold plates by a Native-American historian in the fourth century, related the story of Jewish peoples who had lived in America in ancient times. Over the next six years, Smith dictated an English translation of this text to his wife and other scribes, and in 1830, The Book of Mormon was published. In the same year, Smith founded the Church of Christ, later known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Fayette, New York. The religion rapidly gained converts and Smith set up Mormon communities in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. However, the Christian sect was also heavily criticized for its unorthodox practices and on June 27, 1844, Smith and his brother were murdered in a jail cell by an anti-Mormon mob in Carthage, Illinois. Two years later, Smith's successor, Brigham Young, led an exodus of persecuted Mormons from Nauvoo, Illinois, along the western wagon trails in search of religious and political freedom. In July 1847, the 148 initial Mormon pioneers reached Utah's Valley of the Great Salt Lake. Upon viewing the valley, Young declared: "This is the place," and the pioneers began preparations for the tens of thousands of Mormon migrants who would follow. In 1850, President Millard Fillmore named Young the first governor of the territory of Utah, and the territory enjoyed relative autonomy for several years. Relations became strained, however, when reports reached Washington that Mormon leaders were disregarding federal law and had publicly sanctioned the practice of polygamy. In 1857, President James Buchanan removed Young, a polygamist with over 20 wives, from his position as governor, and sent U.S. army troops to Utah to establish federal authority. Tensions between the territory of Utah and the federal government continued until Wilford Woodruff, the president of the Mormon Church, issued his Manifesto in 1890, renouncing the traditional practice of polygamy, and reducing the domination of the church over Utah communities. Six years later, the territory of Utah was granted statehood.
    1901 - The Baltimore American League baseball club incorporated, with John McGraw as manager and part owner.  Pay attention here as this team has no relation to the current Orioles, aside from the name.  These Orioles played in the AL in Baltimore in 1901-2.  During the 1902 season, AL President Ban Johnson took control as the team had difficulty fielding nine players and financial difficulties.  During the 1902 off-season, the league sold the team to Frank Farrell and Bill Devery for $18,000.  They moved the team to New York, renaming them the Highlanders.  In 1913, they became the Yankees.
    1915 - Moses Alexander of Idaho, a Democrat, became the first governor in the United States who was Jewish. He served from January 4, 1915 to January 6, 1919.
    1916 - Guitarist Sam Gaillard, Detroit, MI.
    1922 – Jazz tenor and flute player Frank Wess birthday
    1926 - "Billboard" Magazine published the first list of best-selling pop records, covering the week that ending 1935. On the list were recordings by the orchestras of Tommy Dorsey and Ozzie Nelson.
    1930 - Don Shula, Pro Football Hall of Fame coach and former player born Painesville, Ohio.
    1935 - Bob Hope was first heard on network radio as part of "The Intimate Revue".
    1935 - Heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson born Lincolnton, GA.
    1942 - British jazz-rock guitarist John McLaughlin was born. He first gained recognition for his work on Miles Davis's "Bitches' Brew" album, and later formed the Mahavishnu Orchestra. This group did much in the 1970's to promote the idea of fusing jazz and rock music.
    1942 – Rogers Hornsby became the 14th player selected to the Hall of Fame. Hornsby's offensive numbers rival those of any player before or since. He and Ted Williams are the only players to win the Triple Crown twice, and Hornsby's .424 mark in 1924 is the highest NL batting average in the 20th century.
    1944 - San Francisco Giants' Tito Fuentes born Havana, Cuba.
    1945 - JACHMAN, ISADORE S., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Place and date: Flamierge, Belgium, 4 January 1945. Entered service at: Baltimore, Md. Birth: Berlin, Germany. G.O. No.: 25, 9 June 1950. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty at Flamierge, Belgium, on 4 January 1945, when his company was pinned down by enemy artillery, mortar, and small arms fire, 2 hostile tanks attacked the unit, inflicting heavy casualties. S/Sgt. Jachman, seeing the desperate plight of his comrades, left his place of cover and with total disregard for his own safety dashed across open ground through a hail of fire and seizing a bazooka from a fallen comrade advanced on the tanks, which concentrated their fire on him. Firing the weapon alone, he damaged one and forced both to retire. S/Sgt. Jachman's heroic action, in which he suffered fatal wounds, disrupted the entire enemy attack, reflecting the highest credit upon himself and the parachute infantry.
    1948 - Top Hits
“Ballerina” - Vaughn Monroe
“How Soon” - Jack Owens
“Serenade of the Bells” - The Sammy Kaye Orchestra (vocal: Don Cornell)
“I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)” - Eddy Arnold
    1950 - Two years after Columbia Records introduces the long-playing record, RCA announces its intention to follow suit.
    1954 - A young truck driver named Elvis Presley enters the Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, TN, ostensibly to record a song for his mother's birthday (which was, in reality, many months away). He records "Casual Love Affair" and "I’ll Never Stand in Your Way." It was this recording that would lead MRS head Sam Phillips to call Presley back to record for his Sun Records label.
  1956 - Top Hits
“Memories are Made of This” - Dean Martin
“The Great Pretender” - The Platters
“Band of Gold” - Don Cherry
“Sixteen Tons” - Tennessee Ernie Ford
    1957 - On NBC's “The Steve Allen Show”, former heavyweight boxing champ Joe Louis introduces the world to singer Solomon Burke, who performs Louis' song "You Can Run, But You Can't Hide."
    1957 - Elvis Presley reports for his pre-induction Army physical in Memphis.
    1957 - The Brooklyn Dodgers, very close to moving to LA, bought a 44-passenger twin-engine airplane for $775,000, which they will use to transport the club during the season. The Dodgers are the first Major League team to own their own plane.
    1958 – Russia’s Sputnik I falls to Earth from orbit.
    1959 - “College Bowl” premiered on TV. Originally, a quiz show on CBS. Two colleges sent a team of their best and brightest to the academic competition. “College Bowl” was sponsored by General Electric and hosted by Allen Ludden (1959—62) and Robert Earle (1962—70). More recent incarnations of ”College Bowl” have appeared on NBC and Disney with Pat Sajak and Dick Cavett as hosts.
    1960 - Marty Robbins' "El Paso" hits #1
    1964 - Bobby Vinton's "There! I've Said it Again" hits #1
    1964 - Top Hits
“There! I’ve Said It Again” - Bobby Vinton
“Louie Louie” - The Kingsmen
“Forget Him” - Bobby Rydell
“Love’s Gonna Live Here” - Buck Owen
    1965 - Leo Fender sells Fender Guitars to CBS for $13 million.
    1970 - The Minnesota Vikings became the first expansion team to win the NFL title when they defeated the Cleveland Browns 27-7 in Minneapolis. The Vikings went on to lose Super Bowl IV to the Kansas City Chiefs.
    1970 - The Kansas City Chiefs, aided by four interceptions, defeated the Oakland Raiders 17-7, in the last American Football League Championship game. The Chiefs went on to defeat the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV.
    1970 - Keith Moon of The Who accidentally runs over his chauffeur, Neil Boland, killing him. Apparently, Moon's car was under attack from some unruly teenagers, and when Boland jumped out to get them to move, Moon, in a panic, got behind the wheel to drive the car away himself.  Unfortunately, the crowd had since pushed Boland under the car.
    1971 - Gerald Garrison Hearst, great 49er, number 20, born Lincolnton, Ga.
    1971 - A blizzard raged from Kansas to Wisconsin, claiming 27 lives in Iowa. Winds reached 50 mph, and the storm produced up to 20 inches of snow.
    1972 - Top Hits
“Brand New Key” - Melanie
“American Pie” - Don McLean
“An Old Fashioned Love Song” - Three Dog Night
“Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’” - Charley Pride
    1974 - In a NHL game between the Boston Bruins and the Minnesota North Stars, Bruins winger Dave Forbes punched Henry Boucha, fracturing his cheekbone and opening a cut that required 30 stitches to close Forbes was later indicted for using “excessive force,” becoming the first professional athlete to be prosecuted for actions taken during a game. His trial that summer ended in a hung jury after which all charges were dropped.
    1974 - President Richard Nixon refuses to hand over tape recordings and documents that had been subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee. Marking the beginning of the end of his Presidency, Nixon would resign from office in disgrace eight months later.
    1975 - Phoebe Snow's "Poetry Man" enters the pop charts
    1975 - Elton John's "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" hits #1
    1977 – Mary Shane was hired by the Chicago White Sox as the first woman TV play-by-play announcer in the Majors.
    1980 - Top Hits
“Escape” (“The Pina Colada Song”) - Rupert Holmes
“Please Don’t Go” - K.C. & The Sunshine Band
“Send One Your Love” - Stevie Wonder
“Happy Birthday Darlin’” - Conway Twitty
    1982 - Milwaukee, WI, was shut down completely as a storm buried the city under 16 inches of snow in 24 hours. It was the worst storm in thirty-five years.
    1984 – “Night Court" premiered on television. The original cast included Harry Anderson as Judge Harry T. Stone, John Larroquette as prosecutor Dan Fielding, Richard Moll as court officer Bull Shannon, and Selma Diamond as court officer Selma Hacker.  Karen Austin as clerk Lana Wagner and Paula Kelly as public defender Liz Williams were gone after one season, Ellen Foley then became PD Billie Young but was replaced by Markie Post in 1985 as PD Christine Sullivan. Charles Robinson joined the cast as clerk Mac Robinson in 1985. Diamond died in 1985 and Florence Halop, who then appeared as court officer Florence Kleiner, died in 1986. Marsha Warfield was then brought aboard as Court Officer Roz Russell. Mel Tormé made a few appearances as himself, Harry’s idol. The last telecast was July 1, 1992.
    1984 - The last Van Halen album with David Lee Roth as lead singer, "1984”, was released. Sammy Hagar was Roth's replacement.
    1985 - To honor team president and former coach Arnold “Red” Auerbach, the Boston Celtics retired uniform number 2 in a ceremony prior to a game against the New York Knicks. Auerbach begin coaching the Celtics in 1950-51 and led them to 16 NBA championships as coach, general manager and president.
    1985 - The Cowboys play their record 36th postseason game, but Eric Dickerson steals the show, rushing for a playoff-record 248 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Los Angeles Rams to a 20-0 victory over Dallas.
    1987 - A storm moving off the Pacific Ocean spread wintery weather across the southwestern U.S., with heavy snow extending from southern California to western Wyoming. Up to 15 inches of snow blanketed the mountains of southern California, and rainfall totals in California ranged up to 2.20 inches in the Chino area.
    1988 - Frigid arctic air invading the central and eastern U.S. left Florida about the only safe refuge from the cold and snow. A storm in the western U.S. soaked Bodega Bay in central California with 3.12 inches of rain.
    1988 - Top Hits
“Faith” - George Michael
“So Emotional” - Whitney Houston
“Got My Mind Set on You” - George Harrison
“Somewhere Tonight” - Highway 101
    1989 - Up to a foot of snow blanketed the mountains of West Virginia, and strong winds in the northeastern U.S. produced wind chill readings as cold as 60 degrees below zero in Maine. Mount Washington, NH reported wind gusts to 136 mph along with a temperature of 30 below zero!
    1990 - A winter storm moving out of the southwestern U.S. spread heavy snow across Nebraska and Iowa into Wisconsin. Snowfall totals in Nebraska ranged up to 7 inches at Auburn and Tecumseh. Totals in Iowa ranged up to 11 inches at Carlisle. In Iowa, most of the snow fell between midnight and 4 AM.
    1990 - Feminists' long-sought family leave program became a reality in New Jersey when Governor Jim Florio signed a bill that requires employers to give their employees up to 12 weeks off to care for a newborn or adopted child, or for an ill or injured immediate family member. The leave is unpaid, but health insurance and other benefits stay in effect and the furloughed workers would be guaranteed their old job or its equivalent. President Bill Clinton would get the same basic bill passed by the U.S. Congress three years later. Women who usually act as the family caretakers in time of sickness are the workers with the most need for these laws.
    1994 - A major winter storm blanketed much of the northeastern U.S. with heavy snow. More than two feet was reported in northwestern Pennsylvania, with 33 inches at Waynesburg. There were ten heart attacks, and 185 injuries, related to the heavy snow in northwest Pennsylvania. Whiteout conditions were reported in Vermont and northeastern New York State. A wind gusts to 75 mph was clocked at Shaftsbury, VT. In the Adirondacks of eastern New York State, the town of Tupper reported five inches of snow between 1 PM and 2 PM
    1995 - Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA) was formally elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was the first Republican to hold the post in 40 years and the first Georgia Speaker in over 100 years.
    1999 - Minnesota inaugurated pro wrestler Jesse Ventura as its 38th governor. The only Reform Party candidate to ever win statewide office, Ventura had shocked the political establishment by defeating Attorney General Hubert H. (Skip) Humphrey III and St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman in an upset victory.
    2000 - The NASDAQ composite index was hit for its worst point loss, falling more than 229 points (5.6 percent) to 3,901. The market appeared to be concerned about future Fed rate hikes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 359 points (3.2 percent) to 10,997.
    2007 - Nancy Pelosi is elected Speaker of the House, by a vote of 233-202.  She became the first female Speaker in history.
    2014 - Record-low temperatures are expected in the U.S. due to a 'polar vortex'.  Forecasters anticipate this tunnel of cold air funneling all the way from the North Pole to the U.S. could bring temperatures as low as 15 degrees in Chicago and 25 below zero in Fargo, North Dakota.



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