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entertainment for the commercial alternate financing,
, finance and leasing industry


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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


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

Leasing News Person of the Year for 2015
   Bruce Kropschot
Marlin Business Services Is A Buyout Target,
   But New Products Should Drive Growth
Chisick Back in Business
   As Excel Business Funding
Happy Mango Wants to Demystify Credit Scoring
   and Open Up Loans to More People
Sales Make it Happen by Scott Wheeler, CLFP
   Stay Focused
Equipment Leasing Associations
   Related Finance Associations
Section 179: What It Means for Your Practice
  And Other Businesses
President/CEO Ralph Petta Announces Staff Promotions
   at Equipment Leasing and Finance 
2016 Business and Professional Development Lineup
   Equipment Leasing and Finance Association
Border Collie Mix
Highland Park, Illinois  Adopt-a-Dog
Shannon (Berry) Green, CLFP Celebration of Life
  January 9th, Lakewood, Washington
News Briefs---
Saudi Arabia faces 'economic bomb'
  and hikes gas prices 50%
Bank of China taps banks for world's biggest
  aircraft leasing IPO -sources
U.S. car sales hit record high in 2015
17.5 million cars and trucks were sold last year

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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               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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Leasing News Person of the Year
for 2015

Bruce Kropschot
Senior Managing Director and
Merger & Acquisition Advisory Practice Leader –
The Alta Group

Bruce Kropschot has been active in the equipment leasing industry since 1972 and has been a senior executive of three large leasing companies. In 1986, he founded Kropschot Financial Services, a firm he developed into the leading provider of merger and acquisition advisory services for equipment leasing companies. In 2008, Kropschot Financial Services became a part of The Alta Group, the leading worldwide consulting firm for the leasing industry. Bruce heads Alta’s M&A advisory practice, which also arranges debt and equity capital and provides valuation services for leasing companies. He has played a major role representing sellers or buyers in the sale of about 200 equipment leasing and financing companies.

After 43 years in the equipment leasing industry, Bruce shows no signs of slowing down. He says that his business is his favorite hobby. When asked what have been the keys to his success, he stated, “Obviously a thorough knowledge of many types of leasing companies is essential in the M&A advisory business. However, of utmost importance is maintaining the highest level of integrity. The Alta Group’s reputation depends upon always treating as confidential any information we receive in confidence from potential buyers and sellers of leasing companies.”

Bruce has served on the Board of Directors of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation, Eastern Association of Equipment Lessors, United Association of Equipment Leasing and International Network of Merger & Acquisition Partners. He has served on the Leasing News Advisory Board since 2000, and he also served on the alumni advisory board of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He has BBA and MBA degrees (with honors) in Accounting and Finance from the University of Michigan and is a CPA.



Marlin Business Services Is a Buyout Target
But New Products Should Drive Growth

By Alpha Gen Capital
(Abridged, complete article enclosed)

Shares of MRLN have been clipped significantly in the last couple of years due to lower ROE and top management turnover.

There is increasing demand for these kinds of specialty financings as small businesses would rather not commit large amounts of upfront capital.

We think the firm will eventually be acquired by a larger bank that can utilize their large capital base and grow originations while lowering the cost of capital.

Shares of Marlin appear like a decent value to us as the company continues to benefit from its niche business model generating strong leasing fee revenue. We think 2016 will be an upside year as the company launched its new loan businesses while expanding its insurance offering. We believe the additional fee revenue and lower capital base from the special dividend payout, increased dividend, and share repurchases will increase returns on equity towards 13-14%. But we think the business is likely to be sold in the next 12 to 24 months especially since the founder and CEO has retired from the company.

Given the strength of its origination business and many large banks with deep pockets and little in the way of loans to give, we think the company would be an excellent acquisition target. A large acquirer could shed significant SG&A costs and boost originations to reduce that surplus capital position and increase returns on equity. The company has no deposit base which is why its cost of funding is near 1% while most large banks have excess deposits costing 25-50 bps. This advantage would mean significant accretion in an acquisition from this vantage point alone. The company has two large investment managers in the shares with Broad Run owning 9.3% and Red Mountain Capital at nearly 24%. We think these entities will be looking for an exit opportunity through the sale of the business.
Shares of Marlin Business Services (NASDAQ:MRLN) have fallen by 37% over the last two years and 21% in the last year. Some of this is due to the announcement of the retirement of the founder of the company, CEO Dan Dyer. This comes on the heels of the CFO retiring back in May and who was replaced in August by Taylor Kamp. We think the valuation is extremely attractive with low-double-digit returns on equity and accelerating growth driven by both its core leasing business and its new ventures, coupled with the share decline.

The shares have waned despite the operating performance growing markedly the last few years with a revenue growth CAGR of 12.5% but operating income growing at just over 30% per year. We think the new ventures are likely to drive earnings to close to $2.00 per share over the next few years. In the interim, the company is overcapitalized, which we think will allow for another special dividend, similar to the $2 per share special paid a few months ago.

Secular Growth Story in Equipment Financing Market
The business holds a diversified portfolio across many markets. It has the largest exposure to copiers at 30.2% of equipment mix with medical and retail customers being the largest industry segments served. As copiers subside in need over the next five to ten years due to the shift to paperless work environments, the company has ample other avenues of equipment leasing to pursue. To be clear, management does not foresee a slowdown in copier leasing; in fact just the opposite as businesses shift to leasing over purchasing with the high upfront costs associated with it.

  1. No mention of Evergreen Leases or ranking of copier dealers

New Business Ventures Will Drive Revenue
In March, the company launched Funding Stream through its Marlin Business Bank. This innovative loan program is aimed exclusively at small businesses for loans of up to $100,000 to help grow their companies and satisfy capital needs. Funding Stream gives true business loans from as little as $5,000 with flexible six to 24-month terms. The process is meant to be fast and hassle free with an application process of as little as 10 minutes or less. Funds are received in as little as two days.

This new short-term funding mechanism is meant to provide working capital needs to small businesses that otherwise do not have much choice.

Management noted that it believes it can leverage the product through cross-selling opportunities and credit data from its existing customer base to ramp the product quickly and profitably. Although the company noted it is taking a prudent approach in rolling it out, there is a real gap in the market for this type of loan offering which isn't typically offered by its local bank.

Management has guided to $50 million of business loan originations in 2016 compared to just $1 million in the first two quarters of 2015. Expectations call for 60% of the originations to be from cross-selling, and the company expects an increase in marketing to drive volume. Average loan size should be around $30K with a 12-15 month term with an average yield of 35% and loss rates as high as 10%. This compares to its core leasing business which carries implicit yields of about 11% and loss rates of 1.7%. We are being mindful of the credit quality and loss rates but would note that the company's disciplined underwriting and long track record mitigate some of this risk.

In early November, the company launched a new transportation finance unit that will provide financing to manufacturers and dealers of commercial trucks, trailers, and specialty vehicles. This is a new dealer-based model where the new sales force will leverage its regional truck dealer contacts. it is attempting to move into an area of the market just below the big players like GE (NYSE:GE). These larger firms do floor planning and they're looking for multi-unit, multi-truck opportunities in the $250K to $2 million range, above what Marlin will be targeting.

Lastly, the company announced it was expanding its insurance offerings on a broker basis with a partnership with The Hartford in order to offer a one-stop shop to meet the financial needs of small business owners. It generates insurance premium revenue from insuring the equipment it leases out to small businesses. Marlin is expanding its agency capabilities for business owner policies by leveraging its existing 36K customer base. If it can penetrate its entire base of customers, it would generate approximately $7 million in incremental, high-margin revenue with no capital requirements.

(1) GreatAmerica Ranked #1 by Copier Dealers
        in THE CANNATA REPORT 2015 Annual Dealer Survey

Marlin Profit is from “Evergreen” clause
by Christopher Menkin

30 Days---No Response!
---re: Marlin Bulletin Board Complaint

Marlin Business Services Is a Buyout Target
(Stock analysis in complete story, several last paragraphs)


Chisick Back in Business
As Excel Business Funding

Looks like Jamie Chisick of Mar Vista Financial, Villa Park, California has a new company, Excel Business Funding, 17853 Santiago Blvd, #107-486 Villa Park, California.  He has a profile page in LinkedIn, but has not returned emails for verification or denial.

LinkedIn shows:

Excel Business Funding
December 2012 – Present (3 years 2 months) Orange County, California Area

"Advising businesses on mainly Sales issues. Short-Term Working Capital and Merchant Cash Advance business loans as well Merchant Services including P.O.S. systems and Card Processing."

The company does not have a California Lender's License, which would be difficult for him to get due to problems at Nationscapital in Washington, DC (2). Merchant Capital Cash Advance, P.O.S., card processing, does not appear to need a license. Depending on how the short-time business loans are conducted, a license also may not be necessary.

It appears from information from two ex-salesmen that Mar Vista was brokering operating leases and cash advance in its recent history, not carrying themselves. (1)

A Ripoff Complaint appears about Excel Business Funding:

 "All not welcome, will not take no for an answer, will not let you unsubscribe (tried 16 times altogether over the last 5 months) - promises bigger and bigger easy business loans (latest one for $163,475.00)." 


  1. Mar Vista Financial No Longer Active
    A Subprime Operating Lease Company


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


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


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Happy Mango Wants to Demystify Credit Scoring
and Open Up Loans to More People

by Ben Schiller, Co.Exist

Millions of Americans work hard, pay their bills, and save money each month. And yet, when they make an application for credit, they're refused. Either they have little or no credit history or there's some kind of mistake in their credit record. At least 5% of Americans have errors on reports that stop them from getting approved, a 2013 Federal Trade Commission study found.

It's these customers that New York-based Happy Mango wants to find. One of a new breed of credit scorers, it hopes to open up loans to underserved people by looking beyond traditional data. That includes a deep analysis of checking account transactions, testimonials from friends and family, and pay stubs and tax returns.

Kate Hao
Happy Mango

"We look at the current financial condition of the borrower using cash flows, so we can assess the ability of the borrower to afford a payment," says founder Kate Hao. "We want to know your income stability, like the consistency that you have demonstrated in putting money away."

Traditional credit scoring collects data from hundreds of retailers, credit card companies, collections agencies and the like, creating a financial snapshot. Happy Mango—which links to a person's bank account—looks to create a more long-term picture.

Hao, who worked for more than a decade at Morgan Stanley, came up with the idea for the startup after the financial crash. Trading in consumer-backed securities, she realized that banks sometimes have limited insight into the ultimate creditworthiness of customers (though, before the crash, banks would approve customers for mortgages whether they were credit-worthy or not.)

She launched Happy Mango in beta this February and currently works with a community bank in The Bronx and a credit union. In 2016, she plans to launch a new site for consumers and underwriting platform for lenders.

"We're focusing on community based-organizations. In the future, incorporating up-to-date personal finance information and social information should be the market standard in credit assessment," she says.

There's certainly a big underserved market. This year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said 26 million Americans are "credit invisible." Blacks, Hispanics, and consumers in low-income neighborhoods are mostly likely to have limited or no credit history.

In addition to helping lenders, Hao also hopes to demystify credit scoring for consumers. With the big three bureaus, it can sometimes be difficult to understand what went into your score. On Happy Mango, you can see the constituent parts: what percentage is due to your income, spending habits, savings or social characteristics (for example, what your friends and family say about your trustworthiness).

"We give all transparency to the consumer the same way we do to the lender. It's not just a reference for the lender. It's also a gauge for the individual that he can use that to improve his financial health," Hao says.

With a bit of luck, services like Happy Mango will open up credit to more people, while making lending more accurate and transparent.

Ben Schiller is a New York-based staff writer for Co.Exist, and also contributes to the FT and Yale e360. He used to edit a European management magazine, and worked as a reporter in San Francisco, Prague and Brussels.




Sales Make it Happen by Scott Wheeler, CLFP

Stay Focused

Originators in the commercial equipment leasing and finance industry are maximizing their results by staying focused on what they do best. Distractions stifle results, create frustration, and cost valuable time and money. Originators who constantly chase after different types of transactions, industries, and equipment are inefficient and non-productive. In 2016, the key to success will be marketing efficiency; spending your valuable time on transactions that can be won and funded. The majority of top producers spend 80% to 90% of their time and energy soliciting transactions which match their capabilities and are easily processed through their operational channels.

The challenge develops with transactions or relationships which are outside of the box:

An originator who focuses on heavy industrial equipment had a friend refer him to a medical vendor. The vendor had multi-million dollars of leasing opportunities per year. The credits were extremely strong and  the dollar amounts were within his sweet spot. However, the vendor disclosed that the traditional medical lessors and finance companies had rejected the equipment - the experts in the industry had marked the equipment as high risk. The originator and his credit department researched the equipment and came to a similar conclusion. They passed on the vendor relationship. Little time was wasted and the originator correctly reverted back to his targeted market because the medical dots did not align with his heavy equipment expertise.

An originator who focuses on a specific type of manufacturing equipment recently was pulled into a new line of equipment. One of his long time end-users was buying a new piece of equipment which used new technology and was considered state of the art. The originator conducted extensive research on the equipment, met with the distributor and manufacturer, and concluded that this new equipment fit well within his capabilities. The originator funded his end-user's request. The originator developed a new relationship with a new vendor (although he was mainly an end-user driven originator) and he went on to expand his specialty to include this new equipment. The new equipment was instrumental in helping the originator double his volume in 2015.  The originator used the new opportunity to expand his box, because the new equipment aligned well with his expertise and capabilities.  

Available Here:

Scott A. Wheeler, CLFP
Wheeler Business Consulting
1314 Marquis Ct.
Fallston, Maryland 21047
Phone: 410 877 0428
Fax: 410 877 8161

Sales Makes it Happen articles:



Time to consider joining an association that will benefit you
Several in the business belong to more than one association



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

Section 179: What It Means for Your Practice
And Other Businesses

TAMPA, FL --(Marketwired)  - Earlier in the year, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee passed an extension of two years for Section 179, which provides small businesses (including healthcare practices) with tax deductions for the purchase or (in some cases) leasing of equipment.

This was very good news for owners of small medical practices who may have been hoping to upgrade their equipment in 2015. And then on December 18, these practitioners received even better news -- Congress voted to raise the deduction to as much as $500,000, which was the original amount prior to this year. If Congress had not voted to do so, the limit would have remained at $25,000.

So what exactly is Section 179 and how will it affect small businesses, including medical practices, across the country?

Well, for those who may not know, the Section 179 extension means that for 2015 you will be able to take advantage of tax deductions for as much as $500,000 in qualifying capital equipment expenses. Paid-in-full purchases of capital equipment would qualify, of course, but this deduction also considers equipment acquired via non-tax capital leases or Equipment Finance Agreements (EFAs) to qualify. The leasing and EFA options are pretty useful, since it allows you to qualify for the full amount of your deductions for 2015 without actually having to pay the full amount for the equipment within that tax year. Let's take a look at how these two options work:

  • Non-tax Capital Lease: in a non-tax lease, you (or your practice) will be considered the owner of the leased equipment. As a result, it allows you to reduce your taxable income by the amount of depreciation and interest expense.
  • EFA: this alternative financing option, you still pay for the equipment monthly. However, your practice is considered the owner of the financed equipment instead of the lender. Combining an EFA with the Section 179 deduction, the amount you deduct will exceed cash layout for 2013.

The purpose of Section 179 has always been, and will continue to be for at least another two years, to encourage business owners to invest in more efficient equipment or upgrade to improved technologies by allowing them to deduct the value of these assets from their taxes during the first year (of owning the equipment).

Those who purchase new equipment (which includes such items as new furniture, office fixtures, machines/hardware, and even new software) may be allowed to deduct as much as $500,000 during the first year of ownership.

The remaining amount may qualify for further reductions (up to $200,000) by applying the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) tax depreciation. Under MACRS, the capitalized cost of tangible property can be recovered over specified equipment lifespans by annual deductions for said equipment's depreciation.

Moving forward, the raise to $500,000 is a huge victory not only for small medical practices, but for small businesses across all industries.



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

President/CEO Ralph Petta Announces Staff Promotions
at Equipment Leasing and Finance

Washington, DC, —The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s new President and CEO Ralph Petta announced three staff promotions, effective Jan. 1.

• Julie Benson, Vice President, Membership Marketing - Julie Benson joined ELFA in 2013 as Director of Membership. In her new role of Vice President, Membership Marketing, she will work with the Membership Committee and play a significant role in the development of a broad strategy that both engages and retains ELFA members and enhances the membership value proposition. She will also drive the association’s efforts to grow its membership base in all member populations. She will work closely with all staff to maintain the overall integrity, quality and optimization of the Association Management System.

• Lisa Ramirez, Vice President, Business and Professional Development - Lisa Ramirez joined ELFA in 2012 as Director of Meetings and Exhibits. As Vice President, Business and Professional Development, taking over from retiring staff member Lesley Sterling, she will oversee the management and direction of all business and professional development activities of the association, including the Annual Convention, conferences, workshops, best practices roundtables, e-learning initiatives, web seminars and web-based educational content.

• Paul Stilp, Chief Financial and Operating Officer - Paul Stilp joined ELFA in 2004 as Vice President, Finance and Administration. In his new role of Chief Financial and Operating Officer, he will continue to oversee the association’s finances and treasury operations and work closely with the President and CEO and staff to provide for the overall daily administrative and operational requirements of the organization.

Petta, who became ELFA President and CEO on January 1, 2016, following the retirement of former President and CEO Woody Sutton, congratulated the staff on their accomplishments. “ELFA is fortunate to have very knowledgeable and talented individuals on our staff,” said Petta. “We are pleased to recognize Julie, Lisa and Paul, whose experience and dedication to our mission and our membership make them invaluable members of the ELFA team. I look forward to working with them and the rest of our exceptional staff in 2016 and beyond.”

About ELFA
The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) is the trade association that represents companies in the $1 trillion equipment finance sector, which includes financial services companies and manufacturers engaged in financing capital goods. ELFA members are the driving force behind the growth in the commercial equipment finance market and contribute to capital formation in the U.S. and abroad. Its 580 members include independent and captive leasing and finance companies, banks, financial services corporations, broker/packagers and investment banks, as well as manufacturers and service providers. For more information, please visit Follow ELFA on Twitter @ELFAonline.



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

2016 Business And Professional Development Lineup
Equipment Leasing and Finance Association

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of the equipment leasing and finance industry will have multiple opportunities to network and engage in business and professional development this year. The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association has released its 2016 calendar of events, which includes face-to-face conferences and workshops and web-based programs. Continuing education credits are available for many of the offerings.

Details about the 2016 lineup are included in the Schedule of Conferences, Workshops and e-Learning Opportunities, available at In addition, the ELFA Online Events Calendar at provides the latest programming information, and will include new web seminars or conferences that are added to the schedule throughout the year. Registration is already open for a number of upcoming events.

ELFA’s 2016 lineup includes the following offerings:

  • Equipment Management Conference & Exhibition, Feb. 21-23, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Executive Roundtable, March 6-8, Coral Gables, FL
  • 15th Annual IMN/ELFA Investors Conference, March 22, New York, NY
  • Bank Best Practices Roundtable, April 19, Chicago, IL
  • Captive and Vendor Finance Best Practices Roundtable, April 19, Chicago, IL
  • Independent Best Practices Roundtable, April 19, Chicago, IL
  • 28th Annual National Funding Conference, April 19-21, Chicago, IL
  • Principles of Equipment Leasing and Finance Workshop, April 19-21, Chicago, IL
  • Legal Forum, May 1-3, San Francisco, CA
  • AGL&F Public Sector Finance Forum, May 4-6, Charlotte, NC
  • Capitol Connections, May 18-19, Washington, DC
  • Credit and Collections Management Conference & Exhibition, June 5-7, Denver, CO
  • Principles of Equipment Leasing and Finance Workshop, June 14-16, Philadelphia, PA
  • Operations & Technology Conference & Exhibition, Sept. 12-14, Baltimore, MD
  • Lease and Finance Accountants Conference, Sept. 12-14, Baltimore, MD
  • Principles of Equipment Leasing and Finance Workshop, Sept. 12-14, Los Angeles, CA
  • ELFA 55th Annual Convention, Oct. 23-25, Palm Desert, CA

New for 2016: Lease Accounting Resources
A new lease accounting standard is expected this month. To help members prepare, the association is planning a number of initiatives to educate stakeholders about the new rules. Activities in 2016 will include a free web seminar, a one-day workshop, customized in-house training and more. Watch for more information on upcoming initiatives on ELFA’s Lease Accounting webpage in January.

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


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Age: 3 months
Weight: 14 lbs.
North Shore Adoption Center

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Shannon (Berry) Green, CLFP, Celebration of Life
January 9th, Lakewood, Washington

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, January 9th, 2016 at 11:00am at Catholic Community Services building located at 5705 Main Street SW, Lakewood, Washington 98499 (casual attire).

A tribute for Shannon (Berry) Green, CLFP, will be hosted by Orion First: "an open house style remembrance event on Thursday, January 21st from 4pm to 7pm, at the Pacific Grill Event Center in Tacoma, Washington. Anyone who knew Shannon and wants to share stories with others is encouraged to attend."


Shannon Marie Green (Berry), CLFP, age 49, of Spanaway WA, passed away peacefully on December 25, 2015 at home surrounded by family and friends after a courageous battle with cancer. She is survived by her loving husband of 28 years, Michael, her beautiful daughter Kaelyn; handsome son Evan; big brother Lloyd; and supportive Sister.

She also left behind her mother in law Christine aka “Oma”; sister in law Donna (Keith); brother in law James (Marlene); nieces Brittani (Patrick); Ashlee; Jamie (Shawn); Selena (Ryan) and Alysa. Her nephews Vinny, K-Jay, James Jr. and Zachary who preceded her death in 2010. Shannon also had an enormous extended family of which she always welcomed in her life with open arms.

Shannon was born in Tacoma WA on June 15th, 1966 and grew up and spent her entire life there. She was the baby daughter of the late Leonard and Gayleene Berry. Shannon attended Lincoln High School where she met the love of her life, Michael. Shortly thereafter, they were blessed with two wonderful children who carry Shannon’s infectious beautiful smile.

Shannon joined the commercial finance industry in the late 80’s which allowed her to meet some amazing friends that are now family and fueled her passion of helping others in need. At her time of death she was employed at Orion First Financial, LLC.

Shannon and Michael moved to their dream lake home 5 years ago and the house was always full of love and laughter just like Shannon wanted. Many nights were filled with friends and family enjoying the lake, ending the night with huge bonfires, lots of laughter and maybe a little Jaeger.

In lieu of flowers the family has asked that you donate to your local cancer society to help find a cure for this devastating disease. We encourage you to share your fondest memories and stories about Shannon with us below.

“Fly free now with your Angel Wings”

Shannon (Berry) Green, CLFP, Passes Away


News Briefs---

Saudi Arabia faces 'economic bomb'
   and hikes gas prices 50%

Bank of China taps banks for world's biggest
   aircraft leasing IPO -sources

U.S. car sales hit record high in 2015
17.5 million cars and trucks were sold last year



--You May Have Missed It

Hungry? Guy Fieri cooking up $700 Super Bowl tailgate menu


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

The Loopholes of Food Labeling
What Food Manufacturers Don't Want You to Know


Basketball Poem

Basketball Practice

I sprint to the end of the court
my legs cutting through the oppressive air,
desperately trying to reach the endline.

I take off, this time not as fast
wondering why I bother to give up
two hours each night to be commanded
like a remote control car.

I walk slowly to the line
happy for the time to catch my breath.
I pick up the ball and begin.

Again I sprint to the end of the court
mouth wide open
sweat dripping from my face.

As I run up the court
for what I hope will be the last time tonight,
I glance over my shoulder
to see my coach, red-faced and grinning,
remote control
gleaming in his hand.

by J. G., Houlton, ME



Sports Briefs----

'Billy' Manziel in Vegas is perfect way
     to cap a crazy Browns season

49ers will pay Jim Tomsula’s entire $14 million contract

Kawakami: What York does, not what he says, will matter

Top 10 coaching candidates for the 49ers


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


California Nuts Briefs---

First big El Niño storms hit California,
 bring hope of easing historic drought

Santa Clara: A judge denies soccer league's request to kick out NFL -- again


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


“Gimme that Wine”

FTC Approves Merger of Southern and Glazer's

U.S. Restaurant Wine Sales Still Hostage To 2008 Economic Meltdown

Bacas Family Estates buys Sonoma Valley’s Envolve Winery

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in American History

     1782 - The first commercial bank in the US, the Bank of North America, was opened at Philadelphia, PA. The bank was the brainchild of Robert Morris. Despite the bank's success, Philadelphia's run as America's leading home of private financial institutions was short-lived. Soon after the Bank of North America opened, the Pennsylvania legislature moved to outlaw private banks in the state, a decision that led scores of prospective bankers to set up shop in the nation's eventual financial center, New York City.
    1784 - David Landreth established the first organized seed business in Philadelphia, PA. Previously, seeds had been imported from Europe or saved from each crop by individual farmers. The firm incorporated in 1904 as the D. Landreth Seed Company, later became a subsidiary of the Robert Buist Company, founded in Philadelphia in 1828.
    1789 - The first national presidential election in the United States was held.
George Washington, Virginia:   69 (85.2%)
John Adams, Massachusetts:    34 (42.0%)
John Jay, New York:                  9 (11.1%)
Robert Harrison, Maryland:        6 (7.4%)
John Rutledge, South Carolina:  6 (7.4%)
Other:                                    14 (17.3%)
Electoral votes not cast:           24 (29.6%)
Note that prior to the ratification of Amendment XII to the Constitution in 1804, each Elector cast two votes for President (instead of one vote for President and one vote for Vice President). The candidate receiving the most votes became President and the candidate receiving the second most votes became Vice President. George Washington received one vote from each elector that cast a ballot. The New York legislature failed to appoint its allotted 8 Electors in time. Two Electors from Maryland did not vote. One Elector from Virginia did not vote and one Elector was not chosen because an election district failed to submit returns.
    1800 - Millard Fillmore (d. 1874) was born at Summerhill, NY. 13th President of the US (July 10, 1850—Mar 3, 1853). Fillmore succeeded to the presidency upon the death of Zachary Taylor, but he did not get the hoped-for nomination from his party in 1852. He ran for president in 1856 as candidate of the “Know-Nothing Party,” whose platform demanded, among other things, that every government employee (federal, state and local) should be a native-born citizen. Now his birthday is often used as an occasion for parties for which there is no other reason.
    1806 - The Cherokee nation ceded 7,000 square miles of land in Tennessee and Alabama.
    1811 – Charles Sumner (d. 1874) was born in Boston, for whom the Sumner Tunnel is named.  As a lawyer and a powerful orator, Sumner was the leader of the antislavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate during the Civil War, working to destroy the Confederacy, free all the slaves, and keep on good terms with Europe. During Reconstruction, he fought to minimize the power of the ex-Confederates and guarantee equal rights to the freedmen.  Sumner changed his political party several times as anti-slavery coalitions rose and fell in the 1830s and 1840s before coalescing in the 1850s as the Republican Party, the affiliation with which he became best known. He devoted his enormous energies to the destruction of the influence of Southern slave owners over the federal government, thereby ensuring the survival and expansion of slavery.  In 1856, a South Carolina Congressman, Democrat Preston Brooks, nearly killed Sumner on the Senate floor two days after Sumner delivered an intensely anti-slavery speech called "The Crime Against Kansas".  In the speech, Sumner characterized the attacker's cousin, South Carolina Senator Andrew Butler, a Democrat, as a pimp for slavery.  The episode played a major role in the coming of the Civil War. During the War, Sumner was a leader of the faction that criticized President Abraham Lincoln for being too moderate on the South. One of the most learned statesmen of the era, he specialized in foreign affairs, and worked closely with Lincoln to keep the British and the French from intervening on the side of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Sumner's expertise and energy made him a powerful chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
    1830 - The first passengers boarded the first commercial transportation of passengers and freight, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company. Tickets were 9 cents each, or three for 25 cents, for a ride from Pratt Street in Baltimore to the Carrolton Viaduct. At first, passengers rode primarily for the novel experience.
    1838 – Alfred Vail demonstrated a telegraph system using dots and dashes (this is the forerunner of Morse code).  After having secured his father's financial backing, Vail refined Morse's crude prototype to make it suitable for public demonstration and commercial operation. The first successful completion of a transmission with this system was at the Speedwell Iron Works near Morristown, NJ, across two miles of wiring. The message read "A patient waiter is no loser”.  Over the next few months, Morse and Vail demonstrated the telegraph to Philadelphia's Franklin Institute, members of Congress, and President Martin Van Buren and his cabinet.
    1853 – President-elect Franklin Pierce and his family were involved in a train wreck near Andover, MA. Pierce's 11-year-old son Benjamin is killed in the crash.
    1861 - Florida troops takeover Fort Marion at St Augustine. The Confederates take over many forts until Union Troops invade Florida, taking back some of the forts, securing ports, to cut off trade with European nations.
    1862 - An advance guard of Confederates was defeated by about 2,000 Federals under Col. Dunning at Blue's Gap in Romney, West Virginia.

    1864 - Mary Kenney O'Sullivan (1864-1943), first American Federation of Labor (AFL) woman organizer, was born in Hannibal, Missouri. A skilled bookbinder, she organized the Woman's Bookbinder Union in 1880 and was a founder of the National Women's Trade Union League (WTUL) in 1903.
    1865 - Near present-day San Angelo, 370 Texas militiamen attacked what was assumed to be an encampment of 1400 Comanche's (they were actually peaceful Kickapoo). This engagement, called the Battle of Dove Creek, was one of the last battles in Texas between Anglos and Native Americans. The militia lost 36 men, with 60 wounded; the Indians lost 11, with 61 wounded.

      1873 - A blizzard raged across the Great Plains. Many pioneers, unprepared for the cold and snow, perished in southwest Minnesota and northwestern Iowa.
    1878 – Carl Sandberg (d. 1978) was born Galesburg, IL.  Poet, writer, and editor, he won three Pulitzer Prizes, two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln.  During his lifetime, Sandburg was widely regarded as "a major figure in contemporary literature", especially for volumes of his collected verse, including “Chicago Poems” (1916), “Cornhuskers” (1918), and “Smoke and Steel” (1920).  He enjoyed "unrivaled appeal as a poet in his day, perhaps because the breadth of his experiences connected him with so many strands of American life", and at his death in 1967, President Lyndon Johnson observed that "Carl Sandburg was more than the voice of America, more than the poet of its strength and genius. He was America.”
    1880 – Tom Mix (d. 1940) was born in Mix Run, PA.  Actor and the star of many early western movies between 1909 and 1935, Mix appeared in 291 films, all but nine of which were silent movies. He was Hollywood's first Western megastar and is noted as having helped define the genre for all cowboy actors who followed. 
    1884 - The temperature dipped to one degree below zero at Atlanta, GA. It marked the final day of a severe arctic outbreak in the South and Midwest.
    1886 - A severe cold wave in the southern section of the country brought the worst freeze since 1835 in Florida.
    1887 - In April, 1884, Thomas Stevens started what would be the first completed worldwide bicycle trip. Stevens and his bike traveled 13,500 miles, arriving back in San Francisco, California nearly three years later.    
     1893 – The Washington National Cathedral was chartered by Congress.
    1894 – W.K. L. Dickson was given a patent for motion picture film. The 2- second demonstration was a 47-frame film showing a man sneezing.

    1896 - Fannie Farmer publishes her first cookbook
   1901 - Birthday of African-American writer Zora Neale Hurston, born Eatonville, Fla., was an all-black town. Although at the time of her death in 1960, Hurston had published more books than any other black woman in America, she was unable to capture a mainstream audience in her lifetime, and she died poor and alone in a welfare hotel. Today, she is seen as one of the most important black writers in American history. Unfortunately, near the end of her life she worked as a maid and died in poverty. In the 1970s, her work, almost forgotten, was revived by feminist and black-studies scholars, and an anthology, I Love Myself When I Am Laughing...And Then Again When I Am Looking Mean and Impressive, was published in 1979.

    1912 – New Mexico became the nation’s 47th state.
    1912 – Danny Thomas (d. 1991) was born in Deerfield, MI.  A nightclub comedian and television and film actor and producer, whose career spanned five decades, Thomas was best known for starring in the television sitcom “Make Room for Daddy” (also known as “The Danny Thomas Show”) that ran from 1953-1965. He was also the founder of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He was the father of Marlo Thomas.  
    1913 - Tucson, AZ set its all-time record low temperature with a frigid 0 degrees.
    1913 - William M. Burton of Chicago, IL, received a patent for the “manufacture of gasoline.” He developed the thermal-cracking technique for refining oil. His method of treating the residue of the paraffin group of petroleum by distillation and condensation of the vapors was used by the Standard Oil Company of Indiana, to whom the patent was assigned.

    1914 - The National Commission granted some demands of the Players’ Union: players are to be notified in writing of their transfer or release and to receive a copy of their contract; players with 10 years in the Major Leagues are eligible to become free agents; clubs will pay traveling expenses to spring training and furnish all uniforms, and outfield fences in ballparks should be painted green to provide a better hitting background for batters.    
    1921 - Birthday of Charles Loloma (d. 1991) at Hotevilla on the Hopi Indian Reservation.  He was a major influence on modern Native American art and was famous for changing the look of American Indian Jewelry. A painter, sculptor and potter, he was best known for his jewelry, which broke tradition with previous Indian styles using materials such as coral, fossilized ivory, pearls and diamonds.

    1924 - George Gershwin completed the score for his classic, “Rhapsody in Blue”. He was only 26 years old. Gershwin did not have an interest in music until his family bought him a piano when he was twelve. Nine years later he had his first hit, at age 21, "Swanee", with lyrics written by Irving Caesar.
    1926 - George Burns and Gracie Allen were married by a Justice of the Peace in Cleveland, Ohio. They had been a comedy team for 4 years prior to getting married, and worked successfully for decades together in radio, film, and television until Allen's fatal heart attack in 1964.
    1926 – Ralph Branca, the Dodger pitcher who surrendered the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”, was born in Mt. Vernon, NY.  In game 3 of the best of three 1951 NL Championship playoffs against the rival NY Giants, Branca relieved starter Don Newcombe in the bottom of the ninth with two on to protect a 4-2 Dodger lead that would have sent them to the World Series.  On a 0-1 pitch, Bobby Thomson homered over the left field wall at the Polo Grounds, giving the Giants the pennant.  Giants’ announcer Russ Hodges’ call: “There’s a long drive... it's gonna be, I believe...THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! Bobby Thomson hits into the lower deck of the left-field stands! The Giants win the pennant and they're goin' crazy, they're goin' crazy! HEEEY-OH!!!'' [ten-second pause for crowd noise]  I don't believe it! I don't believe it! I do not believe it! Bobby Thomson... hit a line drive... into the lower deck... of the left-field stands... and this blame place is goin' crazy! The Giants! Horace Stoneham has got a winner! The Giants won it... by a score of 5 to 4... and they're pickin' Bobby Thomson up... and carryin' him off the field! 
    1927 - The inauguration of the transatlantic commercial telephone service began when Walter Sherman Gifford, president of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, who was in New York, talked to Sir George Evelyn Pemberton Murray, secretary of the British Post Office, who was in London. Thirty-one commercial calls were made the first day. The charge was $75 for a three minute conversation. The first private conversation was made by Adolph Simon Ochs, publisher of The New York Times, to Geoffrey Dawson, editor of The Times of London. The messages were transmitted from Rocky Point, NY.
    1927 - Harlem Globetrotters, basketball team, make their debut.

    1930 - The first diesel-engine automobile trip is completed, from Indianapolis to NYC.
    1931 - The nation was mired in the depths of the Great Depression. On January 7, the Committee for Unemployment Relief, formed at President Hoover's command, in October 1930, released a report that detailed the depths of the nation's woes. According to the committee, some 4 to 5 million Americans were unemployed. However, the Depression only continued to grow worse, which further swelled the unemployment rolls; by 1932, some 13 million Americans were without jobs.
    1933 – Fred Turner (d. 2013) was born in Des Moines, IA.  Turner began his career at McDonald's in 1956 as a grill operator, and quickly rose through the ranks. He was named Operations Vice President in 1958. In that role, he established strict guidelines for how McDonald's hamburgers and other products had to be served - including that fries "had to be precisely 0.28 inches thick", and that "exactly ten patties had to be formed from each pound of beef".   "Quality, Service and Cleanliness" became his motto.  He became Executive Vice President in 1967, then President and Chief Administrative Officer in 1968. He replaced Ray Kroc as Chairman in 1977, then was named Senior Chairman upon Kroc's death. Under Turner, McDonald's expanded its operations to 118 countries, with over 31,000 outlets, and more than a billion hamburgers had been sold.
    1934 - Converted Major League baseball player Billy Sunday, at age 72, began a two-week revival at Calvary Baptist Church in NY City. Sunday was an evangelist from 1893 until his death in 1935.
    1935 - Anarchist Feminist Emma Goldman talks to Jewish audiences at the Temple Emanu-El adult school, the second meeting arranged by Rabbi Harry Stern, and the women's branch of the Arbeiter Ring on Jan. 12.  Both are well received.
    1937 – Doris Troy (d. 2004) was born Doris Elaine Higginsen in The Bronx.   Known to her many fans as "Mama Soul”, she worked with Solomon Burke, The Drifters, Cissy Houston, and Dionne Warwick, before she co-wrote and recorded "Just One Look”, which hit #10 in 1963
    1939 - The United States Trotting Association, the governing body for the sport of harness horse racing, was founded in Indianapolis, IN, at a meeting called by horseman Roland Harriman. The founding was actually a joining of several regional organizations resulting in uniform rules and regulations.   This unification spurred the growth of harness racing, now followed by nearly 25 million fans in North America each year.
    1939 - Tom Mooney, a labor activist wrongly convicted of murder in the San Francisco Preparedness Day bombing in July 1916, is freed after 22 1/2 years in jail on false charges, after being granted an unconditional pardon by Governor Culbert Olson.  See: “Frame-up” by Curt Gentry, © 1967, WW Norton, New York; “Life of an Anarchist: The Alexander Berkman Reader”, ed. Gene Fellner, “Four Walls Eight Windows”, New York: 1992.

    1940 - Gene Autry's musical variety show premieres on CBS radio, where it will run for the next 16 years. Autry was born in Tioga, Texas, in 1907, the son of a livestock and horse trader who was also a Baptist minister. The family later moved to Oklahoma. In high school, Autry worked as a railway telegrapher at the local railroad depot, where he spent slow moments strumming his $8 guitar and singing. Passing through the depot one day, a stranger, who turned out to be Will Rogers, suggested that Autry try singing on the radio. Inspired, Autry traveled to New York City to look for a singing job but had no luck. Back home, he began working for a local radio station and found success as "Oklahoma's Yodeling Cowboy.” Eventually, Autry and railroad dispatcher Jim Long wrote several country songs, including the world's first gold record, "That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine”. Autry became a regular on Sears Roebuck's “National Barn Dance”, the forerunner of the Grand Ole Opry. In 1934, producer Nat Levine was looking for a guy who could sing, ride a horse, and act in western movies. Autry wasn't an actor but had already established a loyal radio audience, so Levine put him in numerous B-grade westerns. Playing the lead role in a long-running series of Saturday matinee films, Autry became "America's favorite cowboy." In 1940, his musical variety radio show, “Gene Autry's Melody Ranch”,debuted and took only one hiatus, when Autry joined the Army Air Corps after taking his oath on the air in 1942.  Roy Rogers took his place on the television show while he was gone. He became America's favorite TV cowboy in 1950 when he debuted “The Gene Autry Show”,which ran through 1956. In each episode, he and his sidekick, Pat Buttram, rode from town to town, maintaining law and order. From "Back in the Saddle Again" to yuletide mainstays such as "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" and "Frosty the Snowman," Autry's music has etched itself into Americana. “The Cowboy” was also an entrepreneur; he owned hotels, gas stations, and the California Angels baseball team, among other ventures. He also owned a television production company and was proud of discovering "Annie Oakley" star Gail Davis, whom he had featured in dozens of his movies and television program episodes and who had performed in his traveling rodeo. Her appearances spun off into her own series, which Autry's company produced. Autry was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1969.
    1942 – Cleveland Indians pitcher Bob Feller reported to Norfolk for duty in the United States Navy. Feller led the AL in wins in three previous seasons and missed all of the 1942, 1943 and 1944 seasons before returning for nine games in 1945. Despite missing the time during World War II, Feller will lead the league in wins in 1946, 1947 and 1951, amassing 266 victories during an 18-year major league career.
    1944 - SPECKER, JOE C., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 48th Engineer Combat Battalion. Place and date: At Mount Porchia, Italy, 7 January 1944. Entered service at: Odessa, Mo. Birth: Odessa, Mo. G.O. No. 56, 12 July 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty, in action involving actual conflict. On the night of 7 January 1944, Sgt. Specker, with his company, was advancing up the slope of Mount Porchia, Italy. He was sent forward on reconnaissance and on his return he reported to his company commander the fact that there was an enemy machinegun nest and several well-placed snipers directly in the path and awaiting the company. Sgt. Specker requested and was granted permission to place 1 of his machineguns in a position near the enemy machinegun. Voluntarily and alone he made his way up the mountain with a machinegun and a box of ammunition. He was observed by the enemy as he walked along and was severely wounded by the deadly fire directed at him. Though so seriously wounded that he was unable to walk, he continued to drag himself over the jagged edges of rock and rough terrain until he reached the position at which he desired to set up his machinegun. He set up the gun so well and fired so accurately that the enemy machine-gun nest was silenced and the remainder of the snipers forced to retire, enabling his platoon to obtain their objective. Sgt. Specker was found dead at his gun. His personal bravery, self-sacrifice, and determination were an inspiration to his officers and fellow soldiers.
    1945 - Anthony Richard (Tony) Conigliaro (d. 1990), Baseball player born at Revere, MA. Conigliaro led the American League in home runs in 1965 and was one of the most beloved Boston Red Sox players of his generation. He was beaned by Jack Hamilton on August 18, 1967, and after missing all of 1968, made a comeback.
    1945 - SHOUP, CURTIS F, Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 346th Infantry, 87th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Tillet, Belgium, 7 January 1945. Entered service at: Buffalo, N.Y. Birth: Napenoch, N.Y. G.0. No.: 60, 25 July 1945. Citation: On 7 January 1945, near Tillet, Belgium, his company attacked German troops on rising ground. Intense hostile machinegun fire pinned down and threatened to annihilate the American unit in an exposed position where frozen ground made it impossible to dig in for protection. Heavy mortar and artillery fire from enemy batteries was added to the storm of destruction falling on the Americans. Realizing that the machinegun must be silenced at all costs, S/Sgt. Shoup, armed with an automatic rifle, crawled to within 75 yards of the enemy emplacement. He found that his fire was ineffective from this position, and completely disregarding his own safety, stood up and grimly strode ahead into the murderous stream of bullets, firing his low-held weapon as he went. He was hit several times and finally was knocked to the ground. But he struggled to his feet and staggered forward until close enough to hurl a grenade, wiping out the enemy machinegun nest with his dying action. By his heroism, fearless determination, and supreme sacrifice, S/Sgt. Shoup eliminated a hostile weapon which threatened to destroy his company and turned a desperate situation into victory.
    1946 - Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner birthday, born NY, NY.
    1947 – Pan American World Airways becomes the first commercial airline to schedule a flight around the world.
    1948 - Birthday of singer Kenny Loggins, Everett, Washington. He wrote the "House at Pooh Corner”, a hit for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, before teaming with Jim Messina for several albums and the top-10 single "Your Mama Don't Dance" in the 1970's. The duo split in 1976, and Loggins did well on his own with such hit singles as "Footloose," the theme from the 1984 movie, and "Danger Zone" in 1986.
    1949 - Birthday of singer Tom Waits, Ponoma, CA

    1950 - Nova Scotia native Hank Snow made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Later that year, his recording of "I'm Movin' On" stayed on the Billboard country chart for 44 weeks, selling more than a million copies.
    1950 - Gene Autry's "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" hits #1
    1950 - In Nashville, Tennessee, Ernest Tubb made his first appearance at "The Grand Ole Opry". Ernest also did a daily 15-minute radio program that was very popular in West Texas. In fact, the show was so popular, Tubb bought the radio station that aired the program for years, KGKL in San Angelo, Texas.
    1951 - Top Hits
“Tennessee Waltz” - Patti Page
“The Thing” - Phil Harris
“Nevertheless” - Jack Denny
“I Love You a Thousand Ways” - Lefty Frizzell
    1952 - Actor Phillip Loeb, blacklisted in 1950 as a possible Communist sympathizer, is fired from highly successful TV comedy "The Goldbergs" because no one would sponsor it otherwise.
    1953 - Birthday of Malcolm Young, rhythm guitarist with AC/DC, Glasgow, Scotland.
    1954 - The Duoscopic television receiver debuted.  It allowed the viewer to watch two different shows at the same time. It was a very early, very primitive, picture-in-picture, split-screen, tested in New York City and Chicago, Illinois. DuMont Laboratories, owner of the DuMont Television Network produced the set.
    1954 - Muddy Waters records "Hoochie Coochie Man"
    1955 – At the Metropolitan Opera House, New York City, Marian Anderson, contralto, became the first African-American opera singer there when she sang the role of the fortune teller Ulrica in Giuseepe Verdi's “Un Ballo in Maschera”.
(Lower half of: )
    1956 - Dean Martin's "Memories Are Made of This" hits #1
    1957 – Women’s golf champion Nancy Lopez was born in Torrance, CA.
    1957 - Elvis Presley makes his third, final, and most famous appearance on CBS' Ed Sullivan Show”. After numerous "Elvis the Pelvis" complaints during his first two appearances, Sullivan decides that Presley is to be filmed from the waist up only. Elvis sings seven numbers: "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel," "Love Me Tender," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Peace in the Valley" (at the request of the network), "Too Much," and "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again." After the performances, Ed Sullivan attempts to fend off controversy yet again by declaring:  "I just wanted to say that this is a real decent, fine boy.  We want to say that we've never had a pleasanter experience with a big name than we've had with you."
    1958 - The Gibson Guitar Company patented the Flying V guitar, favorite instrument of many rock musicians
    1958 - Danny and the Juniors' Rock 'n' Roll classic, "At the Hop", was the number one song in the US. Originally written as "Do the Bop", American Bandstand host Dick Clark advised the group to re-write the lyrics because the dance known as The Bop was on its way out. Clark was right and the Philadelphia quartet's record stayed in the top spot for a month.
    1959 - Top Hits
“The Chipmunk Song” - The Chipmunks
“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” - The Platters
“Problems” - The Everly Brothers
“City Lights” - Ray Price
    1959 - "GE College Bowl" quiz show premieres on NBC TV
    1960 – National Airlines Flight 2511 was destroyed in mid-air by a bomb, while en route from New York City to Miami.  Twenty-nine passengers and five crew perished.  The Civil Aeronautics Board concluded that Flight 2511 was brought down by a dynamite explosion in the passenger cabin.
    1960 – NFL Hall of Famer and Super Bowl XVIII champion Howie Long was born in Charlestown, MA.  He was the Oakland Raiders second round pick in the 1981 draft and went on to 8 Pro Bowls and was named to the NFL’s All-1980s team.  He is currently an analyst on Fox Sports Sunday.
    1962 - The Western Division defeats the Eastern Division 47-27 in the first AFL All-Star Game played before 20,973 in San Diego.
    1962 - Chubby Checker's "The Twist" hits #1 -- again
    1967 - Top Hits
“I'm a Believer” - The Monkees
“Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron” - The Royal Guardsmen
“Tell It Like It Is” - Aaron Neville
“There Goes My Everything” - Jack Greene
    1967 - The Doors, Sopwith Camel, The Young Rascals play at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. This was the first time the L.A. band "The Doors" played at the Fillmore.
Artist of the poster: Wes Wilson.
    1968 - Postage rates in the United States went up by a penny, making the cost to send an ounce of mail six cents.
    1971 - The temperature at Hawley Lake, AZ dipped to 40 degrees below zero, setting a new record low temperature for the state.
    1972 - The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Atlanta Hawks, 134-90, to win their 33rd game in a row, an NBA record.
    1972 - The NCAA announced that freshmen would be eligible to play varsity football and basketball starting in the fall of 1973.
    1973 - Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" leads the US hit parade, stirring speculation about exactly who she was singing about. Although suggestions run from actor Warren Beatty to Mick Jagger to James Taylor to Kris Kristofferson, Simon has steadfastly refused to divulge her secret.  Finally, in November 2015, Simon, promoting her about-to-be-published memoir, said, "I have confirmed that the second verse is Warren," and added that while "Warren thinks the whole thing is about him," he is the subject only of that verse, with the remainder of the song referring to two other, still-unnamed men.   You’ll have to read the book to find out that Beatty was indeed not the only one.
    1973 - The first vote for a woman in the history of the U.S. Electoral College is cast for Theodora Nathan of Oregon, the vice-presidential candidate for the Libertarian party.
    1974 - In response to the 1973 oil crisis, daylight savings time commences nearly four months early in the United States.
    1975 - Boston Mayor Kevin White cancels Led Zeppelin's upcoming show at Boston Garden when approximately a thousand Zep fans riot while waiting for tickets to go on sale. Total damage to the facility: $30,000.
    1975 - Top Hits
“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” - Elton John
“You're the First, the Last, My Everything” - Barry White
“Kung Fu Fighting” - Carl Douglas
“The Door” - George Jones
    1978 - The soundtrack album of the hit disco movie "Saturday Night Fever," featuring the Bee Gees, the Trammps, Tavares, K.C. & the Sunshine Band, Kool & the Gang, MFSB and others enter the soul album chart. It will peak at Number One for six weeks starting February 18 in its 39 weeks on the chart.
    1978 - The Bar-Kays' "Let's Have Some Fun" enters the soul charts
    1979 - Vietnamese forces, aided by Cambodian insurgents, captured Phnom Penh after a two-week invasion and overthrew the Khmer Rouge regime of Pol Pot.
    1979 - In the AFC title game, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Houston Oilers 34-5 for a Super Bowl trip and their third AFC championship title. They played in a steady rain at Three Rivers Stadium. In the NFC championship game, the Dallas Cowboys shut out the Los Angeles Rams 28-0. The Steelers beat the Cowboys 35-31 in Super Bowl XIII Jan 21.
    1980 - Led Zeppelin's "In Through the Out Door" is awarded a platinum disc. It's the last album issued before the September 25th death of drummer John Bonham.
    1981 - The "Eagles Live" album goes platinum. The two-record set will turn out to be the final Eagles album until 1994's comeback LP, "Hell Freezes Over".
    1982 - The Islanders' Bryan Trottier had his 10th career hat trick.
    1982 - "Hooked on Classics," using the extended medley format made popular by "Stars on 45," sets popular classical music to a disco beat. The result: It goes platinum on this date.
    1983 - Top Hits
“Maneater” - Daryl Hall & John Oates
“The Girl is Mine” - Michael Jackson /Paul McCartney
“Dirty Laundry” - Don Henley
“Wild and Blue” - John Anderson
    1984 - The Seattle Seahawks reached the AFC Title game for the first time in their history but were defeated by the Los Angeles Raiders, 30-14.
    1988 - It was a bad day for chickens. Heavy snow in Arkansas, with totals ranging up to 16 inches at Heber Springs, claimed the lives of 3.5 million chickens, and snow and ice up to three inches thick claimed the lives of another 1.75 million chickens in north central Texas. Up to 18 inches of snow blanketed Oklahoma, with Oklahoma City reporting a record 12 inches of snow in 24 hours.
    1989 - A tornado in southern Illinois obliterated half the community of Allendale, injuring fifty persons and causing more than five million dollars damage, while thunderstorm winds gusting higher than 100 mph caused ten million dollars damage at Franklin, KY. Twenty-five cities, from the Gulf coast to Michigan, reported record high temperatures for the date.
    1990 - Rain and gale force winds prevailed along the Northern Pacific Coast. Winds at Astoria OR gusted to 65 mph.  Unseasonably warm weather prevailed over Florida. Five cities reported record high temperatures for the date, including Miami with a reading of 86 degrees. The hot spot in the nation was West Palm Beach with a high of 87 degrees.
    1990 - A rapidly intensifying low pressure system and a vigorous cold front brought heavy rain and high winds to the Pacific Northwest. Two to five inches rains soaked western Washington and western Oregon, and winds gusting above 70 mph caused extensive damage. Wind gusts on Rattlesnake Ridge in Washington State reached 130 mph
    1991 - Top Hits
“Justify My Love” - Madonna
“High Enough” - Damn Yankees
“Love Will Never Do (Without You)” - Janet Jackson
“I've Come to Expect It From You” - George Strait
    1992 - A rare January thunderstorm rumbled over Sioux Falls, SD. This was the first January thunderstorm recorded in the city since 1939. Meanwhile, thunderstorms produced 6 tornadoes (one F2 and five F1) near Grand Island, NE -- the first tornadoes ever recorded in Nebraska during January.
    1993 - Michael Jordan scored 35 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 130-95 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. The points gave Jordan exactly 20,000 in the 620th game of his career and made him the second fastest NBA player to reach the mark behind Wilt chamberlain, who did it in 499 games.
    1994 – Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the knee at the US Figure Skating Championships in Detroit. Shane Stant, after a practice session, used a police baton, an assault planned by rival Tonya Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and co-conspirator Shawn Eckardt.
    1995 - A severe thunderstorm produced a downburst wind gust to 146 mph at Seymour-Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, NC.
    1996 - A blizzard paralyzed the Eastern U.S. The storm moved slowly, taking five days to reach New England from the Gulf of Mexico. The National Weather Service called it a storm of “historic proportions” with more than two feet of snow in the Baltimore and Washington, DC area. The mountains of Virginia and West Virginia got up to three feet. More than 100 deaths were blamed on the storm -- the majority from heart attacks. This event was the second in an unrelenting, paralyzing "siege of snowstorms" along the east coast during a ten day period.
    1997 - In Los Angeles, California, Heidi Fleiss, known as the "Hollywood Madam", was sentenced to 37 months in prison for cheating on her taxes, laundering call-girl profits, and conspiring to hide her wrongdoing. According to news sources, Fleiss choked back tears, saying, "I'm sorry. I'm a different person now."
    1997 – LA Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley, son of the man who brought the team to LA from Brooklyn, announced that he is putting the team up for sale.  In 1998, he sold the team to Fox Broadcasting.
    2001 -  After a five-week long debate regarding Florida voting ballots, George W. Bush was finally declared official winner of the Presidential election. This was one of the closest presidential election races in U.S. history.
    2012 - signed an 18-year, 400,000-square-foot lease at 50 Fremont St. in San Francisco for nearly $340 million. The software company was founded by Marc Benioff in a Telegraph Hill apartment in 1999.



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





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