Connect with Leasing News
 Add me to mailing list  |     |     Search |  Stress Release

Advertising | All Lists | Archives | Classified Ads | This Day In American History

Independent, unbiased and fair news about the Leasing Industry

The Jury in the trial brought by Lanak & Hanna for $859,409.50 court case against Westover Capital Corp., Joe Woodley, CLP, and others, in the dissolving of Westover Financial Inc., and creation of Westover Capital, Inc. found there was no conversion of assets and no fraud. The verdict was unanimous.
--regular edition follows---

Friday, March 16, 2012

Top of the morning
Is what we say
On March 17th
St. Patrick's Day.
Wear your green
And I am told,
If you catch a leprechaun
He'll give you his gold.

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

   Classified Ads---Sales Manager
Westover Capital and Joe Woodley, CLP
 by Christopher Menkin
  Not Over Yet for Mr. Donner!
   Blue Bridge Financial joins
   Funders Looking for New Broker Business
  New Hires---Promotions
    The History of CLP
     Central Leasing Exec. Gets Two Years
      Direct Capital Expands $100 MM Securitization Facility
       CIT to Reduce High Cost Debt by an Additional $1.6BB
       Lynn Franceschina Wins SmartCXO Award Winner
     Santa Ana, California Adopt-a-Dogs
The Kid with a Bike/21 Jump Street
 The Adventures of Tintin/Young Adult
  Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy reviews by Fernando Croce
News Briefs---
 KeyCorp to buy back up to $344 million of its common stock
  BCI Aircraft Leasing Owner Guilty in $50 Million Fraud Case
   Commercial Vehicle Registration 2011 Third Highest
    Restaurant Unit Count Dropped by 6K in 2011
     Can Operating Leases Be Strategic?
      After 244 Years, Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops the Presses

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (collection)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months

Online pawnshops start to click with customers
  You May Have Missed
Why Weight Loss is Harder for Some than for Others

   SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer
    Sports Briefs---
      Winter Poem
     California Nuts Briefs---
       "Gimme that Wine"
       This Day in American History
           Daily Puzzle
               Weather, USA or specific area
                 Traffic Live----

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

Kyle W. Gilliam, CLP, President, Arvest Equipment Finance, who serves on the Board of Directors of the National Equipment Finance Association (NEFA) would like to personally invite you to join NEFA and attend our Spring Summit.

National Equipment Finance Summit
March 22-24



Westover Capital and Joe Woodley, CLP
by Christopher Menkin

Partial listings, “Members in Good Standing List,”

In the Lanak & Hanna $859,409.50 court case against Westover Capital Corp., Joe Woodley, CLP, and others, in the dissolving of Westover Financial Inc., and creation of Westover Capital, Inc. allegedly from its assets, it appears the plaintiff hands are tied. Joe Woodley has stated that he is not an employee, officer, or involved in the direction of the company. Jaime Haver says she is the one who founded the company and is running it. Woodley did not appear at the trial held in Court 24, 7th floor, Orange County Superior Court, California; allegedly not available, perhaps in Colorado.

The four day case has gone to the jury, with the Defense not presenting any witnesses on Thursday; and most likely the jury will make their decision today, Friday.

Joe Woodley, former National Equipment Finance Assoc. Exec. Dir.

Despite attending leasing conferences, talking with colleagues, or even being listed on the Certified Leasing Foundation "Members in Good Standing" list, the court under the honorable Judge Derek W. Hunt finds the information as "hearsay."

Leasing News was subpoenaed to the trial regarding the interview that produced the July 24, 2009 story (1) and subsequent email from Joe Woodley that the July 24, 2009 was accurate.

In taking the witness stand, the background of the writer was introduced, then the Leasing News story where Joe Woodley said he was closing down Westover Financial and starting Westover Capital was attempted to be brought into the trial, but the opposing counsel objected that it was "hearsay," which Judge Hunt agreed.

The email was introduced, and the judge denied the comment regarding the article, then upon a question of what were other sources to stories regarding Westover Capital, I refused to answer, citing "freedom of the press." Upon that, the judge immediately called a “side bar,” as he explained, and ordered the attorneys to the hall room outside the court; perhaps gone ten minutes, maybe longer, then came back, sat down, and spoke to the court stenographer that Mr. Menkin’s testimony was to be eliminated from the hearing, then turn and told Mr. Menkin he was excused from the court room.

While not explained to the jury nor the witness by Judge Hunt, it appears “hearsay,” according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, "in Anglo-American law, testimony that consists of what the witness has heard others say. United States and English courts may refuse to admit testimony that depends for its value upon the truthfulness and accuracy of one who is neither under oath nor available for cross-examination."

Basically it means the information must come from the person’s mouth, and if he is not volunteering to testify, the information cannot be submitted as it must come from his mouth. Otherwise, it legally is then considered “hearsay evidence.”

Ironically it was the day after the personal bankruptcy was filed that the original interview took place.

The list of creditors regarding debt related to Westover Financial, Inc. is $1,866,835.21 as listed in Joe Woodley’s personal bankruptcy petition:

  First Heritage Bank Debt sold to Brown Bark III
  Michael Fry
  Wells Business Line
  Wells Fargo Business Direct
  Adelberg, Rudow, Dorf & Hendler, LLC
  US Bank
  Butler Capital Business Lending
  United Fan Chase
  Southwest X-Ray
  Ed Mueller
  H.S.B.C./Best Buy
  Park Center 400
  American Express Gold Delta
  AEU Raj & Raj
  Bank of America
  Tiffany Danton McCormack
  S.R.B. Convention
  Gotham Lasik, PLLC
  Viso Lasik Medspas, LLC
  Arizona Broadway
  Long Vu, Vu Hollywood Nails and Spa
  Piston Engine Parts
  Matrix Business
  JA Sutherland, Inc.
  American Express Costco
  State Board of Equalization
  Michael A. Tessier dba Dr. Michael Tessier, DDS
  Dun & Bradstreet
  The Hartford Company
  IWF Marina Gateway LP
  Dental Solutions
  Padfield & Stoudt
  Frandzel Robins Bloom & Csato
  Quik Trak
  H&H Press
  CT Lien Solutions/UCC Direct
  Clark Ambulance
  American Express Green
  Lease Inspection
  Shell Card Center
  The Comtell Group
  Department of Corporations
  Arrowhead Direct
  Florida Department of Revenue
  Worldwide Express
  Muzak OA
  DHL Express


(1) July 24, 2009 Interview/Story

(2) July 23 email from Joe Woodley

(3) Woodley BK Petition (Westover Financial Info only)

First Story, Who is Joe Woodley?:

Westover Capital Accused of Multiple Grand Thefts

John Kenny Receivables Management

• End of Lease Negotiations & Enforcement
• Fraud Investigation
• Credit Investigations
• Asset Searches
• Skip-tracing
• Third-party Commercial Collections

The Solution to Your Credit & Accounts Receivable Needs
John Kenny
315-866-1167 |

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




Classified Ads---Sales Manager

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

Fort Myers, Florida
Very experienced and strong skills with both Captive and Specialty Sales Management.
Over 25 years, will relocate and travel---successful and team player.

Free Posting for those seeking employment in Leasing:

All “free” categories “job wanted” ads:


Not Over Yet for Mr. Donner!

LifeCare LPV 120

Bruce Donner, 52, Donner Medical Marketing, Orange, New Jersey convicted of falsifying $130 million in used LifeCare LPV 120 equipment invoices, earning an estimated $8.2 million, was given a reduced sentence for his cooperation, according to U.A. Attorney Joseph Mach, who said it was "substantial" as he also made recording of the major perpetrator Charles K. Schwartz. The other evidence by leasing companies and other entities evidently was not sufficient.

This was his sentence:

18 months Imprisonment
3 years Supervised Release
Special Conditions
1. Mental health treatment
2. New debt restrictions
3. Self-employment/business disclosure
Restitution: 90-day punt
Fine: Waived
Special Assessment: $100.00- due immediately
Ordered bail continued and dft to voluntarily surrender (1)

With time served and good behavior, it could be less than 8 months time served.

The case brought against Donner and Donner Medical by De Lage Landen Services was put aside 7/25/2011 when it appeared Donner was a key witness in the case.

Of the $80 million owed banks, De Lage Landen sued the vendor for a lease that total $1.4 million plus interest, late fees, attorney fees, court costs. It was the only lease transaction that did not require the personal guarantee of Charles Schwartz. (2)

But hold it, as the trustee for Allied Health Care Services is not only gathering assets of the company and individual behind it with the guarantee to other banks, finance, and entities, but also is seeking repayment of the commissions for non-existent equipment from Donner Medical Marketing, Inc., and both Kathi L. Donner and Bruce Donner, and Donner-HMR Medical, LLC.

A trial date is set for 04/27/2012 at 09:00 AM at MS - Courtroom 3A, Newark, New Jersey.

(1) Donner Sentence ruling:

(2) De Lage Landen Complaint

Previous Stories:

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


Joins “Funders Looking for New Broker Business”

Blue Bridge Financial, LLC
Brian Gallo
United States

A -Accepts Broker Business | B -Requires Broker be Licensed| C -Sub-Broker Program | D -"Private label Program"| E - Also "in house" salesmen


Full List:



New Hires---Promotions

Todd K Jensen was hired for the "newly-created position of EVP/General counsel, Mazuma Capital, Draper, Utah..."He received his Master of Business Administration from the University of Utah, David Eccles School of Business in 2002. Todd attended Willamette University College of Law in December 2004, and completed his final year of law school at Brigham Young University (BYU), J. Reuben Clark Law School. The majority of his legal career has been spent between his former employer Republic Bank Inc. as in-house Corporate Legal Counsel, in private practice at two small and mid-size law firms, and at the Office of the Utah Attorney General. Todd’s expertise at Republic Bank, Inc. focused on commercial litigation, collections, secured lending, bankruptcy, creditors’ rights, and the Uniform Commercial Code. During his tenure at the Office of the Utah Attorney General Todd represented the Utah Labor Commission in State and Federal Courts handling legal matters in the areas of OSHA, wage claims, discrimination and fair housing. In private practice, Todd worked in the areas of commercial litigation, insurance defense, personal injury, property law, probate, and municipal law.

“The hiring of in-house General Counsel is a consequence of growth, new ventures and upcoming strategic partnerships,” said Jared Belnap, CEO and President of Mazuma Capital.

Richard J. "Rick" Lehrter has been hired by First Capital, Boca Raton, Florida “for new business development for both asset-based lending and factoring facilities in the Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Michigan markets for First Capital’s Midwest region." First Capital provides working capital financing from $2 million to $20 million primarily to small and middle-market business owners with annual sales ranging from $10 million to $250 million.

Previously he was senior vice-president, manager regional banking, The F&M Bank and Trust (May, 2010-Present), president/executive vice-president, Oklahoma Market, Commerce Bancshare (May, 2066-May, 2010)."Other previous positions include president of Commerce Bank (Kansas City, MO) for the Oklahoma region, executive vice president for Fifth Third Bank (Cleveland, OH), and various positions for UMB Bank (Kansas City, MO) including president of UMB Bank Tulsa, director of UMB Oklahoma region, and other executive vice president and senior vice president position." The Stonier Graduate School of Banking Graduate Banking Degree, Commercial Bank Management (1994 – 1995) University of Central Oklahoma - College of Business Administration MBA, Financial Administration (1983 – 1985), Michigan State University B.A., Financial Administration (1974 – 1978) The Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University

Jennifer Sablowski appointed vice-president, truck remarketing, for LeasePlan, USA. She joined LeasePlan, March, 2004, working her way up in the truck division from account manager, controller, then corporate controller, then director of fleet pricing and no vice-president. "During her time in this position, she managed a team of analysts who provide lease payment quotations, profitability analysis, pricing models and compensation analysis to all of sales and LeasePlan management." In her new role, "In this role, she will be responsible for managing the Truck remarketing team, including coordination of all terminations, extensions and payoffs of assets." Georgia State University MS, Finance (2002 – 2003), University of Florida BS, Finance (1996 – 2000)


The History of CLP

The crux of becoming a Certified Lease Professional is passing a test that takes from six to eight hours to complete, plus recertifying every four years. Recertification does not require an examination. There are mentors who help those who want to take the test, who do not charge for their time. There are “schools,” but the main means to pass the test is to read and study “The Certified Lease Professionals' Handbook.”

The book is considered by many the “bible” of the equipment leasing industry. While there have been many books on the subject, from James M. Johnson, Ph.D. & Barry S. Marks “Power Tools for Leasing,” David G. Mayer's “Leasing for Dummies, (now out of print)” to books written by the late Peter Nevitt, or collections from Ted Parker, CLP, Shawn Halladay, Sudhir Amembal, and the legal tome by the late Jeffrey Wong, esq., the book used for study is considered the most thorough to pass the test.

by Robert Teichman, CLP

The CLP program was started in 1984 by the members of the Broker's Committee of the Western Association of Equipment Lessors (“WAEL”). The original qualifications relied on a complex point system, which was subsequently changed to the current time-in-business standard.

At present, candidates wishing to sit for the Certification exam must have been in the equipment or commercial finance business for at least three years.

Originally, there were no study materials or courses. Then in 1990 a group of CLPs and other professionals produced the Home Study Course. This large loose-leaf manual covered the thirteen subjects treated in the Certification exam.

The authors were Ted Parker, CLP, Ken Goodman, CLP, Hal Horowitz, CLP, Jim Swander, CLP, Ron Silver, CPA, Paul Menzel, CLP, Jon Haas, CLP and Don Zaretsky, CLP.

In 1995, the Board of Directors of the United Association of Equipment Leasing (“UAEL”) (formerly WAEL) asked Ray Williams, the then Executive Director of the association, to produce a textbook for the CLP program, due to an upsurge in interest in the program. Ray asked for my assistance, as I was then Chairman of the Education Committee and therefore nominally in charge of the CLP program.

Ray and I developed the First Edition of the Leasing Professionals' Handbook, using the Home Study Guide as base material. The format was trade paperback, smaller and handier than the loose-leaf binder that preceded it. We recruited additional authors, including Ken Greene, Esq., Oren Hall, Robert Herrick, Bob Rodi, CLP, and Matt Shieman. I authored a chapter and Ray was the overall editor, giving the book a consistent look and editorial style.

The book proved popular and was republished as a Second Edition with minor changes and corrections.

Both editions retained the original format, covering the thirteen subjects of the Certification exam. The Exam has 15 sections (1). Presently a section on Insurance and Agricultural Leasing is being added to the exam because those two topics were added to the 4th Edition Handbook.

Then in 2000, the CLP Program was spun off by UAE into a free-standing foundation, the CLP Foundation.  The original three groups that supported the program changed with UAEL and the Eastern Association of Equipment Lessors (“EAEL”) merging, as well as the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers (“NAELB”), who today continue to support the program.  The foundation today is comprised of individual CLP's, rather than of companies. It has its own officers and Board of Directors, and an administrator of the CLP Program.  Cindy Spurdle is retiring from the position then end of April and a new person will soon be appointed as the search committee has concluded and made its recommendations.

The Handbook was transferred to the Foundation by UAEL, and in 2004 the Handbook was completely re-written and published by the Foundation as The Certified Lease Professionals' Handbook. The book was expanded to the sixteen subjects of the current Certification exam. The Handbook is now in its second printing. The handbook now has 18 sections

The Handbook is the primary sourcebook for those people wishing to take the Certification exam. The book has gone through many changes over the years, but the editors and authors will continue to keep the text timely and relevant, as the leasing industry itself.

It is available for $59.95 plus postage and handling directly from  -610-687-0213 or via email at .

  1. Exam Sections:

Bob Teichman, CLP, Teichman Financial Training is also Chairman of the Leasing News Advisory Board

He will be at the NEFA Conference where more information and instruction will also be available, including a complimentary Master Review Class for Summit Attendees being offered at the Hilton San Diego Resort on March 22, 2012.




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

Central Leasing Executive Gets Two Years

BIRMINGHAM—United States District Judge R David Proctor sentenced a former equipment leasing company executive to two years in prison for wire fraud in connection to a $1.2 million embezzlement scheme, announced United States Attorney Joyce White Vance, FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick Maley, and Vestavia Hills Police Chief Dan Rary.

BARRY A THOMAS, 48, former chief financial officer for Central Leasing Corporation, pleaded guilty in September to one count of wire fraud for embezzling from the Birmingham-based company from July 2003 until his employment was terminated in August 2010. Along with sentencing Thomas to prison, Judge Proctor ordered him to pay $1,126,277 in restitution to Central Leasing Corporation and to forfeit the same amount to the government as proceeds of illegal activity.

“Companies provide stability to families throughout communities,” Vance said. “When a corporate officer, entrusted with the responsibilities of managing the financial affairs of the entire corporation, violates that trust, the harm done extends beyond the bottom line of an account ledger. Corporate embezzlement harms the financial health of the company and the stability of the jobs it provides,” she said.

“My office will aggressively prosecute employees who steal from their companies, putting the livelihood of others and the health of communities at risk.”

According to the court documents, Thomas carried out his embezzlement as follows:

Part of his responsibilities as CFO was to handle payroll and payment of salaries for Central Leasing employees. In order to do that, he would send electronic communications, via the Internet, from his Birmingham office to the payroll and bookkeeping firm, QuickBooks/Intuit, in San Diego. The electronic file would set out the exact amount of money that was to be directly deposited into the personal accounts of Central Leasing employees. In many of these electronic communications, Thomas would direct to his personal account the release of money that exceeded what he should have received for his salary.

The total amount Thomas obtained as a result of his embezzlement was about $1,226,277.

The FBI and the Vestavia Hills Police Department investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Carney prosecuted it.

Pleads Guilty Story:



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

Direct Capital Expands $100 MM Securitization Facility

Portsmouth, N.H. —— Direct Capital Corporation announced today that it recently expanded its $100 million lease-backed commercial paper conduit securitization facility with DZ BANK. The transaction originally closed in 2004 with Autobahn Funding Company, LLC as lender and DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank as agent.

This transaction boosts Direct Capital’s lending capacity and supports its commitment to small business lending.

Chris Broom, Chairman, Direct Capital

“This is a great confirmation of our success in providing financial services to small businesses across the country,” said Direct Capital Chairman Christopher Broom. “DZ is one of the largest banks in the world and they have recognized our remarkable growth over the last decade and matched it with tremendous support and confidence. The expansion of this facility will strengthen our ability to get much-needed capital into the hands of business owners so they can succeed.”

Christian Haesslein
Vice-President, DZ Bank

“DZ BANK is pleased to provide Direct Capital the additional funding capacity, and we look forward to working with the company in the future,” said Christian Haesslein, Vice President at DZ BANK, Structured Finance Asset Securitization.

About Direct Capital
Established in 1993, Direct Capital provides financing for small- to mid-ticket equipment and technology purchases, working capital, and business loans. The company is headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H. and operates offices in New York, California, and Georgia. You can follow Direct Capital on Twitter at or subscribe to its PointBlank blog at

DZ BANK is the fourth largest bank in Germany and acts as central bank for approximately 1,000 cooperative banks. As a cooperative commercial bank, DZ BANK is a well-known partner in Germany and abroad and offers long lasting business experience of over 125 years. DZ BANK's New York based Structured Finance Asset Securitization unit offers lender finance, structured asset and accounts receivable financing for a wide variety of clients and asset types. For more information, please visit

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

Gary DiLillo, President 440.871.0555 or

To learn more about the benefits of
outsourcing personal property tax, please click here.



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

CIT to Reduce High Cost Debt by an Additional $1.6 Billion

All 7% Series C Unsecured Notes Maturing in 2015 Will Be Redeemed

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT), a leading provider of financing to small businesses and middle market companies, today announced that it will redeem the entire balance of its 7% Series C Senior Unsecured Notes (“7% Notes”) maturing in 2015 totaling approximately $1.6 billion. Following this redemption, approximately $3.1 billion principal amount of the 7% Notes maturing in 2016 and approximately $4.1 billion principal amount of the 7% Notes maturing in 2017 will remain outstanding.

“We will continue to focus on refinancing our remaining high-cost debt and advancing the transformation of our funding profile,” said John A. Thain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Including the redemption announced today, CIT will have eliminated or refinanced approximately $23.5 billion of high cost debt since the beginning of 2010. The Company has provided a redemption notice for the 7% Notes to the trustee and intends to complete the redemption on April 16, 2012. As provided under the terms of the 7% Notes, the Company will redeem the outstanding principal balance at par.

Additional information will be available in a Form 8-K that will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This, and other filings, can be found at

Individuals interested in receiving corporate news releases can register at or subscribe to the RSS feed at

About CIT
Founded in 1908, CIT (NYSE: CIT) is a bank holding company with more than $34 billion in finance and leasing assets. A member of the Fortune 500, it provides financing and leasing capital to its more than one million small business and middle market clients and their customers across more than 30 industries. CIT maintains leadership positions in small business and middle market lending, factoring, retail finance, aerospace, equipment and rail leasing, and global vendor finance. CIT also operates CIT Bank,, its primary bank subsidiary and an FDIC-insured online bank which offers a suite of savings options designed to help customers achieve a range of financial goals.



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

Lynn Franceschina Wins SmartCXO Award Winner

Commonwealth Capital Corp., Clearwater, Florida congratulates Lynn Franceschina, Chief Operations Officer, for winning a SmartCXO Award for the Philadelphia region. The SmartCXO Program applauds local chief executives who support their organization’s initiatives by supplying innovative ideas, making tough decisions and building strong talent within their companies. Kimberly Springsteen-Abbott, CEO of Commonwealth Capital Corp. states, “Lynn brings a new ‘high’ in standard for the women of Commonwealth to aspire to.”

Lynn Franceschina joined Commonwealth in 2001 and serves as Executive Vice President of Commonwealth Capital Corp. (CCC) and the General Partner, Senior Vice President of Commonwealth Capital Securities Corp. (CCSC), Chief Operations Officer, Director of CCC, CCSC, the General Partner and certain affiliates. Ms. Franceschina is responsible for daily operations, including oversight of all accounting, financial reporting and tax functions, investor communications, and human resources. Ms. Franceschina holds her FINRA Series 22, 63, and 39 licenses. She is a member of the Disaster Recovery Committee, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, Investment Program Association, REISA and the Institute of Management Accountants.

Commonwealth Capital Corp. is a WBENC certified woman-owned business providing information technology, medical technology and telecommunications lease financing for large domestic corporations.

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


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


Santa Ana, California-- Adopt-a-Dog


Pet ID: A1157667
Sex: M
Age: 1 Year
Color: BLACK
Kennel: 305



Pet ID: A1158167
Sex: M
Age: 8 Months
Kennel: 320


Pet ID: A1157664
Sex: S
Age: 6 Years
color: BLACK - WHITE
Kennel: 298


Pet ID: A1158460
Sex: M
Age: 4 Years
Color: WHITE
Kennel: 301

Pet ID: A1158959
Sex: F
Age: 10 Months
Kennel: 219

Steps to Adoption

Orange County Animal Shelter
Box 355
Santa Ana, California 92702

Adopt-a-Pet by Leasing Co. State/City

Adopt a Pet



Fernando's View
By Fernando F. Croc

Wrenching drama (“The Kid with a Bike”) and cheeky comedy (“21 Jump Street”) hit theaters, while some of last year’s most acclaimed hits (“The Adventures of Tintin,” “Young Adult,” “Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy”) come to DVD.

In Theaters:

The Kid with a Bike (Sundance Selects): Master filmmakers whose movies are ardently humanistic and viscerally exciting, Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne return to the screen with another powerful tale of struggle and redemption. Their alienated main character this time is a young boy named Cyrill (Thomas Doret), who is obsessed with finding his father after being left in an orphanage. Once discovering that his dad (Jeremie Renier) is a deadbeat, however, Cyrill befriends a kind, no-nonsense hairdresser (Cecile de la France). But can Cyrill's new life survive the pressures of his rough and tumble neighborhood, including a local hood who's trying to recruit him into his gang? Just as emotionally wrenching as the Dardennes' earlier movies but with a lighter and sunnier touch, this drama is sure to appear on critics' top-10 lists this year. With subtitles.

21 Jump Street (Columbia Pictures): The 1980s action-drama TV series gets a cheeky big-screen reboot with this enjoyable comedy, which marks the live-action debut of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who last directed the animated hit "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as Schmidt and Jenko, two mismatched friends who hope to do some much-need growing up by joining the New Orleans police force. Unfortunately for them, their youthful looks land them right back where they started, going undercover posing as teenagers in the local high school. Can they put their differences aside long enough to infiltrate a crime ring, or will their hysterical, Abbott and Costello-style shenanigans blow their cover? Combining tongue-in-cheek thrills with hysterical laughs, this one hits the sweet spot.

Netflix Tip: With “The Kid with a Bike,” Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne cemente their status as two of the most acclaimed directors now working. For further examples of their masterful mix of grit and heart, check out their earlier films on Netflix, from “La Promesse” (1996) and “The Son” (2002) to “The Child” (2005) and “Lorna’s Silence” (2008).


The Adventures of Tintin (Paramount): The beloved French comic-book character comes to life in this magical family adventure, which completes Steven Spielberg's double-whammy of 2011 releases. Using cutting-edge, motion-capture animation technique to both recreate the textures from the classic panels and give them an uncanny, lifelike sense of 3D motion, the plot follows the inquisitive reporter Tintin (played by Jamie Bell) and his faithful pooch Snowy as they join grizzly sea captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) on a dangerous, globe-spanning journey to search for a priceless treasure left on the bottom of the ocean. Filled with narrow escapes and full-throttled chases that make most other live-action movies pale in comparison, this is a ripping yarn that showcases Spielberg's gift for of kinetic movement and heartfelt awe.

Young Adult (Paramount): After scoring with “Juno,” director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody team up once more for this tart, bittersweet tale of missed chances and risky possibilities. Charlize Theron stars as Marvis Gary, a thirtysomething writer of teenage fiction who’s roused out of her usual stupor by news that her former boyfriend Buddy (Patrick Wilson) has gotten married. Determined to win him (and, by extension, some part of her own youthful potential) back, she heads back to her small Minnesota hometown. Her plans, however, don’t go as originally planned, leading her to come face to face with family, old friends, and her desperation. A biting, surprising comedy with both a light and a dark side, this is a caustic showcase for Theron’s performance and Diablo’s wit.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Universal): The Cold War is a hot topic once again in this finely-wrought tale of espionage, adapted from a vintage book by suspense specialist John Le Carre. Set in 1973, the picture traces the complex web of deception woven among several members of Britain's Secret Intelligence System, a top-secret league of agents that's struggling to keep up with other world powers in the volatile new decade. When national secrets seem to be at risk and with an enemy agent allegedly infiltrating the group's inner circle, it's up to seasoned agent George Smiley (Gary Oldman) to put his years of experience to use. It's a story filled with hair-trigger turns and double-crosses, and director Tomas Alfredson ("Let the Right One In") keeps things sharp and taut. John Hurt, Ciaran Hinds and Oscar winner Colin Firth round out the top-rate cast.

News Briefs----


KeyCorp to buy back up to $344 million of its common stock, may hike dividend

BCI Aircraft Leasing Owner Guilty in $50 Million Fraud Case

Commercial Vehicle Registration 2011 Third Highest

Restaurant Unit Count Dropped by 6K in 2011

Can Operating Leases Be Strategic?

After 244 Years, Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops the Presses




You May Have Missed---

Online pawnshops start to click with customers


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

Why Weight Loss is Harder for Some than for Others


Winter Poem

To Look Forward to Spring
by Salle Safford

The rains will come
The snow will fall,
A chill in the air
Bitter cold

The trees will be bare
For the months ahead,
And the world will
Seem drab and old.

But soon the trees
Will bud again,
And the birds will
Begin to sing.

As they pronounce
To the world,
There is hope ahead
And an open door to spring




California Nuts Briefs---

Jerry Brown changes his tax plan to address concerns of liberal allies

CalPERS OKs reduction in investment forecast, costing state extra $167 million per year

Judge signals his intent to release pepper spray report

Homeowners appeal huge Lucasfilm studio plan for Grady Ranch

SF DA doubts Mirkarimi believes in his own guilt



“Gimme that Wine” 

Wilsons Acquire Pezzi King Winery

La Tour d’Argent Products Now Sold in New York

Why Chinese Investors Buy Napa Wineries

Stand back… give that wine some air!

U.S. Wines Grow Steadily

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Winery Atlas\

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page



This Day in History

       1565- Smoking of tobacco was introduced to England by John Hawkins. Hawkins was primarily a slave trader, carrying Africans to the West Indies. Most of his dealings were with the Spanish in the West Indies, but during his second trip to the region visited the small French colony in Florida and learned to smoke tobacco from the colonists, who had learned from the Indians. Hawkins returned to Eng­land with a shipload of tobacco. He described the Indian use of the plant this way: “The Floridians when they travel have a kind of herb dried, who with a cane and an earthen cap in the end, with fire, and dried herbs put together, doe sucke thorow the cane the smoke thereof, which smoke satisfieth their hun­ger, and therwith they live foure or five days without meat or drinke, and this all the Frenchmen used for this purpose.”
    1621 - The first Indian appears to colonists in Plymouth, Massachusetts. An unidentified Pilgrim had gone out fowling and, near a creek about a mile and a half from the plantation, twelve Indians passed near the place he was hiding. He rushed back to Plymouth and raised the alarm. Myles Standish and Francis Cooke, who had been working in the woods when the alarm went out, rushed back to the little community, leaving their tools behind them. The colonists armed themselves and went back to the place where the Indians had been seen, but found none. In the evening, the men built a great fire near the place where the Indians had been seen. 
    1687-Father Eusebio Kino, 42, an Italian-born Jesuit in the service of Spain, began missionary labors in the American Southwest. In all, Kino established 25 Indian missions in the area now divided between northern Mexico and Arizona.
    1789-Young Enoch Brooks inscribed his name in this children's Bible in Princeton, New Jersey. Now a rare artifact of Americana, Brooks' book is one of four extant copies of A Curious Hieroglyphick Bible. With nearly five hundred woodcuts by American artists, this Bible was the most ambitious woodcut volume produced in America up to that time. He was not only a prolific printer of children’s books but at one time owned more than 20 book stores in the Boston, MA area.
    1791 - Thomas Paine's The Rights of Man was published in London.
    1794- Eli Whitney received a patent for the cotton gin, allegedly based on the ideas and concept of a Black slave on a plantation he was visiting. Whether he, the black slave, or Katherine Greene, the owner of the plantation he was visiting, came up with the concept of wire cleaning the cotton balls is a matter of historic controversy. Whitney's cotton gin was capable of maintaining a daily output of 23 kg (50 lb) of cleaned cotton, and its effect was far-reaching, making southern cotton a profitable crop for the first time. Whitney, however, failed to profit from his invention. Numerous imitations appeared, and his 1794 patent was not validated until 1807. This made cotton a major crop in the South where slaves were “imported” to meet the demand, plus could be utilized for other crops due to this invention. “By the early 1800's, more than 700,000 slaves lived in the South. They accounted for about a third of the region's people. By 1860, the slave states had about 4 million slaves. Slaves outnumbered whites in South Carolina and made up over half the population in both Maryland and Virginia. Slavery began to develop even deeper roots in the South after Eli Whitney of Massachusetts invented his cotton gin in 1793. This machine removed the seeds from cotton as fast as 50 people working by hand and probably contributed more to the growth of slavery than any other development. Whitney's gin enabled farmers to meet the rapidly rising demand for cotton. As a result, the Southern cotton industry expanded, and cotton became the chief crop in the region. The planters needed more and more workers to pick and bale the cotton, which led to large increases in the slave population. The thriving sugar cane plantations of Louisiana also used many slaves during the first half of the 1800's. By 1860, about 4 million slaves lived in the South.” It is stated that in 1860, one in three people in the South were slaves.
    1798-birthday of Abigail Fillmore, first wife of Millard Fillmore, 13th president of the US. Born at Stillwater, NY. It is said that the White House was without any books until Abigail Fillmore, formerly a teacher, made a room on the second floor into a library. Within a year, Congress appropriated $250 for the president to spend on books for the White House. Died at Washington, DC, Mar 30, 1853.
     1802 - The United States Military Academy--the first military school in the United States--is founded by Congress for the purpose of educating and training young men in the theory and practice of military science. Located at West Point, New York, the U.S. Military Academy is often simply known as West Point.
    1802- Absalom Jones ordained first Black priest in Episcopal Church
    1813-. Lorenzo Delmonico was born in Marengo, Switzerland and was invited to join his uncles in their successful pastry shop and catering business in New York in 1831. He soon transformed the business into one of the first, best, most elegant and famous restaurants in the country, Delmonico’s. Lorenzo was not a chef, but he purchased the food and created the very extensive menu. He helped make the concept of the 'restaurant' an acceptable and successful one. After many moves the final Delmonico’s restaurant was forced to close in 1923, a victim of Prohibition.
    1818- Absalom Jones ordained first Black priest in Episcopal Church
    1836- Houston retreats from Santa Anna's army. Less than a week after the disastrous defeat of Texas rebels at the Alamo, the newly commissioned Texan General Sam Houston begins a series of strategic retreats to buy time to train his ill-prepared army. Revolutionary Texans had only formally announced their independence from Mexico 11 days earlier. On March 6, 1836, the separatists chose Sam Houston to be the commander-in- chief of the revolutionary army. Houston immediately departed for Gonzales, Texas, where the main force of the revolutionary army was stationed. When he arrived, he found that the Texan army consisted of 374 poorly dressed and ill-equipped men. Most had no guns or military experience, and they had only two days of rations. Houston had little time to dwell on the situation, because he learned that the Mexican general Santa Anna was staging a siege of the Alamo in San Antonio. Before Houston could prepare his troops to rush to aid the defenders, however, word arrived that Santa Anna had wiped them out on March 6. Scouts reported that Santa Anna's troops were heading east toward Gonzales. Unprepared to confront the Mexican army with his poorly trained force, Houston began a series of strategic retreats designed to give him enough time to whip his army into fighting shape. Houston's decision to retreat won him little but scorn from the Texas rebels. His troops and officers were eager to engage the Mexicans, and they chafed at Houston's insistence on learning proper field maneuvers. Houston wisely continued to organize, train, and equip his troops so they would be prepared to meet Santa Anna's army. Finally, after nearly a month of falling back, Houston ordered his men to turn around and head south to meet Santa Anna's forces. On April 21, Houston led his 783 troops in an attack on Santa Anna's force of nearly twice that number near the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and the San Jacinto River. With the famous cry, "Remember the Alamo," the Texans stormed the surprised Mexican forces. After a brief attempt at defense, the Mexican soldiers broke into a disorganized retreat, allowing the Texans to isolate and slaughter them. In a stunning victory, Houston's army succeeded in killing or capturing nearly the entire Mexican force, including General Santa Anna, who was taken prisoner. Only two Texans were killed and 30 wounded. Fearful of execution, Santa Anna signed an order calling for the immediate withdrawal of all Mexican troops from Texas soil. The Mexicans never again seriously threatened the independence of the Lone Star Republic.
    1846---In San Francisco, Colonel Castro issued a proclamation that declared John Frémont and his party to be a band of highwaymen.
    1865—Slaves were assigned to military duty in the Confederate Army by a bill signed by President Jefferson Davis. During the Civil War, blacks not only had related jobs, but also were uniformed soldiers and officers. CSA General Patrick Cleburne had suggested enlisting slaves a year before, but few in the Confederate leadership considered the proposal, since slavery was the foundation of southern society. One politician asked, "What did we go to war for, if not to protect our property?" Another suggested, "If slaves will make good soldiers, our whole theory of slavery is wrong." General Lee weighed in on the issue and asked the Confederate government for help. "We must decide whether slavery shall be extinguished by our enemies and the slaves be used against us, or use them ourselves." Lee asked that the slaves be freed as a condition of fighting, but the bill that passed the Confederate Congress on March 13 did not stipulate freedom for those who served. The measure did nothing to stop the destruction of the Confederacy. Several thousand blacks were enlisted in the Rebel cause, but they could not begin to balance out the nearly 200,000 blacks that fought for the Union.
    1868-The US Senate began its trial to impeach President Andrew Jackson. For the first time in the nation’s history a president was impeached. Pres. Johnson was accused by Congress of having violated the Tenure of Office Act of 1867, which forbade the president to discharge any federal officer holder appointed “by and with the consent of the Senate.” Johnson tested the act by removing Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton on February 21. The impeachment was brought largely because the radical Republicans bitterly opposed Johnson’s plans for Reconstruction. Johnson’s firing of Stanton gave them the opportunity they had been seeking. On February 24 the House of Representatives voted to impeach. The US Senate trial began this date. Sworn in as president after Lincoln's assassination in April 1865, President Johnson enacted a lenient Reconstruction policy for the defeated South, including almost total amnesty to ex-Confederates, a program of rapid restoration of U.S.-state status for the seceded states, and the approval of new, local Southern governments, which were able to legislate "black codes" that preserved the system of slavery in all but name. The Republican-dominated Congress greatly opposed Johnson's Reconstruction program and passed the "Radical Reconstruction" by repeatedly overriding the president's vetoes. Under the Radical Reconstruction, local Southern governments gave way to federal military rule, and African-American men in the South were granted the constitutional right to vote. In March 1867, in order further to weaken Johnson's authority, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act over his veto. The act prohibited the president from removing federal office holders, including Cabinet members, who had been confirmed by the Senate, without the consent of the Senate. It was designed to shield members of Johnson's Cabinet like Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, who was appointed during the Lincoln administration and was a leading ally of the so-called Radical Republicans in Congress. In the fall of 1867, Johnson attempted to test the constitutionality of the act by replacing Stanton with General Ulysses S. Grant. However, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to rule on the case, and Grant turned the office back to Stanton after the Senate passed a measure in protest of the dismissal. On February 21, 1868, Johnson decided to rid himself of Stanton once and for all and appointed General Lorenzo Thomas, an individual far less favorable to the Congress than Grant, as secretary of war. Stanton refused to yield, barricading himself in his office, and the House of Representatives, which had already discussed impeachment after Johnson's first dismissal of Stanton, initiated formal impeachment proceedings against the president. On February 24, the House voted 11 impeachment articles against President Johnson. Nine of the articles cited his violations of the Tenure of Office Act; one cited his opposition to the Army Appropriations Act of 1867 (designed to deprive the president of his constitutional position as commander in chief of the U.S. Army); and one accused Johnson of bringing "into disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt, and reproach the Congress of the United States" through certain controversial speeches. On March 13, according to the rules set out in Section 3 of Article I of the U.S. Constitution, the impeachment trial of President Johnson began in the Senate. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase presided over the proceedings, which were described as theatrical. On May 16 and again on May 26, the Senate voted on the charges brought against President Johnson. Both times the vote was 35 for conviction and 19 for acquittal, with seven moderate Republicans joining 12 Democrats in voting against what was a weak case for impeachment. Because both votes fell short--by one vote--of the two- thirds majority needed to convict Johnson, he was judged not guilty and remained in office. Nevertheless, he chose not to actively seek reelection on the Democratic ticket. In November, Ulysses S. Grant, who supported the Republicans' Radical Reconstruction policies, was elected president of the United States. In 1875, after two failed bids, Johnson won reelection to Congress as a U.S. senator from Tennessee. He died less than four months after taking office at the age of 66. Fifty-one years later, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Tenure of Office Act unconstitutional in its ruling in Myers v. United States.
    1868- Birth of Charles E. Cowman, American missionary pioneer. In 1901 he sailed to Japan with his wife Lettie (who later authored "Streams in the Desert"), where in 1910 they founded the Oriental Missionary Society.
March 13, 1873-PBS Pinchback, first Black state governor, is denied his senate seat by the Senate, 1873. Senators were elected at this time by the state legislature. In January 1873, the Louisiana legislature elected Pinchback to the U.S. Senate, which was also contested by another rival W.L. McMillen. Though McMillen eventually acknowledged Pinchback's claim to the seat, Senators uncovered evidence that Pinchback had paid $10,000 to obtain it. On March 13, 1875, the Senate denied Pinchback his seat by a vote of 32 to 29.
    1882 - US Senate ratified a treaty establishing the Red Cross.
    1887- Chester Greenwood of Maine received a patent for earmuffs. 
    1906-clarinet/sax player Frank Teschemacher born Kansas City MO, Died, 1932 Chicago
    1911- Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, science fiction writer, recluse and founder of the Church of Scientology, born at Tilden, NE. His best-known book was Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Died at San Luis Obispo County, CA, Jan 24, 1986.
    1912- the Chamber of Commerce of the United Sates was founded by approximately 500 representatives of commercial organizations, trade associations, and individual establishments, who were invited to participate in a series of discussions by President William Howard Taft and Secretary of Commerce and Labor Charles Nagel. The headquarters of the chamber of Commerce of the Untied States was dedicated on May 20, 1925.
    1912 – Mystery writer Bill S. Ballinger (1912-1980), aka Frederic Freyer, B.X. Sanborn, born, Oskaloosa, Iowa. American thriller writer, who specialized from the early 1950's in a multi-level kind of narration or divided narration. Received Edgar Allan Poe Award from Mystery Writers of America in 1960 for his TV work.
    1913---guitarist Lightin’ Slim (Otis V. Hicks) born St. Louis, Mo.
    1913- Sammy Kaye, one of the most successful bandleaders of all time, was born in Rocky River, Ohio. Although the syrupy sweet romantic sounds were denounced by critics and music purists, the "Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye" formula was so successful that his orchestra stayed together long after the big band era had ended. His hit records in the 1940's included "Daddy," "Harbor Lights" and "It Isn't Fair." Kaye died on June 2nd, 1987.
    1913-guitarist Slim Lightin’ (Otis V. Hicks) born St. Louis, Mo, Died July 27, 1994
    1914-base player Bob Haggart bass born New York City /Died December 2, 1999
    1914-bassist Bob Haggart born New York City.
    1922-drummer Willie “Rough Dried” Williams born Lake Village, AR
    1923 - A great improvement in radio receivers was advertised. The new models had a concealed speaker and eliminated the need for headphones, which were considered a nuisance because they were so heavy to wear and messed up hairdos. The new radios were also said to have a ‘foolproof’ design. 
    1924-pianist Dick Katz born Baltimore MD
    1925- Legislation prohibiting the teaching of evolution within the state's public school system was passed by Tennessee State Assembly. A celebrated violation of this law led to the famous July Scopes Monkey Trial
    1925-guitarist Bob “Poor” Woodfork born Lake Village, AR
    1926 Roy Haynes Birthday
    1929- Helen Candaele Saint Aubin, known as Helen Callaghan during her baseball days, was born at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Saint Aubin and her sister, Margaret Maxwell, were recruited for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which flourished in the 1940s when many major league players were off fighting WWII. She first played at age 15 for the Minneapolis Millerettes, an expansion team that moved to Indiana and became the Fort Wayne Daisies. For the 1945 season the left-handed outfielder led the league with a .299 average and 24 extra base hits. In 1946 she stole 114 bases in 111 games. Her son Kelly Candaele's documentary on the women's baseball league inspired the film A League of Their Own. Saint Aubin, who was known as the "Ted Williams of women's baseball," died Dec 8, 1992, at Santa Barbara, CA
    1930-trumpterer Blue Mitchell born Miami, FL Died May 21, 1929 
    1932- country singer Jan Howard was born in West Plains, Missouri. Howard first hit the charts in 1960 with "The One You Slip Around With." She is best known for her duets with Bill Anderson, which included "For Loving You," a country chart-topper from 1967. Howard was also successful on her own, with such country hits as "Evil on Your Mind" and "My Son," a tribute to her son, Jim, who died in Vietnam two weeks after the song was recorded in 1968.
    1932 -- With six million unemployed, chaos in Berlin, starvation & ruin, the threat of Marxism, & a very uncertain future, the German people turn to Hitler by the millions. In the presidential election, Hitler receives over eleven million votes (11,339,446) or 30% of the total. Hindenburg receives 18,651,497 votes or 49%. Since Hindenburg does not get the majority, a run-off election is held. In the campaign that follows, Hitler crisscrosses Germany in an airplane, descending from the clouds into the arms of growing numbers of fanatics, at ever larger rallies. He gives them a positive message, promising something for everyone, then ascends back into the clouds. "In the Third Reich every German girl will find a husband!" - Hitler once promises.
    1932 – Hunger marches were taking place throughout the country; the Bonus marchers are expelled from Washington. This day Herbert Hoover sends a secret message to Congress advising it not to cut the pay of Army or Navy personnel because they may be need to put down the marchers, who’s numbers seem to be growing. He believes they are communist inspired as are the hunger marches in England and Germany. The economy is not in that bad of shape as the newspapers report, he adds.
    1939- Singer and songwriter Neil Sedaka was born in Brooklyn, New York. Sedaka began writing songs with his lifelong musical partner, Howard Greenfield, at age 13, and in 1958 sold his first song, "Stupid Cupid," which became a hit for Connie Francis. The following year, Sedaka began his own recording career, scoring hits with such songs as "Oh Carol," written for Carole King, "Calendar Girl" and "Breaking Up is Hard to Do," which went to number one in 1962. 
For much of the 1960's, Sedaka concentrated on songwriting, composing chart successes such as "Working on a Groovy Thing" for the Fifth Dimension and "Puppet Man" for Tom Jones. In 1975, Elton John helped Sedaka get back on the charts by having him record an LP for his Rocket label. From "The Hungry Years" came the number-one hit single "Laughter in the Rain." Sedaka topped the charts for a second time that year with "Bad Blood."
    1940-“The Road to Singapore,” starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour, opened. The comedy was the first of seven Road pictures, which brought fame and fortune to its actors.
    1941-the Benny Goodman Sextet cuts “Air Mail Special”
    1942 - Two tornadoes, 24 minutes apart, struck Baldwin, MS, resulting in 65 deaths.
    1944---Top Hits
Mairzy Doats - The Merry Macs
Besame Mucho - The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra (vocal: Bob Eberly & Kitty Kallen
No Love, No Nothin’ - Ella Mae Morse
Rosalita - Al Dexter
    1945--PIERCE, FRANCIS JUNIOR Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Pharmacist's Mate First Class, U.S. Navy serving with 2d Battalion, 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division. Place and date: Iwo Jima, 15 and 16 March 1945. Entered service at lowa Born: 7 December 1924, Earlville, lowa. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while attached to the 2d Battalion, 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division, during the Iwo Jima campaign, 15 and 16 March 1945. Almost continuously under fire while carrying out the most dangerous volunteer assignments, Pierce gained valuable knowledge of the terrain and disposition of troops. Caught in heavy enemy rifle and machinegun fire which wounded a corpsman and 2 of the 8 stretcher bearers who were carrying 2 wounded marines to a forward aid station on 15 March, Pierce quickly took charge of the party, carried the newly wounded men to a sheltered position, and rendered first aid. After directing the evacuation of 3 of the casualties, he stood in the open to draw the enemy's fire and, with his weapon blasting, enabled the litter bearers to reach cover. Turning his attention to the other 2 casualties he was attempting to stop the profuse bleeding of 1 man when Japanese fired from a cave less than 20 yards away and wounded his patient again. Risking his own life to save his patient, Pierce deliberately exposed himself to draw the attacker from the cave and destroyed him with the last of his ammunition then lifting the wounded man to his back, he advanced unarmed through deadly rifle fire across 200 feet of open terrain. Despite exhaustion and in the face of warnings against such a suicidal mission, he again traversed the same fire-swept path to rescue the remaining marine. On the following morning, he led a combat patrol to the sniper nest and, while aiding a stricken marine, was seriously wounded. Refusing aid for himself, he directed treatment for the casualty, at the same time maintaining protective fire for his comrades. Completely fearless, completely devoted to the care of his patients, Pierce inspired the entire battalion. His valor in the face of extreme peril sustains and enhances the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. 
    1946-The first Medal of Honor awarded to a soldier of Japanese ancestry was conferred upon Private First Class Sadao S. Munemori of Company A,100th Infantry Battalion, 442dn Combat Team, for action near Seravezza, Italy, on April 5, 1945, when he knocked out two machine guns with grenades and saved the livers of two of his companions by diving on an exploding grenade. The medal was presented posthumously this day to his mother, Mrs. Nawa Munemori.
    1947 - "The Best Years of Our Lives", produced by Samuel Goldwyn, was a big favorite winning the Best Picture prize at the 19th Academy Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Actor/producer/comedian Jack Benny hosted the glittering gala. "The Best Years of Our Lives" won Oscars for Best Director (William Wyler); Actor (Fredric March); Supporting Actor (Harold Russell); Film Editing (Daniel Mandell); Screenplay (Robert E. Sherwood); and a shared award with "The Jolson Story" for Best Score. Other awards for the best of 1946: Actress: Olivia de Havilland in "To Each His Own", and Actress in a Supporting Role: Anne Baxter in "The Razor’s Edge". The Best Song was "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" (from "The Harvey Girls") by Johnny Mercer and Harry Warren. Foreign-made films showed up in these Oscars, bringing an end to Hollywood’s then exclusive rights to the coveted awards. Of the foreign movies nominated, three were British ("Henry V" - producer, Laurence Olivier; "Brief Encounter" starring Celia Johnson; "Perfect Strangers" which won the Oscar for Best Writing/Original Story [Clemence Dane]), one was French ("Les Enfants du paradis", an original screenplay by Jacques Prévert) and one Italian ("Roma, città aperta", screenplay written by Sergio Amidei, Federico Fellini). 
    1951 - ” The comic strip, "Dennis the Menace", appeared for the first time in 18 newspapers across the U.S. The strip became an international favorite in thousands of newspapers and spawned a CBS-TV program that starred Jay North as Dennis. The series lasted for several seasons and is still seen in syndicated re-runs. A somewhat popular movie starring Walter Matthau as Mr. Wilson and Christopher Lloyd as the bad guy was released in 1993.
    1952---Top Hits
Slowpoke - Pee Wee King
Tell Me Why - The Four Aces
Please, Mr. Sun - Johnnie Ray
Wondering - Webb Pierce
    1955-The Ballad of Davy Crockett" by Bill Hayes reached the number one spot on the US Pop music charts, where it would stay for five weeks. The song sold more than 7,000,000 records on more than 20 different labels worldwide. 
    1955-Epic Records releases Roy Hamilton's "Unchained Melody", which will climb to #6. The Righteous Brothers would update the song ten years later and take it to #4. 
    1956 - In a rally in Birmingham, Alabama, Asa Carter, the executive secretary of the north Alabama White Citizen's Council, charged that rock and roll was introduced to white teenagers by the N.A.A.C.P. and other pro-integration forces. He initiated a campaign to pressure radio stations to bar what he termed "immoral music".
    1956-Elvis Presley's first album is released by RCA. The self-titled disc would sell over a million copies and become The King's first Gold record.
    1958-“The Long Hot Summer,” starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, and Orson Welles, opens in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Newman, who won the Cannes Film Festival award as Best Actor for his performance in the film, married Woodward the same year-the pairing is one of Hollywood's longest lasting marriages.
    1958-The Quarry Men, with both John Lennon and Paul McCartney playing guitar, perform at the Morgue Skiffle Cellar in Oakhill Park.
    1960---Top Hits
The Theme from "A Summer Place" - Percy Faith
Wild One - Bobby Rydell
Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes) - Dinah Washington & Brook Benton
He’ll Have to Go - Jim Reeves
    1960 National Football League owners voted to allow the Chicago Cardinals to move to St. Louis. The Cardinals are generally regarded as the oldest continuing operation in pro football, having been founded as the Morgan Athletic Club, a neighborhood team in 1899. The Cardinals remained in St. Louis through the 1987 season after which owner Bill Bidwill transferred the team to Phoenix, AZ.
    1961-President John F. Kennedy sets up the Alliance for Progress.
    1962- trumpeter Terence Blanchard born New Orleans LA|BLANCHARD
    1962 -- Wing Luke becomes the first non-white to be elected to the Seattle City Council, and the highest Asian-American elected official in the continental US
at the time.
    1962--Although he is about to be dropped by Columbia because his Big Band style records weren't selling, Bobby Vinton is allowed to lay down a couple of vocal efforts. The results would produce the first of his thirty, US Top 40 hits, "Roses Are Red", which would top the Billboard chart by next June.
    1963-Peter, Paul and Mary's "Puff The Magic Dragon" is released in the US, where it will reach #2. Although banned by some radio stations who thought the song was about drugs, it is really just a story about a little boy growing up, according to its writer, Peter Yarrow. 
    1964- Motown Records released Mary Wells's "My Guy," written and produced by Smokey Robinson. It was the Supreme’s co-founder only number-one hit as a single.
    1965-The Rolling Stones were at #1 on the UK singles chart with "The Last Time", the band's third UK #1. 
    1966--RASCON, ALFRED V. Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Reconnaissance Platoon, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry,173d Airborne Brigade (Separate) Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 16 March 1966 Born: 1945, Chihuahua, Mexico Citation: Specialist Four Alfred Rascon, distinguished himself by a series of extraordinarily courageous acts on 16 March 1966, while assigned as a medic to the Reconnaissance Platoon, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade (Separate). While moving to reinforce its sister battalion under intense enemy attack, the Reconnaissance Platoon came under heavy fire from a numerically superior enemy force. The intense enemy fire from crew-served weapons and grenades severely wounded several point squad soldiers. Specialist Rascon, ignoring directions to stay behind shelter until covering fire could be provided, made his way forward. He repeatedly tried to reach the severely wounded point machine-gunner laying on an open enemy trail, but was driven back each time by the withering fire. Disregarding his personal safety, he jumped to his feet, ignoring flying bullets and exploding grenades to reach his comrade. To protect him from further wounds, he intentionally placed his body between the soldier and enemy machine guns, sustaining numerous shrapnel injuries and a serious wound to the hip. Disregarding his serious wounds he dragged the larger soldier from the fire-raked trail. Hearing the second machine-gunner yell that he was running out of ammunition, Specialist Rascon, under heavy enemy fire crawled back to the wounded machine-gunner stripping him of his bandoleers of ammunition, giving them to the machine-gunner who continued his suppressive fire. Specialist Rascon fearing the abandoned machine gun, its ammunition and spare barrel could fall into enemy hands made his way to retrieve them. On the way, he was wounded in the face and torso by grenade fragments, but disregarded these wounds to recover the abandoned machine gun, ammunition and spare barrel items, enabling another soldier to provide added suppressive fire to the pinned-down squad. In searching for the wounded, he saw the point grenadier being wounded by small arms fire and grenades being thrown at him. Disregarding his own life and his numerous wounds, Specialist Rascon reached and covered him with his body absorbing the blasts from the exploding grenades, and saving the soldier's life, but sustaining additional wounds to his body. While making his way to the wounded point squad leader, grenades were hurled at the sergeant. Again, in complete disregard for his own life, he reached and covered the sergeant with his body, absorbing the full force of the grenade explosions. Once more Specialist Rascon was critically wounded by shrapnel, but disregarded his own wounds to continue to search and aid the wounded. Severely wounded, he remained on the battlefield, inspiring his fellow soldiers to continue the battle. After the enemy broke contact, he disregarded aid for himself, instead treating the wounded and directing their evacuation. Only after being placed on the evacuation helicopter did he allow aid to be given to him. Specialist Rascon's extraordinary valor in the face of deadly enemy fire, his heroism in rescuing the wounded, and his gallantry by repeatedly risking his own life for his fellow soldiers are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
    1968 - The Byrds received a gold record for the album, "Greatest Hits", which featured "Turn! Turn! Turn!", written by Pete Seeger (excerpted from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible); "Eight Miles High"; "Mr. Spaceman"; "Mr. Tambourine Man"; "All I Really Want To Do"; and "My Back Pages". The group consisted of Jim McGuinn, David Crosby, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Mike Clarke. Kevin Kelly, Gram Parsons, Clarence White, John York and Gene Parsons were also members of the group through the years. The Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. 
    1969-“ The Love Bug” released by Walt Disney studio. Directed by Robert Stevenson, the film starred "Herbie," a loveable Volkswagen bug with a personality. Abused by the evil racecar driver "Thorndyke" (David Thomlinson), Herbie is rescued by the young good-guy racecar driver "Jim" (Dean Jones). Grateful for his rescue, Herbie rewards the hapless Jim by winning one race after another on his driver’s behalf. The excitement begins when the ruthless Thorndyke plots to get Herbie back by any means necessary. Based on a story by Gordon Buford, The Love Bug inspired two sequels, Herbie Rides Again and Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo. 
    1968---Top Hits
Love is Blue - Paul Mauriat
(Theme From) Valley of the Dolls - Dionne Warwick
(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding
Take Me to Your World - Tammy Wynette
    1970 - An extremely popular cover of "LIFE" magazine was issued, showing the current fashion battle over long versus mini skirts.
    1971--At the 13th Annual Grammy Awards, Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" wins Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists, Best Engineered Record and Best Contemporary Song. 
    1971 -- The Allman Brothers Band records its breakthrough album, "Live at the Fillmore East."

    1972- "The Merv Griffin Show", starring game show and late-night television host, Merv Griffin, started its syndicated debut for Metromedia Television. Joining Merv were Arthur Treacher, and Mort Lindsey and his orchestra. In the 1940s, Griffin had a number one song with the Freddy Martin Orchestra, "I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Cocoanuts", which launched him to fame. He had his own radio show at KFRC in San Francisco in the late 1940’s, branching into early local television. Griffin battled Johnny Carson on CBS-TV late night, and lost. He also fought ABC-TV's Joey Bishop, and again lost. He did win in the Metro media show; and in ownership of stations such as WPIX-TV 11 in New York, WPOP Radio in Hartford, Connecticut. Later, he came up with "Wheel of Fortune" and the formula for "Jeopardy", which he also owns; making him one of the world's richest entertainment moguls. Griffin also owns several hotels in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Beverly Hills.
    1972 -- Author Clifford Irving pleads guilty to a charge that the "autobiography" of Howard Hughes on which he supposedly collaborated was a hoax.
    1974-The Arab Oil Embargo was lifted. It would take several weeks before long gasoline lines disappeared here. The oil-producing Arab countries agreed to lift their five-month embargo on petroleum sales to the US. During the embargo prices went up 330 percent and a ban was imposed on Sunday gasoline sales. The embargo was in retaliation for US support of Israel during the October 1973 Middle-East War.
    1975 - A single storm brought 119 inches of snow to Crater Lake, Oregon, establishing a state record. 
    1976---Top Hits
December 1963 (Oh, What a Night) - The Four Seasons
All by Myself - Eric Carmen
Take It to the Limit - Eagles
The Roots of My Raising - Merle Haggard
    1976 - The Four Seasons, featuring Frankie Valli, returned to the pop charts after an absence of 10 years. The group's "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)", became the top song in the United States. Valli’s real name is Castelluccio and with him were Bob Gaudio, Nick Massi and Tommy DeVito. Joe Long and Charlie Callelo were members in the 1960s, when Gaudio focused on producing for the group and DeVito left. The original producer was Bob Crewe. The name, The Four Seasons, was taken from a bowling alley in New Jersey. The group charted a total of 30 songs, plus Valli had nine solo hits. In 1990, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 
    1976-Johnny Taylor's "Disco Lady" begins a six week stay at the top of the Billboard R&B chart. It is the first number one song to contain the word "disco" in the title.
    1980 -- Pink Floyd's "The Wall" goes platinum a few weeks into its 15 week stay at Number One. The two-record set is largely the brainchild of bass player Roger Waters, who now emerges as the group's creative head.
    1983- Radio talk show host Larry King brought his topical interview program to syndicated TV.. Using a telephone hook-up, viewers called in to speak to particular guests. King has been appearing on CNN since 1985 interviewing a variety of newsmakers and celebrities.
    1983 Randy Smith’s NBA consecutive-game streak came to an end as he played in his 906th straight game. Smith played for Buffalo, San Diego, Cleveland, New York, and San Diego (again.)
    1984---Top Hits
Jump - Van Halen
Girls Just Want to Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
Somebody’s Watching Me - Rockwell
Going, Going, Gone - Lee Greenwood
    1985 - National Football League owners met in Phoenix, AZ and tabled a proposal that would have allowed transmitters and receivers in football helmets. The idea was to allow quarterbacks to talk with players in noisy stadiums. The idea did become a reality, but a minor one. Players complained of too much interference and static.
    1986- Susan Butcher wins the Iditarod dogsled race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska, in the record time of 11 days, 15 hours, almost seven days faster than the time in 1985 when Libby Riddles was the first woman to win the race. Butcher again wins the race in 1987 in what is called a new era in the dogsled competition
    1989--The Rolling Stones signed a $70 million contract to play 50 North American dates. At that point, it was the largest contract in Rock history. 
    1989 - A winter storm brought heavy snow and high winds to the southwestern U.S. Winds gusted to 60 mph at Lovelock NV, Salt Lake City UT, and Fort Carson CO. Snow fell at a rate of three inches per hour in the Lake Tahoe area of Nevada. 
    1990 - Thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front produced large hail and damaging winds from northwest Florida to western South Carolina. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 75 mph at Floridatown FL. Sixteen cities across the northeastern quarter of the nation reported record high temperatures for the date. The afternoon high of 78 degrees at Burlington VT smashed their previous record for the date by 23 degrees. New York City reported a record high of 82 degrees. 
    1993- "Informer" by Toronto rapper Snow reached number-one on the Billboard Hot 100. It would remain in the top spot for seven weeks, making it one of the most successful Canadian songs ever on the US chart. Snow's debut album, "12 Inches of Snow," also was a million-seller.
    1994- Prodigy puts newspaper online--the Atlanta Journal- Constitution. One of the earliest online newspapers, the Journal-Constitution listed local information, including Little League scores, lunch menus, and crime reports, as well as local advertising. The news service was available as a subscription service, with additional fees for bulletin board usage. Other early online newspapers included the St. Louis Dispatch and Florida Today. 
    1998 - Candice Bergen and the cast of Murphy Brown filmed the 245th and final episode of the award-winning and sometimes controversial CBS sitcom. The hour-long finale featured appearances by Julia Roberts, Bette Midler, and George Clooney, as well as Bergen's real mother, Frances.
    1999-The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) gave out its first set of Diamond Awards for sales over 10 million units in the US. Sixty-one albums and one single qualified. At the top of the list was The Eagles' Greatest Hits, with over 25 million copies (it would sell another million by the end of the year). 
    2003--Over 5,000 coordinated candlelight vigils take place, in more than 125 
countries, in a last-ditch protest against a U.S. invasion of Iraq.
    2009-The Weinstein Co. acquired the rights to produce Nowhere Boy, the story of John Lennon's tumultuous childhood. The script focuses on the battle between Lennon's aunt Mimi and his mother Julia for custody and the affections of the young musician as well as his friendship with Paul McCartney. The film was released at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival on January 27th, 2010.




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?



Daily Puzzle

How to play:

Refresh for current date:






See USA map, click to specific area, no commercials



Traffic Live---

Real Time Traffic Information

You can save up to 20 different routes and check them out with one click,
or type in a new route to learn the traffic live



Independent, unbiased and fair news about the Leasing Industry.