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Leasing Icon Ira Romoff Passes Away
Romoff, Ira Z., age 65, beloved husband of Arlene, devoted father of Michael and Heatherlynn Romoff, Emily and James Bronstein, dear brother of Gail Reich and loving grandfather of Evelyn Bronstein.
Service Thursday, 1PM at Gutterman and Musicant, 402 Park Street, Hackensack, New Jersey.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Center for Hearing and Communication at chchearing.org.
Gutterman and Musicant Funeral Home
“Ira Z. Romoff has been named managing director of Tilden Management Corporation ( Rosslyn, NY), which was acquired by National Westminster Bank ,NJ (Jersey City, NJ).,the New Jersey subsidiary of National Westminster Bancorp Inc. ( New York)
February, 1990, “Equipment Leasing Today”
"Ira Z. Romoff is the Executive Vice President of EAB's Leasing Department and a member of EAB's Executive Management Group. Under Mr. Romoff's direction, the EAB Leasing Department has advanced as an integral part of the bank's record growth since 1991. As a result, EAB's Leasing Department ranks among the top fifteen bank leasing companies throughout the United States.
"With more than 25 years in the financial services industry, Mr. Romoff's expertise as a commercial banker and leasing executive is surpassed. He has been a Director with the Eastern Association of Equipment Lessors and the Equipment Leasing Association and is a member of both the United Association of Equipment Leasing and the National Vehicle Leasing Association. Recognized for his numerous contributions to the small business community throughout Long Island, Mr. Romoff was named Financial Business Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration. In addition, he is an active proponent of business education, serving as the Executive in Residence of the Department of Management for the College of Business Administration at St. John's University."
"Leasing News reported yesterday late afternoon that Citicorp has ordered European American to cease third party origination by June 30. After buying Copelco, they also ended brokerage business here.
Ran Small Business Lending, Leasing, member of Executive Management Group of the bank. Grew Leasing subsidiary from scratch to over $3 Billion in assets. Assisted in sale of Bank to CitiCapital
EAB purchased Fidelity Leasing April 14, 2000, and was the premier lessor when purchased by Citibank on February 12, 2001 for $1.6 billion and $350 million preferred stock."
“Viewed as a major blow to the leasing industry, particularly to the East Coast, Citicorp has ordered European American to cease third party origination by June 30. As they did with Copelco, Citicorp does not like brokerage business.
“European American President Ira Romoff has resigned. It is expected Fred Anderson will be on the streets shortly, along with Omar Diaz and Rich Illich
“JUST A QUICK NOTE TO LET YOU KNOW THAT I'LL BE STARTING UP A NEW LEASING COMPANY FOR INDEPENDENCE COMMUNITY BANK IN NYC STARTING 9/1/2004!
Director of Leasing ICB LEASING CORP."
Independence Community Bank, October, 2005, purchased by Sovereign Bank.
"August 25, 2006 when One World Leasing, a leasing co-op, hired him as president they had 17 members. At last count it was 26 and the talk was a merger with a major funder. January 4 he wrote Leasing News he retired from OneWorld Leasing and was looking for a Board Seat at a bank or large leasing company, consulting in banking, leasing or risk management, or a temporary CEO position.”
"Mr. Romoff has had several banks bought out from under him after he developed the leasing division. He was the Executive Vice President of EAB's Leasing Department and a member of EAB's Executive Management Group. Under Mr. Romoff's direction, the EAB Leasing Department has advanced as an integral part of the bank's record growth since 1991. As a result, EAB's Leasing Department ranks among the top fifteen bank leasing companies throughout the United States. EAB was purchased by CITIBANK in early 2001. He then became Director of Leasing, ICB Leasing Corporation, for Independence Community Bank, who in October, 2005 were purchased by Sovereign Bank."
Re-enters leasing as Unicyn Financial Services
Ira's support of Walk4Hearing:
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Marlin Business Services Reports $4.5 MM 2nd Quarter
Marlin Business Services, Mount Laurel, New Jersey (Nasdaq: MRLN) reports second quarter 2103 net income of $4.467 million, compared to $2.988 in Quarter 2, 2012;six month income went to $8.1 million 2013 from to $4.5 million in 2012.
Quarter Ended: 6/30/2012 9/30/2012 12/31/2012 3/31/2013 6/30/2013
Daniel P. Dyer
"Our performance results reflect upon the favorable growth trends and attractive operating metrics of our business," Daniel P. Dyer, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, said.
"We continue to see attractive growth opportunities by focusing on serving small and midsize businesses and their credit financing needs by delivering quality products with exceptional service."
Second quarter 2013 lease production was $91.4 million based on initial equipment cost, 13% higher than first quarter 2013 and 14% higher than the second quarter of 2012.
Net interest and fee margin of 13.4% is down 14 basis points from the first quarter of 2013 and is up 14 basis points from the second quarter of 2012. The Company's cost of funds improved 12 basis points from the first quarter of 2013 and 84 basis points from the second quarter of 2012. The improvement resulted from the Company's use of lower-cost insured deposits issued by the Company's subsidiary, Marlin Business Bank, as its primary funding source.
The allowance for credit losses as a percentage of total finance receivables is 1.25% at June 30, 2013, and represents 218% of total 60+ day delinquencies.
Leases over 30 days delinquent were 0.95% of the Company's lease portfolio as of June 30, 2013, 4 basis points lower than the first quarter of 2013. Leases over 60 days delinquent were 0.50% of the Company's lease portfolio as of June 30, 2013, down 7 basis points from 0.57% at March 31, 2013. Second quarter net charge-offs were 1.55% of average total finance receivables versus 1.25% for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 and 1.04% a year ago.
The Company's efficiency ratio was 53.0% for the quarter ended June 30, 2013, compared to 54.7% at March 31, 2013 and 60.0% at June 30, 2012.
The Company's consolidated equity to assets ratio is 26.68%. Our risk based capital ratio is 30.86%, which is well above regulatory requirements.
It should be noted that on July 1, 2013 Marlin Business Services Corp. and Union Bank, N.A., have formed a strategic alliance to provide financing solutions for Union Bank's customers throughout the United States. Union Bank, N.A., is a full-service commercial bank providing an array of financial services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, and major corporations. The bank operated 443 branches in California, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Illinois, and New York.
Full Press Release with Finance Statement
Sales Makes it Happen
The most successful, customer-centric organizations we encounter work hard to create a culture that champions all customers, including the company's employees.
Managers in these organizations recognize that they oversee a volunteer workforce, and they realize that their success as managers depends, to a large degree, on their ability to persuade employees to work at fulfilling the company's mission.
We've noticed that these same managers faithfully follow their company's sales process when interacting with subordinates.
We don't think it is an accident that companies that are satisfied with their implementation of highly complex CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems share a common approach to managing their employees.
Instead of simply announcing the arrival of new CRM software, managers solicited input from all affected business units during the project's planning phase, launched modules in stages to promote user adoption, and addressed the cultural shift issues that a major change in software often entails. In short, they approached their employees as customers of the new software system!
A willingness to accept the three rules that apply to all organizations today, and a commitment to treat everyone in the organization as a "customer," helps create a true customer-focused enterprise.
About the author: Steve Chriest is the founder of Selling UpTM (www.selling-up.com), a sales consulting firm specializing in sales improvement for organizations of all types and sizes in a variety of industries. He is also the author of Selling The E-Suite, The Proven System for Reaching and Selling Senior Executives and Five Minute Financial Analyst, Basic CREDIT & Analysis Tools for Non-Accountants. He was the CEO of a very successful leasing company and executive at a major company. You can reach Steve at email@example.com.
Top 50 Quick-Service/Fast-Casual Restaurants
McDonalds is still number one. nearly tripling runner-up Subway’s domestic sales. Chick-fil-A surpassed KFC to become the best-selling chicken chain, Jimmy John’s and Five Guys joined the billion-dollar-brands club, and fast-growing Wingstop and Moe’s Southwest Grill climbed into the limited-service industry’s upper echelon for the first time.
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Why I Became a CLP
Jeff Bartholomew, CLP
My career in the Leasing Industry began about 18 years ago in a small family owned broker shop. My introduction was a bit of a “baptism by fire” experience in that I was hired as “Credit Manager”---I had never even seen a credit bureau report prior to my first day on the job!
Long story short is that I quickly became aware that this small family run business had every intention to grow. In relatively short period of time our sales force grew from 2 sales people to somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-15 sales people. Of course ,and as is so often the case, the administrative staff was not increased, meaning I was left with the task of creating processes and procedures that would keep the sales staff happy, and at the same time, keep our lenders happy with both quality and quantity of applications.
I survived because of the experience of my old VP and mentor Jack Stewart. Additionally I spent an exceedingly large amount of time gleaning information from our lenders (including Alan Kissinger, now a CLP and vice-president of credit her at Financial Pacific Leasing). I learned the hard way which was to thoroughly research and present a transaction with the highest level of success at submittal. And to do it quickly.
As time went on and we continued to grow, I was tasked with hiring additional staff, including my replacement as I moved into a more funding-centric and overall operational management role. I had learned the hard way. In the 10 years that I was employed I wore many hats and gained a great deal of knowledge which brings me to the end of 2005 when I came to my current home, Financial Pacific Leasing. Having transitioned from Broker to actual Lender I was excited to see things from the other side of the desk. I was also looking forward to the additional growth that my new role would provide. Not only was I getting hands on, for the first time, I had help in making decisions, rules and guide lines and a professional approach to making credit decisions. It was a new world!!!
Financial Pacific Leasing has always encouraged their employees to take their Leasing experience to the next level and channel it into the well-rounded role that the Certified Leasing Professional designation provides. This was especially true for me. Financial Pacific Leasing’s staff not only has the most CLP’s on board (17), but is rich with mentors for the CLP exam. It was through the encouragement and support of long time CLP designees ,especially my direct supervisor LaDonna Fosback CLP, that I made the decision to sit for the CLP exam.
Preparing for a test of this nature is no easy task. While I had up to that point had “hands-on” experience with most of the subject matter, there were a few things like Lease Accounting that were rather foreign to me. Months of reading, studying flash cards and group study sessions (thank you Jim McCommon) was huge commitment to make but in the end very worthwhile.
As a Credit Officer at Financial Pacific Leasing I am compensated for making decisions. I have never doubted my decision to become a CLP. Studying for the CLP exam tied all of the knowledge I had gained over the years into a cohesive accessible reference. I feel with all certainty that my doing so has added a level of my employers’ confidence to the decisions I make as well as to that of our customers.
I would encourage anyone with the experience required to make the commitment to take their professional standing to the next level and become a CLP. I am very proud to have the designation after my name.
Jeff Bartholomew, CLP
CLPs in Good Standing
Why I Became a CLP series:
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Leasing News Advisor
Armon Mills joined the Leasing News Advisory Board on February 5, 2004. In reality, he was quite instrumental and was the first to give Kit Menkin advice to incorporate, trade mark, and develop what were originally e-mails about what was happening in the equipment leasing industry sent to friends. Kit served on all Armon’s advisory boards; is a personal friend of he and his family. He and Armon often had lunch together often when Armon was located in San Jose, California. They also both served on community non-profit organizations as officers, including chairmen and presidents, working on projects together. Armon has been a mentor to several publishers, many of them across the nation, running the various Business Journals and other media.
Armon Mills, Director
Armon recently left his position as President and Publisher of the San Diego Business Journal that he had joined April, 2004, and has returned to his original career as director for the Southern California Region for the national CPA firm of J.H. Cohn, LLP.
He began his career in public accounting, earning his CPA certificate in 1967. He went on to work in public accounting at Fox & Company for 20 years. Armon knows the world of business publishing well, changing his career path and signing on as President and COO of American City Business Journals, Inc. He served as Publisher of the Business Journal in Phoenix, Arizona; San Diego, California; the San Jose Silicon Valley Business Journal and Silicon Valley Biz Ink.
Armon has been active in many community organzations, including the Board of Directors of the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau, Boy Scouts of America, YMCA, Salvation Army and the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Commonwealth Club of California. He was also an active member of the San Jose Rotary Club.
Armon is continuing his strong commitment to the community here in San Diego. He is a member of the Rotary Club #33, and has accepted positions on the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement, the Salvation Army, the YMCA and is currently a member of the Finance Committee of the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl Committee, and is active in the board of the United Way of San Diego.
Brican America, Miami, Florida Lawsuit
(Here is the original October 5, 2009 alert)
This was brought to Leasing News attention by Bernie Boettigheimer, CLP, of Lease Police. It appears Brican may be in the process of trying to sell parts of its lease portfolio and in doing an investigation, found NCMIC Finance Corporation dba Professional Solutions Financial Services (PSFS), Clive, Iowa has a claim against Brican for $38 million involving 1672 leases. It appears very similar to the NorVergence situation but in this case the seller of the equipment specifically provided the lessee with a letter to make lease payments in certain situations, unknown to PSFS, according to the complaint.
"15. In fact, there was at least one additional agreement, a "Marketing Agreement," which related to the Goods or Leases provided to the Lessees, that Brican gave to each of the Lessees, which was not included in the documents that were provided to PSFS for each of the leases."
"17. The Marketing Agreement was material to PSFS's decision to underwrite Leases as the payments under the Marketing agreement were designed to offset the cost of the Lease Payments, suggesting that the Lessees would not enter into the Leases or might cease payment under them without the income stream provided by the Marketing Agreement.
18. As a result of Brican's failure to provide the Marketing agreement to PSFS with each packet of the document related to each of the Leases, Brican has breached the agreement." (1)
April 23, 2010 there appeared to be three class actions suits, which have spiraled down to one main one, which Leasing News has been following regarding Ronald Gossett, Gossett & Gossett, class action attorney and case in Iowa. (2)
At this time the plaintiffs are awaiting a ruling on the cross-motions for a summary judgment. The Florida U.S. District Court Judge Patricia A. Seitz requested the plaintiffs whether "this is a 'paper case" limited to the alleged misrepresentations in the various versions of the Advertising Agreement, including Plaintiffs' reasoning in support of this position."
Ronald Gossett responded (eight pages):
(1) Alert--Brican America, Miami, Florida
(2) Three Class Action Suits re: Brican America
(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for investigations
Construction/Land Development Loans Coming Back
In reporting bank failures in "Bank Beat" the highest charge-offs have not been in commercial loans or leasing or even consumer loans, but construction and land development lending, followed by nonfarm-nonresidential loans, somewhat related.
While non-current loans have been highest in first and second mortgages, and residential real estate mortgages tied to syndications have been serious, residential construction and land development appear most in charge offs.
SNL Financial reports: Aggregate residential C&D loans were at $36.1 billion in the first quarter, down from $177.3 billion in 2007, while nonresidential C&D loans were at $150.8 billion, down from $370.1 billion in 2007. Residential C&D loans accounted for almost one-third of total C&D loans in 2007 but now account for less than one-fifth.
SNL Financial reports:
But whether C&D lending remains on the decline or is starting a reversal depends on the market. Charles Valade, chief lending officer at West Springfield, Mass.-based United Financial Bancorp Inc., told SNL that in certain parts of Connecticut — especially south of Hartford — the company is starting to see demand pickup on the residential side. United Financial had a C&D portfolio of $80.4 million at the first quarter of 2013, which was almost double from $41.7 million a year ago because of the New England Bancshares Inc. acquisition. The company's C&D delinquency rate of 3.54% was improved from 5.35% one year ago. C&D currently accounts for 4.36% of United's total loans.
But even with the improvement, the Connecticut region is probably a little bit behind the western and central parts of Massachusetts. He said the entire region bounced back quicker and stronger, aided in part because it did not have as many problems and issues as other parts of the country. "In terms of our portfolio, we're encouraged by what we see happening with the developers we have and the new projects that we're looking at in terms of the movement of units," he said.
Camden, Maine-based Camden National Corp. President and CEO Gregory Dufour told SNL that, overall, the company has seen some improvement in construction and land development in the Maine market, but the sector has not returned to pre-recession levels. Camden's C&D portfolio of $28.5 million at the first quarter was down from $29.6 million a year ago. The company's C&D delinquency rate of 1.70% was improved form 2.47% one year ago, and C&D currently accounts for 1.81% of its total loans.
Demand varies from market to market, he said. Camden is experiencing an increase in commercial development in the Portland, Maine area and to a lesser extent in Maine's smaller markets, he said. "On the residential side, development also varies by market with the more populated areas seeing some moderate size projects being started and in other areas projects are more on an individual basis," Dufour said.
SNL Financial reports:
Quincy, Calif.-based Plumas Bancorp President and CEO Andrew Ryback recently singled out C&D loans as a lending line the bank is trying to get away from. In a press release about second-quarter results, Ryback said the bank has been able to diversify its loan portfolio and move balances away from "higher risk" construction and land development loans. He said the balances have been reduced from more than $73 million, or 20% of Plumas' loan portfolio at December 31, 2008, to $12 million, or less than 4% of its loan portfolio at June 30, 2013. "During this same period our auto lending, commercial real estate and government-guaranteed lending product lines have become key revenue and profit generators," he said.
United's Valade said the commercial and land development portion of its portfolio is performing very well, and recent developments in its markets add further optimism. CSX Corporation recently moved its dry goods operations out of Austin Texas to Worcester and spent $125 million. Also, a new cancer research facility was built at the University of Massachusetts for $550 million. "And it goes on and on in terms of the money being spent," he said. "So we're pretty encouraged by what's happening in our market place."
Full SNL Financial Article:
Hey, Let's Hire Ritz Carlton!!!
(Banks, Lenders, Business find your niche. Editor)
In the last few weeks I have heard several banks mention the idea of attending a session with or bringing in experts from Ritz Carlton to provide a training program (of up to six hours!). Their courses focus on leadership, service, passion, exceeding expectations, and other qualities that most customers view banks as lacking. But, for many banks, bringing in Ritz Carlton for a day serves only as a "feel good" program that allows managers to believe that they are doing something transformative when, in fact, they are in most cases just checking off another training box.
Do not get me wrong. I like Ritz Carlton. Their service is great. Service and customer care serve as a major part of the hotel's core philosophy. I know no one, including me, who has ever had a bad experience there. But, remember when JC Penney hired the exec who developed the Apple stores. That was viewed as a transformative event, something that would lift that crummy store to the heights of Bergdorf. He is gone now with the strategy he introduced. The fact is that JC Penney can never provide the Apple store experience, and banks have fundamental issues to address before they can hope their customers view them with the same positive anticipation most feel when entering a Ritz Carlton.
Think about why Ritz Carlton is Ritz Carlton. First, they seem to have designed themselves with the customer in mind. They are friendly, efficient, courteous, and smart. In a sense they have also trained all of us to think of them positively because they deliver every day. Even after, perhaps especially after, a day of work, you enter a world in which that company has created a sense of eagerness and relief in the mindset of a customer opening the front door (actually someone else will likely open the front door for you). You enter the lobby and know that people will be nice to you, that the entire experience is intended to be hassle free and relaxing. If you are a businessperson, you look forward to crossing the threshold as if you have completed a tough race (and, given work or travel today, you have).
The reality is that too often banks are hassle-full. Despite the marketing, many appear to be getting worse because of attitude, compliance, and other CYA requirements, no matter the best intentions of top management. People (you and me) want to be in a Ritz Carlton. People (you and me) want to exit a bank branch or end our conversation with a banker as quickly as possible. Going to a bank is more like going to a dentist (a chore) than going to an Apple store.
Of course, some notable exceptions exist. Probably Umpqua Bank has garnered the most publicity both for its changes to branch design and, more important, the way it has rethought the customer experience. A May American Banker article cites Umpqua having made the decision ten years ago "to try to turn its physical properties into places that people wanted to linger in, rather than speed past." And speed pass most customers do, with a noted retail industry consultant stating that people actually do pick up their pace when they walk by a branch in a city setting. Umpqua looked at non-banks like the Ritz, Disney, and others in thinking about how it served the customer and its President, Ray Davis, is largely on target when he comments, "The best ideas bankers can get will come from outside the industry."
Companies like Umpqua can take full advantage of programs such as the Ritz offers because they have rethought their operating model and look at non-bank programs with the intent of implementing the best practices they offer. Most banks offer the six-hour Ritz Carlton program and then largely forget about it the next day, going back to their old ways of doing business. Unless you are willing to exploit a program like the Ritz's, unless you are willing to focus on how to make their best practices part of your own DNA, you are wasting your time. The Ritz program, or others like it, does not come with a Pauline moment whereby the attendees decide to change the way they do business forever more. From its very inception banks like Umpqua have operated with a customer emphasis. The amount of change that most banks require is daunting, but the need for change increases every day.
For many banks Umpqua itself has now become Ritz Carlton-like with bankers traveling from around the world to learn from the bankers in Portland. Despite all Umpqua and a few others like it have to offer, once back home the memory of the banker's trip quickly fades.
Banks need to deal with some difficult basics:
But, all this is hard and most banks only give these considerations lip service. Instead, they can hire a firm that gives them hope for six hours and transports them to another world outside banking, an easy choice that we might all make. But, it is too short-term a choice when more fundamental questions remain unanswered.
Last week, a friend recounted the agony he was going through to refinance his mortgage at a BIG bank he also happened to work for. Unsympathetic and tone-deaf staff basically could have cared less about him, even thought he was their colleague. Maybe they need a Ritz Carlton six-hour program!
Financial Institutions Consulting Web Site
German Shepherd-Chow Chow Mix
Breed: German Shepherd-Chow Chow Mix
"I'm in a foster home! Use the contact form to arrange a meeting with me!"
Tessa is a precious 7 year-old Shepherd hoping to find her forever home! Tessa spent the last few years living in a house with an elderly woman. When Tessa’s owner became ill and there was no one left to care for Tessa, the family gave her up to PAWS. Because Tessa is used to a quiet life, she is hoping to find a peaceful place where she can relax and just be herself.
Poor Tessa was overfed in her last home, so she is looking for an adopter who can help her get back in shape. When she arrived, she weighed over 90 pounds, but has slowly and steadily made it down to 77. Tessa’s vet has recommended that she aim for a goal weight of 60 pounds. Luckily, Tessa likes taking walks, and is gradually building her stamina back up. She enjoys her time outside so it will be easy for her future adopters to encourage activity!
Tessa’s favorite things in the world are snuggling, lounging in the sun, getting her belly rubbed, and generally being affectionate and lovable. She tends to prefer the company of people to other dogs, but does have one dog buddy at PAWS (a female Terrier mix). Because she can be overwhelmed by busy urban environments and people approaching too quickly, Tessa prefers a relaxed home with just adults, ideally in a suburb or quiet area of the city.
Come meet this curvaceous canine and give her a home today!
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The slugger keeps something in his bag,
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The slugger is friendly, even to rookies,
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This Day in History
1498- Christopher Columbus first sighted the island that he called La Trinidad. The island was inhabited by two tribes of “Indians, the Arawaks, who were peaceful fishermen and farmers, and the more belligerent Caribs. Upon his return to Spain, Columbus described the islands to the King as very lush and pleasant, and soon the Spaniards began to colonize them. Trinidad and Tobago remained under Spanish rule from 1498 until Feb 18, 1797, when the Spanish Governor, Chacon, surrendered the islands to the British Navy. British rule continued until 1962 when Trinidad and Tobago gained their independence, after having been self-governing since 1956. The chief export were slaves. Those that were not captured were killed and many maimed in the battles between well-armed soldiers on horses and Indians with primitive weapons at best.
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