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Friday, July 27, 2012

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

  Archive July 27, 2009
   Confirmed: IFC Credit Files Chapter 7 --Over $100 million
    Classified Ads---Asset Management
Proposed Changes in Lease Accounting
  Lease Project Pain Part of Larger Frustrations
   ---by Shawn Halladay, The Alta Group
 June New Lease Business 2nd Quarter $6.8 billion
  ---with all charts!
    Cartoon---Who Forgets?
New Hires---Promotions
    Classified Ads---Help Wanted
The List" --June--
  --- Mergers, Acquisitions & Changes
   " The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"—
Are Telephonic Guaranties Enforceable?
  by Tom McCurnin
   Banks, Thrifts lop off 750+ branches in a year
    By Tahir Ali and David Hayes, SNL Financial
      Credit Quality in card portfolios strengthen in June
      By Sam Carr and Matt Blumenfeld, SNL Financial
  Arizona Leasing Association Meeting
   Pawnee Credit Facility both Expanded and Renewed
     Norwich Terrier Mix
     Irvine, California Adopt-a-Dog
             Killer Joe/Dark Horse
          Le Havre/Jiro Dreams of Sushi/Body & Soul
     ---Film/DVD Reviews by Fernando Croce
News Briefs---
Storms in Northeast knock out power, ground flights
    Report shows US drought rapidly intensifying
EverBank's Loans Surge But Profit Falls on Higher Expenses
  1st Enterprise Bank Exceeds $600 Million in Assets
Tanned Fitzpatrick bailed after facing bank fraud charges
   Deutsche Bank to Raise Capital with Risk Cut
Former Citigroup CEO Weill Says Banks Should Be Broken Up
   Mortgages have fallen and they can't get up
At Caterpillar, Pressing Labor While Business Booms
  Rush Enterprises, Inc. Reports Second Quarter Results
     Facebook revenue growth skids, shares plunge
Brookline Bankor $4.2 million loss  Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios
Madoff trustee wants to distribute more money to victims
New Apple Campaign Urges yo Buy iPhone For Other Hand
Kate Middleton Wears $60 Dress. Too Bad-already Sold Out

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Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months

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      California Nuts Brief---
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Archive July 27, 2009

IFC Credit Corporation, Morton Grove, Illinois
filing Chapter 7 officially confirmed.

Next Day, full story:

Bankruptcy is still in process today:

• Contract Negotiations • Fraud Investigations
• Credit Investigations • Skip-tracing
• Third-party Commercial Collections
John Kenny
Receivables Management

For flat fee or commissions basis | ph 315-866-1167|

(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for investigations
and background information provided by John Kenny)




Classified Ads---Asset Management

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

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Proposed Changes in Lease Accounting
Lease Project Pain Part of Larger Frustrations
by Shawn Halladay, The Alta Group

The reactions to the recent decisions on lessee expensing would seem to indicate that there are serious issues going on with the Leases Project. It is important to realize that these provisions have been in the proposals since the beginning and, in some ways, reflect a step forward, as the Boards now are recognizing two types of leases (operating and finance). Unfortunately, they chose to make the distinction based on equipment versus real estate, not on the nature of the lessor’s business.

Instead, much of this hype is indicative of broader friction between the US and international accounting communities, along with the political issues associated with US adoption of IFRS. For example, dissension between the IASB and the FASB has occurred not only with leases but also in areas such as the impairment phase of the financial instruments project and the joint insurance project. These have been compounded by the lack of an SEC decision to incorporate IFRS into the US financial reporting system, something that IASB Chairman Hans Hoogervorst has deemed “regrettable”.

The bottom line is that, from an industry perspective, the recent decisions to front-load lease expenses on equipment leases do not represent a further impediment to leasing beyond what already has been proposed. Now, when those changes actually may be implemented is another matter.

Shawn Halladay, Managing Director
801.322.4499 direct
801.322.5454 fax
801.597.6147 mobile

About Shawn Halladay

Comprehensive personal property tax outsourcing services
We accept file exports and integrate personal property tax information with all lease management or accounting software. No other firm offers the combination of individual attention, software capabilities expertise, "full disclosure" and web port accessibility to information more than we do.

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Gary DiLillo, President 440.871.0555 or





June New Lease Business 2nd Quarter $6.8 billion
with all charts!

(Chart: Leasing News)

According to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25), new business volume rose to $8 billion in June, up 22.5 % from May ($6.2 million) and brought the quarter to $12.38 billion from its survey of 31 members.

MLFI-25 New Business Volume (Year Over Year Comparison)
click to make larger (Chart: ELFA)

Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation's Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) for July is 51.5, up from the June index of 48.5.

William G. Sutton, CAE,
ELFA President and CEO

"...the volume of equipment financed in June, as illustrated by the MLFI-25, surpasses that of any single month except for year-end December activity since the beginning of the Great Recession in 2008,' Sutton said." We hope that, in spite of the factors adversely affecting economies overseas, our businesses here at home will be able to continue to invest in productive assets.”

Rick Remiker
President, Huntington Equipment Finance

“The equipment finance industry is currently benefitting from several factors, including increased CapEx financing in many sectors and improved metrics across the credit spectrum, " Remiker commented. " A large part of this positive trend is due to an improving Midwest economy, formerly known as the ‘Rust Belt,’ and now being referred to as the ‘Recovery Belt.’ While all of this is good news for the industry, and near-term business trends remain positive, we remain cautious about global economic concerns dampening demand during the second half of the year.”

More than likely July will not follow the trend up from June due primarily to July 4th falling on Wednesday, the middle of the week, with many taking a week or more off for vacation. June certainly was good in all aspects, according to the MLFI-25 report, such as continued good credit approvals:

Credit Approval Ratios As % of all Decisions Submitted
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image to make larger
(Chart: ELFA)

Aging of Receivables dropped slightly

Aging of Receivables:

click to make larger
(Chart: ELFA)

Average Losses (Charge offs) was back to its March level, but nothing serious:

Average Losses (Charge-offs) as a % of net receivables
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image to make larger (Chart: ELFA)

Even Employment was up:

Total Number of Employees
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image to make larger (Chart: ELFA)

ELFA MLFI-25 Participants

ADP Credit
BancorpSouth Equipment Finance
Bank of America
Bank of the West
BB&T Bank
BMO Harris Equipment Finance
Canon Financial Services
Caterpillar Financial Services
De Lage Landen Financial Services
Dell Financial Services
EverBank Commercial Finance
Fifth Third Equipment Finance
First American Equipment Finance,
a City National Bank Company
Hitachi Credit America
HP Financial Services
Huntington Equipment Finance
John Deere Financial
Key Equipment Finance
M&T Bank
Marlin Leasing
Merchants Capital
PNC Equipment Finance
RBS Asset Finance
SG Equipment Finance
Siemens Financial Services
Stearns Bank
Susquehanna Commercial Finance
US Bancorp Equipment Finance
Verizon Capital
Volvo Financial Services
Wells Fargo Equipment Finance





New Hires---Promotions

Jerry Ahmed named vice-president-new business development, AIG Commercial Asset Finance, covering the upper Midwest portion of the United States including the Columbus, Chicago and Minneapolis metropolitan areas; based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Previously he was managing director, Union Partners, LLC (January 2011-presdent), president/CEO, BVI Energy Group/Saint John Capital Group (January, 2009-present), managing director, CIT Group, (November, 2006-January, 2009), senior vice president-portfolio/lease investment group, Royal Bank of Scotland--originally ICS Corporation, acquired by Charter One in 1995) (May, 1995-September, 2006), vice-president/manager asset finance Midwest, Bank One (April, 1993-April, 1995), vice president/manager asset finance, Chase Manhattan Corporation (April, 1988-April, 1993), manager/commercial banking, National City Bank (September, 1984-April, 1988).Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead School of Management MBA, Banking, Finance (1986 – 1989), John Carroll University BSBA, Finance, Economics (1980 – 1984) Wall Street Journal Outstanding Finance Award
Activities and Societies: Phi Beta Phi, NASA Glenn Internship

Michael Zevallos appointed Regional Sales Manager for the West Coast for On Deck Capital, working out of Southern California. He joined the company in 2010 as account manager, working out of the greater New York area. "With this promotion, comes the exciting opportunity to partner up with Equipment Lease brokers who feed us business by supplementing their Equipment Lease product with a short term true business loan that we offer. I manage several small to medium sized ticket brokers and it is my goal to partner with as many of them as possible." Previously he was associate at Clocap Search (October, 2009-January, 2011), associate, Reservoir Capital Group (June, 2009-September, 2009), financial analyst, Insight Venture Partners (May, 2007-May, 2009), Associate, KPMG (2005-2007). Tulane University Finance (2001 – 2005) Tulane University - A.B. Freeman School of Business (2001 – 2005).




Leasing News Help Wanted

Exp. only, 1 Southeast, 1 West Coast
Looking to Expand Your Career
Base Salary & Commission
resumes to :
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Chicago suburbs

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

Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees.



The List" --June--
--- Mergers, Acquisitions & Changes
"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"—

Ladco Financial Group dba Ladco Leasing, Thousand Oaks, California (06/12) $418,601 in civil penalties, restitution, and cost recovery; also requires that Ladco and Elavon cancel leases, release liens, terminate collection efforts, and provide updated status reports to credit-reporting agencies, for more than 100 impacted lessees. (violated California laws prohibiting unfair competition and misleading advertising; misrepresented the leases as being cancellable and lied about the cost of buying the equipment at the end of the lease, the court found. Clients were also misled about the length of the leases and were tricked into thinking their existing credit-card devices were obsolete.)

Capital One Commercial Leasing, McLean, Virginia (06/12) Dan McKew, former President of SunTrust Leasing, appointed President, Capital One Commercial Lending.

Positron, Westmont, Illinois (06/12) Mfg., also lessor, not going ahead on leases and also returning advance deposits.

New Leaf Funding Corporation, Maitland, Florida (06/12) Bulletin Board Complaint, not returning $10,000 deposit.





Are Telephonic Guaranties Enforceable?
by Tom McCurnin
Barton, Klugman & Oetting

Sam Goldwyn has been credited with one of the great sayings about oral contracts: “An oral contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.” Well, certain National banks have business credit card applications which are taken over the phone, including the personal guaranty. So the question becomes, if a creditor takes a personal guaranty over the phone, is that oral guaranty enforceable?

Intuitively, any first year law student knows that oral guaranties are not enforceable, but if the conversation is recorded, does that change matters? Recent case law suggests that such recorded guaranties are enforceable.

In a recent case, which shall go nameless to protect the name of the bank, the Bank filed a routine collection action against a borrower and two the borrower’s principals for breach of an oral business credit card agreement and an oral guaranty. Basically, the bank’s business model was to take an oral credit card application, and if approved, use an oral credit card agreement and oral guaranty (both tape recorded), followed up by the terms and condition which would be sent by ordinary mail and not signed, but incorporated into the oral agreements.

The guarantor fought back, filing a Cross-Complaint for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the claim being that oral guaranties are unenforceable and thus, the negative credit reporting was illegal and entitled the guarantor to punitive damages. The matter went to a two week jury trial.

The guarantor argued that the entire conversation had to be tape recorded, not just the operative guaranty agreement and that because oral guaranties are not enforceable, and certainly not this partial one, the dinging of the guarantor’s credit score was unlawful under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Finally, the guarantor argued that the bank simply loaned the business the money, but had little or no contact with the guarantor for almost four years. She assumed the credit card was paid off. In reality, her partner had the card, and was charging away. Account statements went to the guarantor’s partner’s home address, per the oral agreement.

In response, the Bank argued that the guaranty was an electronic record, the Bank was not required to tape record all the pleasantries between the parties, and as a partner in the business, it was the guarantor’s responsibility to know about the credit offered to the business. The Bank also pointed out that the monies were used for business purposes.

The guarantor offered evidence of a so-called “banking expert” who opined that taking such oral guaranties fell below the standard of care for a bank. The fact that at least three statutes authorized an electronic signature, didn’t seem to faze this expert.

The guarantor also offered evidence of credit damage which consisted of a theoretical home refinance for $300,000 which would therefore entitle the guarantor to punitive damages under the Fair Credit Reporting Act if the Bank did not properly investigate the guarantor’s claim, once the Bank was put on notice.

The Bank, in turn, offered evidence that the Bank investigated the guarantor’s claim and played the recording for the guarantor on a phone call, and sent her a CD of the guaranty. She never quite owned up to admitting that it was her voice, claiming that she had forgotten about the incident.

The Bank also argued that under California Evidence Code § 250, the tape recording was a “writing.” California is not alone in this interpretation, and similar statutes exist in the context of Federal Law and most States. In addition, California’s Electronic Signature Law, Civil Code § 1633.7 also seem to encompass a signature if it is electronic form, as long as the form evidences assent to the transaction. The typical example is, of course, the electronic agreements one signs on the Internet. Various State laws including the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act define an electronic signature as, “an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.”

In this two week jury trial, the jury was played the tape recording of the guarantor agreeing to personally guaranty the obligation numerous times, and copies were provided to the jury panel which played the tape in the jury room.

In a 9-3 decision, the jury held that the voice on the tape was that of the guarantor and that she did, in fact, guaranty the obligation. Because the debt was a valid debt, the jury did not have address the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The unreported Ohio decision provided authority for the trial judge to provide advantageous jury instructions. That case, Wells Fargo Bank v Blough, 2009 WL 2220065 (Ohio Ct. App. 2009) held that such oral guaranties (which had a California choice of law provision), if recorded, are enforceable under California law if the guarantor received an advantage from the underlying loan. .

Although this is a bank case, the changing law of electronic signatures could enhance the admissibility and enforcement of oral equipment leases, oral guaranties, and oral delivery and acceptance certificates. Indeed, under the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, there is simply no reason why in smaller deals, all the paperwork could be eliminated and the terms either web or telephonically based, so long as a record is maintained of the transaction and terms.

Tom McCurnin
Barton, Klugman & Oetting
350 South Grand Ave. Suite 2200
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Direct Phone: (213) 617-6129
Cell (213) 268-8291
Fax: (213) 625-1832

Visit our web site at

Previous Articles by Tom McCurnin




Banks, Thrifts lop off 750+ branches in a year
By Tahir Ali and David Hayes, SNL Financial

From sea to shining sea, the banking industry shuttered branches in most states over the past year. Only four states — California, Rhode Island, New Mexico and Delaware — tallied net increases in branch counts while 43 states saw more closures than openings. In aggregate, U.S. banks and thrifts closed 767 branches during the year ended June 30, 2012.

Pennsylvania's 83 net closures led the nation, followed by Georgia's 51 and Virginia's 46. Accordingly, a metropolitan area including the Keystone State led the nation in net closures — the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metro area's 30 net closures were the most of any U.S. metropolitan statistical area.

California metro areas accounted for five of the 10 metro areas with the highest net growth in branches, helping the state post a nation-leading 22 net branch additions. However, Florida's Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro area took the No. 1 spot among metro areas, adding 29 net branches.

Among banks, JPMorgan Chase & Co. easily outpaced the competition again, adding a net 219 branches in the 12 months ended June 30, 170 more than second-place Killeen, Texas-based First Community Bancshares Inc.

First Community's rapid growth has been fueled by an in-store branch building spree. Its subsidiary, First National Bank Texas is almost entirely devoted to in-store branches, with more than half of its total branches located in Wal-Mart outlets.

No. 3 on the list, Huntington Bancshares Inc. has also made significant investments in expanding its in-store branch footprint helped by agreements with grocery stores like Giant Eagle and Meijer. When asked during the second-quarter earnings conference call about the stigma that in-store branches are best suited to deposit-gathering, CFO Donald Kimble stated that at the 90-day mark from the beginning of a new customer relationship, the bank's cross-sells are "very consistent" with that of a full-service branch.

Laredo, Texas-based International Bancshares Corp. posted 67 net closures, the second most of any bank in the U.S. The company closed 55 in-store branches near the end of 2011 after citing the reduced revenue opportunities available after the Durbin amendment's limitation on debit interchange fees.


Credit Quality in card portfolios strengthen in June
By Sam Carr and Matt Blumenfeld, SNL Financial

Credit card delinquency and charge-off data
continue to hit record lows.

Delinquencies in June either marched in place at their lowest points in at least a year or fell to new lows at all six card issuers.

American Express Co.'s delinquency rate remains well below the rest of its competitors, as it held steady at 1.31% during the month. Capital One Financial Corp.'s rate also did not budge, remaining at 2.89%.

Discover Financial Services continued its trend of moderate improvement as its delinquency rate edged down to 1.88% from 1.93%.

The big banks all posted declines. Bank of America Corp.'s delinquency rate dropped to 3.23% from 3.32%, JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s rate inched lower to 2.06% from 2.09% and Citigroup Inc.'s 35-plus-day delinquency rate

Charge-offs were down across the board

Bank of America, Citi and Capital One all logged substantial decreases in the month. Bank of America's rate tumbled to 5.04% from 5.52% in May, Capital One's slid to 2.76% from 3.30% and Citi's dropped to 3.74% from 5.20%.

Discover's charge-off rate dropped to 2.40% from 2.65% in the prior month. American Expess saw its annualized default rate, net of recoveries, tick down 3 basis points to 2.18% in June.

Net credit losses in JPMorgan Chase's master trust fell to 3.71% from 3.93%.

Portfolio yields were generally lower in June than the previous month.

Bank of America was the lone exception, as its yield edged up to 17.21% from 17.11%.

American Express' yield dropped to 19.89% from 20.41%, Discover's slid to 18.55% from 19.19% and Capital One's declined to 20.11% from 20.63% in May.

The yield of JPMorgan Chase's master trust portfolio fell to 17.40% from 17.56%, and Citi's dropped to 15.64% from 16.41%.


Arizona Leasing Association Meeting

“On Tuesday, July 25 the Arizona Leasing Association (A.Z.E.L.A.) held its annual Networking and Baseball Meeting at Macayo’s restaurant in Phoenix. After sharing our industry’s experiences and opportunistic outlooks over drinks and appetizers, the 15 attendees enjoyed an invigorating presentation by internationally renowned speaker, Dave Cooke. His presentation ‘Know Your Marlin’ gave each attendee insightful ways to ‘catch’ your desired ‘big fish’ while competing with others by using the correct tools for the job.

“ After the meeting, the group took the light rail to watch the Dback’s add to their 4 game winning streak with a 6-4 win over the Rockies. It was a great way to top a terrific meeting.”

Bernice Truszkowski
"your equipment finance specialist"
Equipment Funding Ltd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85252

Mr. Terry Winders available as a consultant regarding assisting attorneys in resolving disputes or explaining procedures or reviewing documents as utilized in the finance and leasing industry.

He is the author of several books, including DVD's, as well as weekly columnist to Leasing News. He also performs audits of leasing companies as an expert on documentation, and has acted as an expert witness on leasing for litigation in legal and tax disputes, including before the IRS. He also has taught the senior bank examiners, how to review a bank leasing department, for the Federal Reserve in Washington D.C. and has trained the examiners for the FDIC on how to prepare a lease portfolio for sale.


(This ad is a “trade” for the writing of this column. Opinions
contained in the column are those of Mr. Terry Winders, CLP)


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

Pawnee Credit Facility both Expanded and Renewed

TORONTO,– Chesswood Group Limited (“Chesswood”) (TSX: CHW) announces that Pawnee Leasing Corporation (“Pawnee”), Chesswood’s largest operating business, renewed and expanded its credit facility, for a term of four years, expiring in July 2016.

The existing credit facility was due to mature in September 2013.

Barry Shafran
Chesswood president/CEO

“Pawnee’s lenders have once again demonstrated their support of our growth by renewing and expanding Pawnee’s credit facility for another four years” said Chesswood’s President and CEO, Barry Shafran.

“Our credit facility has been increased once again, to US$85 million from US$55 million while the accordion feature of our loan agreement has been increased to US$115 million from US$85 million” added Shafran.

Chesswood has once again contributed an additional US$2.0 million of capital to Pawnee, in conjunction with the renewal, to further support Pawnee’s continued growth. Pawnee’s portfolio has grown by more than 30% since the last renewal of its banking agreement in September 2010.

Pawnee’s syndicate, once again led by JPMorgan Chase, also includes KeyBank and BBVA Compass. The terms and conditions of the renewal facility are substantially similar to the last credit agreement.

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

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


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Norwich Terrier Mix
Irvine, California Adopt-a-Dog

This dog was named Richie by the staff and most likely a new name can be chosen, as well as a pet grooming would make this quite an attractive, cute dog.

ID#: 4514561-A078926
Age: unknown/adult
Size: Medium

I am already neutered.

*RICHIE's Story...
Some of my fur has a rather porcupine look but it’s really as soft as velvet and I’m kind of a softie inside, too. Oh, I have an occasional `jumpin'' jack` moment because I am full of exuberance for walks, play and being with people. After expending a bit of energy I enjoy being brushed, petted and any other kind of affection you might provide.”

Contact This Shelter...
Shelter: Irvine Animal Care Center
Pet ID #: 4514561-A078926
Phone:(949) 724-7740
Address: 6443 Oak Canyon
Irvine, CA 92618

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Fernando's View
By Fernando F. Croc

"Killer Joe" and "Dark Horse" welcome theater audiences with edgy thrills, while warm-hearted dramas ("La Havre"), mouth-watering documentaries ("Jiro Dreams of Sushi") and hard-punching classics ("Body and Soul") await DVD viewers.

In Theaters:

Killer Joe (LD Entertainment): After acclaimed turns in "Bernie" and "Magic Mike," Matthew McConaughey officially cements this as his comeback year with his marvelously disturbing performance in this pitch-black comedy from director William Friedkin ("The Exorcist"). The exuberantly lurid story focuses on the Smith family, a clan of trailer park dwellers so dysfunctional that nobody bats an eye when elder son Chris (Emile Hirsch) puts a hit on his mom's life in order to collect insurance. Enter Killer Joe Cooper (McConaughey), a sheriff who doubles as a hired killer, and soon enough he's circling the Smiths, particularly young Dottie (Juno Temple), like a suave shark. The blend of sardonic humor and uncompromising violence may be too strong for some viewers to stomach, but there's no denying the top intensity of the cast (which also includes and Thomas Haden Church and Gina Gershon).

Dark Horse (Vitagraph Films): With such films as "Welcome to the Dollhouse," "Happiness" and "Life During Wartime," writer-director Todd Solondz has crafted a name for himself as a master of feel-bad portraits of human nature. It's doubly surprising, then, that his latest offering, in its own acidic way, comes close to being... endearing. The seemingly simple but increasingly twisty story centers on Abe (Jordan Gelber), a portly momma's boy who, despite being in his thirties, still lives with his parents (Mia Farrow, Christopher Walken) and often acts like a self-deluded big baby. He seems to be reaching out of his secluded cocoon when he begins to date Miranda (Selma Blair), a depressive who readily accepts his marriage proposal. That's just the tip of the iceberg, however, of Solondz's bracingly squeamish (and ultimately hopeful) comedy-drama.

Netflix Tip: With early Oscar buzz already circulating for his three performances this year, it's a good time to revisit Matthew McConaughey's earlier roles on Netflix. Though he stole scenes in "Dazed and Confused" (1993) and "Lone Star" (1996), his breakthrough role was in "A Time to Kill" (1997). Also check out "Contact" (1997), "Amistad" (1997), "Edtv" (1999) and "The Lincoln Lawyer" (2011).


Le Havre (Criterion): Acclaimed Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki offers a tribute to France with this deadpan yet warm-hearted comedy-drama set in the titular Gallic port town. His main character is Marcel Marx (Andre Wilms), a gentlemanly vagabond who ekes out a living shining shoes before and hanging out at the bar with his pals and going home to his beloved wife Arletty (Kati Outinen). His life takes a sharp turn, however, when Arletty falls ill and Marcel befriends an African boy named Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) on the run from a relentless police captain (Jean-Pierre Darrousin). The plot sounds grim, but Kaurismaki is a master of locating sneaky humor and intense emotion in the most unlikely places, and it’s no exception in this tale of humanism, perseverance, and eccentric rock ‘n’ roll. With subtitles.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi (Magnolia): Ever wonder about the old gentleman preparing sushi at the Japanese restaurant? Director David Gelb has, and has created a tasty documentary around such a gentleman, namely 85-year-old Jiro Ono, owner and chef at the celebrated Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant in Tokyo. Hailed as a master culinary craftsman both in Japan and abroad, Ono is revealed as a modest and profoundly dedicated artisan whose serene, almost minimalist approach to life is reflected in the way he prepares portions of fish to be savored. The film also traces his relationship with his co-workers, most evocatively his oldest son Yoshikazu, suggesting traces of professional and familial tension. Meditative, often humorous, and consistently mouth-watering, Gelb's documentary will please movie and food fans alike.

Body and Soul (Olive Films): The rise and fall of a boxer is a topic often explored in movies, but rarely with the power witnessed in this 1947 classic, being now released on DVD. The protagonist is Charley Davis (the great John Garfield), a young man from the slums who, against the wishes of his mother (Anne Revere), becomes an amateur prizefighter in order to escape poverty. Taken under the wing of shady promoter Quinn (William Conrad), he wins bigger and bigger bouts in the ring, quickly rising to the top of the boxing world. As he falls in love with Peg (Lili Palmer) and starts to see the corruption and brutality that go into the racket, however, Charley must decide whether to exploit his body or save his soul. Forcefully directed by Robert Rossen with shades of film noir, this remains a punchy drama that has influenced such later masterpieces as Martin Scorsese's "Raging Bull."

News Briefs----

Storms in Northeast knock out power, ground flights

Report shows US drought rapidly intensifying

EverBank's Loans Surge But Profit Falls on Higher Expenses

1st Enterprise Bank Exceeds $600 Million in Assets

Tanned Fitzpatrick bailed after facing bank fraud charges

Deutsche Bank to Raise Capital with Risk Cut

Former Citigroup CEO Weill Says Banks Should Be Broken Up

Mortgages have fallen and they can't get up

At Caterpillar, Pressing Labor While Business Booms

Rush Enterprises, Inc. Reports Second Quarter Results

Facebook revenue growth skids, shares plunge

Brookline Bankor $4.2 million loss Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios

Madoff trustee wants to distribute more money to victims

New Apple Campaign Urges yo Buy iPhone For Other Hand,28934/

Kate Middleton Wears $60 Dress. Too Bad It's Already Sold Out.



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Baseball Poem

Silly Question

By: "Papa" Joe Chevalier

I like;
All nine innings and knee high strikes
The diamond cut by flashing spikes.
The infield hit, a long home run
Doubleheaders, the radar gun.
The curve, the knuckler, slider and splitter
A slugfest or the chance no-hitter.
The majors, the minors, the kids, the vets
The "Whiz Kids," the "Amazing Mets."
The squeeze bunt and the hit and run
The double steal on three and one.
Both real and artificial grass.
The routine grounder or astro turf hop.
Signs to take and signs to steal
Beating the deadline with a late night deal.
The brush back pitch, the managers warned
The visiting star locally scorned.
Balls with eyes and rain delays
Around the horn double plays.
Walking leads and frozen ropes
Bloops, blasts and springtime hopes.
The game of the week and cable TV
Descriptions like "Good field-no-hit
Or "Say goodbye baseball" at Safeco Field
Diving catches and trapped fly balls
Coaches sweating on 3-2 calls.
The pickoff move and stealing home
Games in the sun or under a dome.
Walks, balks, and fielders choices
An irate skipper getting the gate.
Cold soda, peanuts and ball park franks
Sometimes even the New York Yanks.
For all this and more I have good reason
To be pleased that it's Baseball season.
And if you guys don't mind suggestions,
Go somewhere else with your silly questions





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This Day in History

          1686-Birthday of Mary Peck Butterworth, Colonial Counterfeiter. In 1722 Mary Peck Butterworth's husband bought her a huge, fancy house that aroused the suspicion of authorities. (She couldn't buy the house herself because the law forbade married women owning anything on their own. It all belonged to the husband.) Even though the couple was investigated by the authorities - and two of their "gang" turned state's evidence - there were no convictions. Seems that Mrs. Butterworth developed a currency-counterfeiting process that used cloth that was immediately burned instead using the usual counterfeiting tell-tale copper plates. The cloth "plate" evidence went up in flames after each use so the prosecution's evidence disappeared in smoke. According to the evidence given against her by her relatives who assisted her, she used a hot iron to press a piece of starched cotton over a bill to transfer the pattern. Using the same method she transferred the pattern to paper from the cloth. Then with a series of quills, she inked the note by hand into an almost perfect note. She organized a true kitchen-cottage industry, using her family including her brother and his wife who turned state's evidence. She was said to be a tough task boss. She got so good at the business that she expanded her operation into wholesaling bogus bills at half price.
Members of the organization were arrested, but all were acquitted. It is said she gave up counterfeiting after that.
    1775—Dr. Benjamin Church was named Surgeon general of the Continental Army. He was a traitor and spy who was caught passing information and jailed on November 7,1775. He had passed on information regarding several battles, including the Battle of Lexington, and was privy to troop movement, strength,
and strategy. On a second attempt on sending information to the enemy via a lady friend, his letter was intercepted and the decoded. General Washington conducted the court marshal. Church was sentenced to a life term in prison. He began his incarceration, but ill health enabled him to return to Boston where he was paroled. Church received permission to immigrate to the West Indies; the ship that provided his passage was lost at sea. It was later learned with certainty that Church had been in the pay of General Gage and had furnished the British with a detailed description of colonial military plans and equipment several weeks before Lexington and Concord.
    1777- The beautiful Jane McCrea was murdered and scalped for her long blond hair supposedly by Indians allied with the British General Burgoyne. Subsequent investigation indicated she might have been killed by a stray shot and not by Indians. The scalping horrified everyone and helped unite the colonies against British rule. A monument now marks the spot where she was originally buried.
    1777 - The Marquis of Lafayette arrived in New England to help the rebellious colonists fight the British.
    1777 -- The Marquis of Lafayette arrives in New England to help fight the British.
    1789-Department of State founded. The first presidential cabinet department, called the Department of Foreign Affairs, was established by the Congress. Later the name was changed to Department of State. 
    1806 - Attempting to stop a band of young Blackfoot Indians from stealing his horses, Meriwether Lewis shoots an Indian in the stomach.Lewis awoke to the shouts of one his men--the Indians were attempting to steal their rifles and horses. Lewis sped after two Indians who were running off with several of the horses, calling out for them to stop or he would shoot. One Indian, armed with an old British musket, turned toward Lewis. Apparently fearing that thee Indian was about to shoot, Lewis fired first and hit him in the stomach. The Indians retreated, and the men quickly gathered their horses. Lewis then learned that one of his men had also fatally stabbed another of the Blackfoot. Fearing the survivors would soon return with reinforcements, Lewis and his men immediately broke camp. They rode south quickly and managed to escape any retribution from the Blackfoot. Lewis' diplomatic mission, however, had turned into a debacle. By killing at least one Indian, and probably two, Lewis had guaranteed that the already hostile Blackfoot would be unlikely to deal peacefully with Americans in the future.
    1816 - US troops destroyed the Seminole Fort Apalachicola, to punish the Indians for harboring runaway slaves.
    1841- Linda Richards birthday - U.S. nurse and educator. She received the first diploma from the first school of nursing opened in the U.S. She went on to establish training schools for nurses as well as directing several hospitals.
She retired in 1911 at age 70 when she wrote her autobiography, “Reminiscences of Linda Richards.”
    1853---Birthday of Architect Cyrus Lazelle Warner Eidlitz.
    1857-Birthday of Jose Celso Barbosa-Puerto Rican physician and patriot, born at Bayamon, Puerto Rico. His birthday is a holiday in Puerto Rico. He died at San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sept 21, 1921.
    1866-Atlantic Telegraph cable successfully completed.
    1868-Uniforms for mail carriers were authorized by Congress. Before this date, mail carriers could dress in any manner.
    1878---Birthday of Genevieve Rose Cline - first woman appointed a U.S. federal judge. GRC got her law degree at 44. President Harding appointed her as an appraiser of merchandise shipped through customs in Cleveland, Ohio. In spite of strong objections because she was a woman, she won confirmation in the U.S. Senate as Judge in the Customs Court and served in that capacity 1928-1953.
    1898 - Marines from the USS Dixie were the first to raise the American flag over Puerto Rico.
    1905-Birthday of Leo Durocher, born at West Springfield, MA. He began his major league baseball career with the New York Yankees in 1925. He also played for the St. Louis Cardinals' "Gashouse Gang" and the Brooklyn Dodgers, where he first served as player-manager in 1939. It was during that season that he used the phrase "Nice guys finish last," which would become his trademark. As a manager, he guided the New York Giants into two World Series. Following a five-year period away from baseball, he resurfaced as a coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1961. In 1966 he signed with the Chicago Cubs as manager. After leaving the Cubs, he spent one season with the Houston Astros, then retired from baseball in 1973. He died Oct 7, 1991, at Palm Springs, CA.
    1909 - The record for the longest airplane flight was set by Orville Wright who was testing the United States Army’s first airplane. Wright kept the craft aloft for 1 hour, 12 minutes and 40 seconds over Fort Myer, Virginia.
    1921- Dr. Frederick Banting and his assistant at the University of Toronto Medical School, Charles Best, gave insulin to a dog whose pancreas had been removed. In 1922 insulin was first administered to a diabetic, a 14 year old boy.
    1921- Baseball fan Reuben Berman brought suit in New York County Supreme Court against the New York Giants, alleging that on May 16 the Giants had “wrongfully and unlawfully imprisoned and detained” him and threatened him with arrest. Berman further alleged that he was “greatly humiliated before a large crowd of people…and thereby was caused mental and bodily distress and was thereby greatly injured in his character and reputation and in his physical health” Berman’s crime? He refused to return a foul ball he had caught to a stadium attendant. Allowing fans to keep foul balls was not year a general practice, but the court awarded Berman $100 and thus fans were allowed to keep a caught foul ball.
Thank you, Reuben Berman.
    1922—Birthday of Julius “Papa Cairo” Lamperez, born New Orleans. Louisiana Hall of Fame member played steel guitar with Cajun and Western swing bands for 64 years; the New Orleans native sang on Chuck Guillory & His Rhythm Boys' 1949 hit, "Big Texas"; he later toured with Ernest Tubb, and recorded with Harry Choates and Chuck Guillory. died 11/13/99; age 79
    1933- By the summer of 1933, the Great Depression had long since spread from the shores of the United States to vast chunks of Europe. Earlier in the decade, the US's decision to raise revenues by adopting hefty tariffs had shattered Europe's fragile finances. Awash in red ink, Europe's leaders imposed their own stringent set of duties on US goods, causing international trade to grind to a halt and both the US and Europe to sink further into the depths of the Depression.
    1937—Birthday of vibe player Charlie Shoemake Houston TX,,1131096,00.html
    1940 - Bugs Bunny made his official debut in the Warner Bros. animated cartoon "A Wild Hare." Three years later, Bugs would be made an honorary Corporal of the US Marine Corps after ther release of the short Super Rabbit in which he is portrayed as a parody of Superman. Bugs abandons his colorful costume, faces the camera, and proclaims that "This looks like a job for a real Superman!" Then he reappears from the phone booth wearing a uniform of the United States Marine Corps. His former antagonists snap to attention and salute Bugs as he marches into the horizon singing the Marine Corps Hymn.
    1942 - In New York City, Peggy Lee recorded her first hit record. With instrumentals provided the Benny Goodman band, Peggy sang "Why Don’t You Do Right" for Columbia Records.
    1943--*PETRARCA, FRANK J. Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Medical Detachment, 145th Infantry, 37th Infantry Division. Place and date: At Horseshoe Hill, New Georgia, Solomon Islands, 27 July 1943. Entered service at: Cleveland, Ohio. Birth: Cleveland, Ohio. G.O. No.: 86, 23 December 1943. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Petrarca advanced with the leading troop element to within 100 yards of the enemy fortifications where mortar and small-arms fire caused a number of casualties. Singling out the most seriously wounded, he worked his way to the aid of Pfc. Scott, Iying within 75 yards of the enemy, whose wounds were so serious that he could not even be moved out of the direct line of fire Pfc Petrarca fearlessly administered first aid to Pfc. Scott and 2 other soldiers and shielded the former until his death. On 29 July 1943, Pfc. Petrarca. during an intense mortar barrage, went to the aid of his sergeant who had been partly buried in a foxhole under the debris of a shell explosion, dug him out, restored him to consciousness and caused his evacuation. On 31 July 1943 and against the warning of a fellow soldier, he went to the aid of a mortar fragment casualty where his path over the crest of a hill exposed him to enemy observation from only 20 yards distance. A target for intense knee mortar and automatic fire, he resolutely worked his way to within 2 yards of his objective where he was mortally wounded by hostile mortar fire. Even on the threshold of death he continued to display valor and contempt for the foe, raising himself to his knees, this intrepid soldier shouted defiance at the enemy, made a last attempt to reach his wounded comrade and fell in glorious death. 
    1943 - On a whim, and flying a single engine AT-6, Lieutenant Ralph O'Hair and Colonel Duckworth were the first to fly into a hurricane. It started regular Air Force flights into hurricanes
    1943-Birthday of singer Mary Love, born Mary Ann Varney, Sacramento, CA,_mary.html
    1948-Birthday of skater/television personality Peggy Flemming, born San Jose, California. She won the national icre skating championships five straight years and won the 1968 Olympic singles title in the most spectacular performance of a woman on ice to that date. She included leaps and maneuvers that no woman had ever done before in competition. She'd spent nearly 20,000 hours in years before age 10 to age 20 to realize her dream, but the victory-memory will always be terribly bruised because her father died of a heart attack only minutes after her victory. Today she is tv commentator and a wine maker along with her husband in Los Gatos, California.
    1949 - Singer Maureen McGovern is born in Youngstown, Ohio. Her biggest hit is the million-selling No. 1 song ``The Morning After.''
    1953 - Air Force Captain Ralph S. Parr, 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, achieved the last air victory of the Korean War when he destroyed an Il-12 transport plane. In addition, the victory qualified him as the 11th and last double ace of the war, with a total of 10 kills.
    1953- The Armistice agreement ending war that had lasted three years and 32 days was signed at Panmunjom, Korea
(July 26, US time ), by US and North Korean delegates. Both sides claimed victory at conclusion of two years, 17 days of truce negotiations.
    1955 - Chuck Berry's first hit record, Maybellene, entered the R & B charts.
    1955-Billboard claims that only two singing stars can be considered guaranteed hit makers these days: Nat King Cole and country star Webb Pierce. Throughout his long and illustrious career, one that extended into 1982, Webb Pierce charted 96 singles, 54 Top Ten songs and 13 No.1 singles. In 1955, three of his tunes topped the charts for an unprecedented 46 weeks... almost the entire year. Using a point scale that takes into account both chart positions and longevity, Joel Whitburn ranks Webb Pierce as the No.1 artist of the 50’s, leagues ahead of Jim Reeves (No.14) Eddy Arnold (No.2) Hank Williams (No.6) and Lefty Frizzell (No.16). It is estimated that his record sales to date total over 65 million copies and his influence can still be felt throughout the world at every age level and in every musical genre.
    1957-The Bobbette's first and only Top Forty single, "Mr. Lee" enters the pop charts. The tune is about the trio's high school principal
    1958-- A study by Esso oil (formerly Standard Oil, eventually Exxon) finds that drivers speed more and therefore waste more gas when listening to the new fad of rock and roll music.
    1959 - The brothers, Santo and Johnny (Farina), of Brooklyn, New York released their one and only hit record, the instrumental "Sleepwalk," which would be the number one song for two weeks. "Tear Drop," their next song, only went to number 23 on the pop charts.
    1962- During the unsuccessful Albany, Georgia movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is arrested and jailed for the third time. During months of protests, Albany's police chief jailed hundreds of demonstrators without visible police violence. Eventually the protesters' energy, and the money to bail out protesters, ran out. The movement was lost, until the spring of 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama.
    1964-- Pentagon announces 5000 more soldiers to Vietnambringing the total number of US forces in Vietnam to 21'000. Military spokesmen and Washington officials insisted that this did not represent any change in policy, and that new troops would only intensify existing US efforts.
    1964 - It is announced that the United States will send an additional 5,000 U.S. troops to Vietnam, bringing the total number of U.S. forces in Vietnam to 21,000. While some advisers, such as Undersecretary of State George Ball, recommended a negotiated settlement, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara urged the president to "expand promptly and substantially" the U.S. military presence in South Vietnam. Johnson, not wanting to "lose" Vietnam to the communists, ultimately accepted McNamara's recommendation. This decision led to a massive escalation of the war.
    1965-The Beach Boys' "California Girls" is released.
    1966- The Wisconsin Supreme Court overrules a lower court decision and holds that the state doesn't have the jurisdiction to keep the Braves from moving to Atlanta.
    1968-The Rascals switched from light rock to making a political statement when they released "People Got To Be Free". The song entered the Hot 100 six weeks after Bobby Kennedy was shot and would go on to number one for five weeks, ending up the fifth most popular song of the year. 
    1968-Cass Elliot releases her first solo single following the break up of The Mamas and Papas. "Dream a Little Dream of Me" had been around since 1931 and had been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Kate Smith, Frankie Laine and many others. Cass' version would be the most successful as it rose to number 12 on Billboard's Hot 100.
    1974 - The House Judiciary Committee voted 27-11 to recommend President Nixon's impeachment on a charge that he had personally engaged in a "course of conduct" designed to obstruct justice in the Watergate case.
    1974 - "Annie's Song," John Denver’s biggest hit song, written for his wife, reached the top of the "Billboard" singles charts. Denver enjoyed three other number 1 songs: "Sunshine on My Shoulders", "Thank God I’m a Country Boy" and "I’m Sorry".
    1974- Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" is released in America, where it would become their highest charting single, reaching #8. If you listen carefully, you can hear Ronnie Van Zant shout "Turn it up", asking producer Al Kooper and engineer Rodney Mills to turn up the volume in his headphones so that he could hear the track better.
    1974-- After 23 years, Dinah Shore leaves the NBC-TV network when it cancels her morning program Dinah's Place in order to concentrate on game shows.
    1976 - Former Beatle John Lennon won formal permission to remain in the United States as a permanent resident and would be eligible for United States citizenship in five years.
    1976 -- After years of alleged physical and verbal abuse, and having left over the Fourth of July with nothing but pocket change and a gas station credit card, Tina Turner files for divorce from her husband of sixteen years, Ike.
    1979- Little Richard -- billed as the Reverend Richard Penniman -- spoke to a revival meeting in San Francisco about the dangers of rock & roll
    1984-Prince's first movie, "Purple Rain" opens nationally.
    1986-Lemond Wins Tour de France. Cyclist Greg Lemond became the first American to win the Tour de France, the most important bicycle race in the world.
    1987 - Freeway shooting incidents were all the news in Los Angeles, California. There had been nine incidents involving vehicles and guns since June 18, 1987. There were actually two motorists shot to death and four others injured.
    1988 - Hot weather prevailed in the north central U.S. Williston, ND, reported a record high of 108 degrees. Thunderstorms produced severe weather in the eastern U.S., and in southeastern Texas. Richland County, SC, was soaked with up to 5.5 inches of rain.
    1988 --Boston's worst traffic jam in 30 years. “ People in Boston either talk about how the Red Sox are doing or the traffic. But since the I-90 tunnel extension to South Boston opened in January and the I-93 northbound tunnel beneath downtown opened in March—two major elements of the now infamous "Big Dig" project—they only have one of the two to complain about. Rush hour, which used to span 10 to 12 hours, has been cut in half.”
    1988 --Radio Shack announces the Tandy 1000 SL computer.
    1989 - Thunderstorms produced severe weather from Wisconsin and northern Illinois to New England, with 103 reports of large hail and damaging winds through the day. Thunderstorms in Wisconsin produced hail three inches in diameter near Oshkosh, and wind gusts to 65 mph at Germantown
    1996 - During the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia a bomb exploded in an entertainment park killing two and wounding 110. A man was uprightly convicted in the newspapers, then let free, and no other suspect nor the person who set
off the bomb has been found to this date.
    1996-Canadian sprinter Donovan Bailey won the 100 meters at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta in the world record time of 9.84 seconds. The previous mark, set on July 6, 1994 by Leroy Burrell, was 9.85 seconds.
    1998- Sammy Sosa hits his first career grand slam establishing the mark for most career homers before hitting a grand slam (246).
    2000 -Toronto skipper Jim Fregosi wins his 1,000th game as a big league manager as the Blue Jays beat the Mariners, 7-2.
    2006- Five day San Francisco Bay Area heat wave comes to an
end. While it didn't set many all-time temperature records in the Bay Area, it did set records for the number of consecutive days with temperatures above 110." According to Pechner, who uses data from the National Weather Service and Bay Area Air Quality Management District, there were five consecutive days this month with temperatures above 110: July 21 (111 degrees, Vacaville); July 22 (114 degrees, Morgan Hill); and July 23-25 in Rio Vista (110 degrees, 113 degrees, and 111 degrees, respectively). ((Los Gatos/Saratoga had neighborhoods reporting 108 to 110.




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