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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

   Classified Ads---Sales Manager
$163,720,000 Collections to begin May 9
 in John Otto’s HL Leasing Ponzi Scheme
  Robert Fine of NorVergence Fame at Signature Bank
  by Christopher Menkin
   Classified Ads---Help Wanted
Marquette Equipment Finance changes name to
 Pacific Western Equipment Finance
Leasing New Business Off .1 in February, 2012;
  -----But Optimism Prevails
   Special Offer from ELFA to Regional & Community Banks
    Top 50 US banks & thrifts by assets
 CHP Consulting continues lease accounting
  commentary with new whitepaper
   Written by Edward Peck
    Gov’t Proposed Leveraged Finance Guidance for Lenders
     Murray, Utah Adopt-a-Dog
News Briefs---
Monitor Top Private Independents (from
  Key Offers Tax-Exempt Leasing to Manufacturers  
     Housing experts optimistic, despite dismal data
       US consumers hold onto rosy outlook
 New federal Internet privacy standards introduced
       AmericanWest buys San Diego bank
Dancing With the Stars" gives Navratilova the boot

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

Media Map: Who's Reading What and Where
  You May Have Missed
     SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer
      Sports Briefs---
       Spring 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.



$163,720,000 Collections to begin May 9
in John Otto’s HL Leasing Ponzi Scheme

John Otto

In the class action suit against the officers of HL Leasing, Inc., Manufacturers Acceptance Corporation dba Heritage Pacific Leasing, Air Fred, along with officers Andy Fernandez, Dan Ramírez and Kathleen Otto, a post trial motion was granted and judgment for was rendered as reported on March 9th. It means attorneys for the plaintiff, Ara Jabagchourian and Aron K. Liang of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP and Donald Fischbach of Dowling, Aaron & Keeler, Inc., can seek judgment in 60 days from that date, meaning Wednesday, May 9th.

The judgment is against Heritage Leasing, MAC dba Heritage Leasing, Kathleen Otto and Air Fred for $114.5 million, plus $46.5 million against both Dan Ramirez and Andy Fernandez; $720,000 on top of that against Dan Ramirez.

While it was reported, but not verified, that Dan Ramirez, the president, filed bankruptcy, these are claims of fraud and are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

At this time, there is no knowledge that the FBI has not brought a case to the U.S. Attorney's office or a receiver was appointed by the California Department of Corporations. It may be because the person behind the Ponzi scheme, John Otto, committed suicide

Previous Stories:

John Kenny Receivables Management

• End of Lease Negotiations & Enforcement

• Fraud Investigations
• Credit Investigations • Asset Searches
• Skip-tracing • Third-party Commercial Collections | ph 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:



Robert Fine of NorVergence Fame at Signature Bank
by Christopher Menkin

In addition to the top sales group leaving Capital One Equipment Financing for Signature Bank of New York, it appears also located here is a well-known public figure in the leasing industry:

"Mr. Robert Fine is Senior Vice President, Group Director of Signature Bank. Mr. Fine, a veteran banker whose career spans three decades, was Vice President and Senior Business Relationship Manager, handling a commercial portfolio for clients of HSBC's Eighth Avenue branch, one of their largest commercial locations. Previously, he was employed with Atlantic Bank of New York where he was a principal of their equipment leasing subsidiary, Gramercy Leasing."

The above follows the official Signature Press release announcing his arrival in 2009 (1).

Left off both press releases: the two NorVergence positions

The NorVergence press release, printed in Leasing News on June 2, 2003 announces Robert J. Fine in charge of the private label program for NorVergence, as well as liaison between banks, leasing companies and the lease financing of a $500 Matrix box and service contracts from $20,000 to $30,000 with long distance carriers, who at the end, were also not getting paid, as it turned out to be a large Ponzi operation.

Effected were over 50 banks and leasing companies, over 4,000 lessees, well over $100 million, favorable settlements with 28 state attorneys generals, the dismissal of two bank presidents, the failure of several leasing companies, including IFC Credit, as well as a major law suit won by the FTC and if that was not enough, the most serious to the leasing industry: the legal end of "hell and high water" clauses in lease contracts.

The presentation given by Robert Fine to bank and leasing companies (as well as to potential customers) showed service in the contract. ( 2)

NorVergence Names New Director of Bank Relations
Press Release:

"NORVERGENCE is pleased to announce that Robert J. Fine has been named as Director of Bank Relations. In his new role Mr. Fine will be responsible for managing all aspects of the company's non-recourse, third-party relationships as well as developing new funding relationships.

"Mr. Fine has over twenty-five years of experience in the equipment leasing industry and previously held the position of President of Gramercy Leasing Services, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atlantic Bank of New York. Prior to Gramercy, Fine spent thirteen years managing BLT Leasing Corp, the leasing subsidiary of Bank Leumi Trust Company of N.Y. serving as its President from April 1990. Fine began his leasing career with the Bank of Tokyo Trust Company in 1976.

"Mr. Fine has always been an active member of the equipment leasing trade associations and began a two-year term as President of the Eastern Association of Equipment Lessors (EAEL) in April of this year and has served as an officer and Board Member since 1995.

"Headquartered in Newark, N.J. NORVERGENCE is leading the way to voice/ data convergence solutions that allow small to medium-sized businesses to drastically reduce their telecommunications costs.

In following up complaints about NorVergence, its contracts and equipment, Mr. Fine in an October 16, 2003 e-mail, wrote Leasing News:

“On a personal note, I can assure you that my twenty-seven years of experience in the equipment leasing industry, primarily working for commercial banks have impressed upon me the need to know the people with whom you are conducting business. NorVergence is an exciting and fast-paced company and I am very happy to be a part of this organization and look forward to its bright future."

He later was named president of NorVergence Capital, as stated in this press release:

"NorVergence Capital president Robert Fine stated that the new captive financing subsidiary would be the catalyst for bringing savings benefits of 20-60% to customers. Additionally, Mr. Fine stated, "One of the biggest challenges companies face is the lack of capital to acquire the technology they need to grow their businesses. NorVergence Capital will solve this problem by allowing these companies to acquire the technology they need -- with no outlay of capital."

(1) Signature Press Release on Robert J. Fine

(2) Presentation by NorVergence showed Service in contract

July 1, 2004 NorVergence was pushed into bankruptcy

Complete stories on NorVergence:

Gary DiLillo, President 440.871.0555 or

Comprehensive personal property tax outsourcing services.
Click here to see what our clients say about us.



Leasing Industry Help Wanted

Advance Restaurant Finance

Looking for sales reps to call on small to medium
sized retail merchants nationwide.
Experience preferred in this industry, but open
to ambitious "make sales" self-motivators.
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"When bank financing is unavailable, we are your best alternative for an unsecured working capital loan up to $1,000,000 per location."

Inside Sales Manager Irvine, California

First Year Expect $125k with base salary & commission
to direct small ticket sales team.
Click here for more information.

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

Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees.


Marquette Equipment Finance changes name to

Pacific Western Equipment Finance
(a division of Pacific Western Bank)
Former Marquette Equipment
(a subsidiary of Meridian Bank,
Midvale, Utah)
Dorran Sampson
Vice-President/Broker Relations
$100,000 - $5,000,000
 A -Accepts Broker Business | B -Requires Broker be Licensed| C -Sub-Broker Program
| D -"Private label Program" | E - Also "in house" salesmen

Funders Looking for New Broker Business

Funder List "A"

Mr. Terry Winders, CLP
Anaheim, California

April 5 & 6

Two Day Seminar
sponsored by
Equipment Leasing Department
4040 MacArthur blvd, Suite 100
Newport Beach, CA 92660

The seminar will contain information on how to approach leasing in 2012 with the following subjects:

  • New lease language
  • Proposed new accounting rules for lessee's
  • Structuring and pricing for competition
  • Income tax rules, Article 2A vs. Article 9
  • New reasons to lease
  • Questions to ask lessee
  • Vendor needs
  • Credit enhancements
  • Documentation issues
    and a take home assignment to see how to propose a lease.

Cost $450 per person

Registration and Outline of Course: PDF

For questions, please contact Mr. Terry Winders, CLP, at or call 502-649-0448.


Leasing New Business Off .1 in February, 2012
-----But Optimism Prevails

(Leasing News Chart)

Compared to the previous month, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association MLFI-25 report shows February new business with the extra day for Leap Year at $5.0 compared to $5.1 in January. It is above the 28 day February, 2010 of $3.2 and February, 2011 of $4.1.


click to make larger

(ELFA-MFI-25 chart)

February, 2009 was $3.3, February, 2008, another Leap Year extra day, was $5.3, February 2007 was $4.6 and February 2006 was $3.9.

ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE, said: “The data show that companies continue to invest in equipment, replacing obsolete and worn assets in some sectors while beginning to expand in others. The roller coaster trend pattern of our credit-quality metrics, aging of receivables, charge-offs and credit approvals are caused by the unique aspects of different sectors and their cash-flow cycles. However, we see them continuing to move in a positive direction overall.”

Jerry Newell, Executive Vice President, Bank of the West, headquartered in San Francisco, CA, said, “Bank of the West Equipment Finance has seen an increase in capital spending and equipment finance activity across most equipment sectors including technology, manufacturing, construction, healthcare, and agriculture.

”Much of this activity is for replacement equipment that was deferred in the downturn, but we have also noted capital spending for expansion which is a positive sign. While a few industry segments remain soft, overall we are cautiously optimistic that the equipment leasing and finance industry will continue to see growth at a moderate pace this year.”

Valerie Jester, President, Brandywine Capital Associates, Inc., commented, “I still remain optimistic, but it seems that increasing gas prices, looming elections, and lack of comfort with future government regulation have created a rather sluggish first quarter as far as the small business marketplace is concerned. We had hoped to see sustained momentum from strong fourth quarter activity, but it has yet to appear.”

The March 2012 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry found the latest confidence up 61.7 compared to 59.6.

Paul Menzel, President and CEO, Financial Pacific Leasing, LLC,
“While capital and portfolio performance issues are behind us, the growth story for our industry continues to be fragmented. Larger companies are the leading source of growth while the small/micro ticket segment continues to be influenced by the consumer segment with muted demand and aversion to debt. Until consumers open up their wallets, the small/micro ticket segment, and the general economy, will continue to sputter.”

Anthony Cracchiolo, President and CEO, Vendor Services, U.S. Bancorp Equipment Finance,
“I am feeling very positive about the industry and hopeful of expansion as the economy grows over the next year.”

ELFA MLFI-25 Charts

Aging of Receivables:

click to make larger

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

click image to make larger

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

click image to make larger

Total Number of Employees
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image to make larger

ELFA MLFI-25 Participants

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



Special Offer from ELFA to Regional and Community Banks

William G. Sutton, CAE, President and CEO of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, invites community and regional banks to take advantage of a special membership offer.


Top 50 US banks & thrifts by assets

While the report is for the fourth quarter of 2011, it is the latest, and there are no major basic changes as JP Morgan Chase & Company remains number one followed by Bank of America, according to SNL Financial. JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are also the only two with more than $2 trillion in assets and more than $1 trillion in deposits.

The top five remain unchanged from the 3rd quarter to the 4th quarter, while there was some swapping of positions in the next four.

The largest rises in rank were seen by UnionBanCal Corp., Charles Schwab Bank and First Republic Bank, each moving up by two spots.

The biggest downward movements, all by three spots, happened at Hudson City Bancorp Inc. dropping to No. 34 from No. 31, Synovus Financial Corp. dropping to No. 40 from No. 37, OneWest Bank FSB dropping to No. 41 from No. 38 and First Horizon National Corp. falling to No. 44 from No. 41.

SNL Financial reports, "Of the top 50, Citigroup Inc. and SunTrust Banks Inc. were found lacking in the recent round of stress tests by the Federal Reserve. Results showed that the companies' Tier 1 common ratios would fall below the Fed's 5% benchmark in an adverse economic scenario.

"The other two companies found lacking in the results were Ally Financial Inc. and MetLife Inc. SNL excludes holding companies with deposits totaling less than 25% of assets from the ranking, which means that some large firms regulated as bank holding companies, such as MetLife Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley are not ranked. Ally was also excluded from the rankings because as of Dec. 31, 2011, its deposit-to-asset ratio stood at 23%."

SNL's data is pro forma for pending M&A deals and transactions that have closed since Dec. 31, 2011.




CHP Consulting continues lease accounting
commentary with new whitepaper
Written by Edward Peck

CHP Consulting, the leading global supplier of asset and motor finance software and consultancy services, has published the second in a series of thought leadership pieces on the IASB and FASB’s overhaul of lease accounting.

Lease Accounting Reform: The Systems Impact for Asset Finance Lessors summarises the key features of the proposals so far, and considers the current implications for lessors from a systems perspective. The paper, available to download from Asset Finance International, also provides an overview of the current accounting standards, and highlights the key changes made to the original proposals set out in 2010’s Exposure Draft.

Ralph Neuff, Relationship Director and a member of CHP’s Operational Board, said: “The original proposals were widely held to be too burdensome and subjective, but the industry has broadly welcomed the revisions since then. This is our take on the situation as it stands, and we will continue to issue expert commentary as changes occur.”

The IASB and FASB are expected to issue a revised proposal for a new lease accounting standard in the second half of 2012. In February 2011, CHP Consulting issued the whitepaper How lessors are meeting new challenges using future proof technology, which addressed three principal systems issues raised by changes proposed in the Exposure Draft.

To order free White Paper:

Free Registration AssetFinance International:





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

Gov’t Proposed Leveraged Finance Guidance for Lenders

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the agencies) are seeking comment on proposed revisions to the interagency leveraged finance guidance issued in 2001. Transactions that are covered by this guidance are characterized by a borrower with a degree of financial or cash flow leverage that significantly exceeds industry norms as measured by various debt, cash flow, or other ratios.

The agencies observed tremendous growth in the volume of leveraged credit leading up to the crisis and in the participation of non-regulated investors. While there was a pull-back in leveraged lending during the crisis, volumes have since increased while prudent underwriting practices have deteriorated. As the market has grown, debt agreements have frequently included features that provide relatively limited lender protection, including the absence of meaningful maintenance covenants and the inclusion of other features that can affect lenders’ recourse in the event of weakened borrower performance. In addition, capital structures and repayment prospects for some transactions, whether originated to hold or to distribute, have been aggressive. Management information systems (MIS) at some institutions have proven less than satisfactory in accurately aggregating exposures on a timely basis, and many institutions have found themselves holding large pipelines of higher-risk commitments at a time when buyer demand for risky assets diminished significantly.

Leveraged finance is an important type of financing for the economy, and banks play an integral role in making credit available and syndicating that credit to investors. It is important that banks help provide financing to creditworthy borrowers in a safe and sound manner.

In light of the market’s evolution, the agencies propose replacing the 2001 guidance with revised leveraged finance guidance that refocuses attention to five key areas:

  • Establishing a Sound Risk-Management Framework: The agencies expect that management and the board identify the institution’s risk appetite for leveraged finance, establish appropriate credit limits, and ensure prudent oversight and approval processes.

  • Underwriting Standards: These outline the agencies’ expectations for cash flow capacity, amortization, covenant protection, and collateral controls and emphasize that the business premise for each transaction should be sound and its capital structure should be sustainable irrespective of whether underwritten to hold or to distribute.

  • Valuation Standards: These concentrate on the importance of sound methodologies in the determination and periodic revalidation of enterprise value.

  • Pipeline Management: This highlights the need to accurately measure exposure on a timely basis, the importance of having policies and procedures that address failed transactions and general market disruption, and the need to periodically stress test the pipeline.

  • Reporting and Analytics: This emphasizes the need for MIS that accurately capture key obligor characteristics and aggregates them across business lines and legal entities on a timely basis. Reporting and analytics also reinforce the need for periodic portfolio stress testing.

Although some sections of the guidance should apply to all leveraged transactions (for example, underwriting), the vast majority of community banks should not be affected as they have no exposure to leveraged loans.

Comments on the proposed guidance must be submitted to the agencies no later than June 8, 2012.

Proposed Guidance on Leveraged Lending (25 pages)

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


Murray, Utah-- Adopt-a-Dog

ID#: 4410855-A040141

Breed: German Shepherd Dog/Boxer Mix
Color: Tricolor (Tan/Brown & Black & White)
Age: Young
Size: Med. 26-60 lbs (12-27 kg)
Sex: Male

Shelter: The Humane Society of Utah
Phone: (801) 261-2919
Let 'em know you saw "CHARLIE" on!
Fax: (801) 261-9577
Address: 4242 S. 300 W.
Murray, UT 84107

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

Adopt a Pet 


News Briefs----

Monitor Top Private Independents (from

Key Offers Tax-Exempt Leasing to Manufacturers

Housing experts optimistic, despite dismal data

US consumers hold onto rosy outlook in March despite higher gas prices

New federal Internet privacy standards introduced

AmericanWest buys San Diego bank

Dancing With the Stars" gives Navratilova the boot




You May Have Missed---

Media Map: Who's Reading What and Where


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

Hike Yourself Fit





Sports Briefs----

Cowboys will open 2012 NFL season on a Wednesday night against Giants

Dodgers reach record deal with Magic Johnson group

Tebow, a Careful Evangelical

Best-rated athletic shoes


Spring Poem

Written in early spring

        by William Wadsworth

I heard a thousand blended notes
While in a grove I sat reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What Man has made of Man.

Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower,
The periwinkle trail'd its wreaths;
And 'tis my faith, that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopp'd and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure, -
But the least motion which they made
It seem'd a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature's holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What Man has made of Man?




California Nuts Briefs---

S.F. tourism bounces back as economy recovers\

California cities most densely populated in U.S.




“Gimme that Wine” 

Midwest Growers Anxious About Frost Risk

Merlot rising

Book about Finger Lakes winery wins international award

One Of Ohio's Best Kept Secrets Is Wine

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Winery Atlas\

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page



This Day in History

       1776 - Juan Bautista de Anza, one of the great western pathfinders of the 18th century, arrives at the future site of San Francisco with 247 colonists. Anza established a presidio, or military fort, on the tip of the San Francisco peninsula. Six months later, a Spanish Franciscan priest founded a mission near the presidio that he named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi-in Spanish, San Francisco de Asiacutes. The most northerly outpost of the Spanish Empire in America, San Francisco remained an isolated and quiet settlement for more than half a century after Anza founded the first settlement. It was not until the 1830s that an expansionist United States began to realize the commercial potential of the magnificent natural harbor. In the wake of the Mexican War, the U.S. took possession of California in 1848, though San Francisco was still only a small town of 900 at that time. With the discovery of gold that year at Sutter's Fort, however, San Francisco boomed. By 1852, San Francisco was home to more than 36,000 people. The founder of San Francisco did not live to see it flourish. After establishing the San Francisco presidio, Anza returned to Mexico. In 1777, he was appointed governor of New Mexico 
    1788-- Maryland becomes the seventh state in what will become the United States of America. It is named in honor of Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I of England.
    1799-New York State abolished slavery
    1811-Saint John Nepomucene Neuman, first male saint of the US. Born at Prachatice, Bohemia, came to the US in 1836. As Bishop of Philadelphia, he was affectionately known as the "Little Bishop." Died at Philadelphia, PA, Jan 5, 1860. Beatified Oct 13, 1963. Canonized June 19, 1977 
    1834- The Senate passed a resolution sponsored by Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky to censure President Andrew Jackson for his handling of the Bank of the United States, "...assumed upon himself authority and power not conferred by the constitution and laws..." President Jackson on April 1 signed a president resolution against the Senate for censuring him. He succeeded in having them removed from the Senate journal in the following year.
    1848- Ohio became the first state to regulate working hours, fixing the maximum of ten hours per day for women and children under 18 years of age. New Hampshire had set a similar provision in 1847, but had a provision that both parties had to agree, as a result the law was ineffective.
    1862- at Pigeon's Ranch, a stagecoach stop on the Santa Fe Trail (about 19 miles southeast of Santa Fe, NM), Confederate forces briefly prevailed over Union troops in what some have called the most important battle of the Civil War in the Southwest. It was feared that if Union troops failed to hold here, the confederate forces would proceed to Fort Union and on to control of the rich gold fields of Colorado and California.
    1881-P .T. Barnum and James A. Bailey merged their circuses to form the "Greatest Show on Earth."
    1882--Birthday of Frances Elliott Davis - U.S. nurse and community leader; broke the color line of the American National Red Cross nursing staff and administration.
    1884 -- Cincinnati townspeople, unhappy authorities had not handed out a severe enough punishment to confessed murderer William Berner, show their displeasure by burning down the local courthouse. The State Militia is called out to restore order; in the ensuing battle, 42 were killed & 128 injured.
    1885 -- The Salvation Army is officially organized in the United States.
    1890-bandleader Paul Whiteman born Denver, Colorado
    1899-August Adolphus “ Gussie” Busch, Jr., baseball executive born at St. Louis, MO. Busch bought the St. Louis Cardinals in 1953 and became one of the most influential team owners. He tied the success of the sport to the growth of his brewery’s sales and took great pleasure in both. Died at St. Louis, September 29, 1989.
    1908 -- Automobile owners lobby Congress in support of a bill that calls for vehicle licensing and federal registration.
    1909 -- Novelist Nelson Algren (A Walk on the Wild Side) born (1909-1981), Detroit, Michigan. Grew up in Chicago in a poor Polish neighborhood, served a four-month jail term for stealing a typewriter. Algren joined John Reed Club & was editor of the New Anvil, an experimental magazine. Heavy drinker and gambler, involved with Simone de Beauvoir. “Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Moms. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.”
    1917 - Thane Creek, AK, reported a snow cover of 190 inches.
    1920 - The worst tornado disaster of record occurred in Chicago IL as a tornado killed 28 persons and caused three million dollars damage.
    1921- President Warren Harding names former US President William Howard Taft as chief justice of the United States.
    1922-the microfilm reading device was invented by Bradley Allen Fiske of Washington, DC, who received a patent on a “reading machine.” It was known as a Fiskeoscope and could be carried in the pocket. A 2.5-inch newspaper column was reduced to .025 inches and 100,000 words were contained on a 40-inche tape.
    1923—Trumpet player Thad Jones Birthday
    1926---Birthday of Blossom Dearie, famous jazz supper club style singer, pianist, and recording artist. Her mother, a Norwegian immigrant, also played the piano.
    1926--Birthday of Harper Lee, perhaps best known recently as a close friend of Truman Capote. She wrote only one novel, To Kill A Mockingbird which won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and a cash prize of $500.
It was made into a successful Hollywood movie which won Gregory Peck an Oscar and Best Picture of the Year.
    1934--Birthday of Lopis Duncan - U.S. author, primarily of children's books.
    1941--Birthday of Ann-Margaret (Olsson) - Swedish-born American actor and singer. She received a 1971 Academy Award nomination for her work in the cult film Carnal Knowledge. Perhaps best known for accompanying Bob Hope and his troupe to military bases during Viet Nam, very popular with the soldiers not just for her looks but for her attention and recognition to them after the war. The story circulating the internet that At a book signing, actress Ann-Margaret autographed a tattered photo presented to her by an ex-G.I. and thanked him for serving his country is true.
    1944-“Rick” Barry III, broadcaster and Basketball Hall of Fame forward, born Elizabeth, NJ.
    1945- A record heat wave hit the northeast, bringing temperatures of 90 degrees in Rhode Island and 91 degrees in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
    1945--HEDRICK, CLINTON M. Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 194th Glider Infantry, 17th Airborne Division. Place and date: Near Lembeck, Germany, 27-28 March 1945. Entered service at: Riverton, W. Va. Birth: Cherrygrove, W. Va. G.O. No.: 89, 19 October 1945. Citation: He displayed extraordinary heroism and gallantry in action on 2728 March 1945, in Germany. Following an airborne landing near Wesel, his unit was assigned as the assault platoon for the assault on Lembeck. Three times the landing elements were pinned down by intense automatic weapons fire from strongly defended positions. Each time, T/Sgt. Hedrick fearlessly charged through heavy fire, shooting his automatic rifle from his hip. His courageous action so inspired his men that they reduced the enemy positions in rapid succession. When 6 of the enemy attempted a surprise, flanking movement, he quickly turned and killed the entire party with a burst of fire. Later, the enemy withdrew across a moat into Lembeck Castle. T/Sgt. Hedrick, with utter disregard for his own safety, plunged across the drawbridge alone in pursuit. When a German soldier, with hands upraised, declared the garrison wished to surrender, he entered the castle yard with 4 of his men to accept the capitulation. The group moved through a sally port, and was met by fire from a German self-propelled gun. Although mortally wounded, T/Sgt. Hedrick fired at the enemy gun and covered the withdrawal of his comrades. He died while being evacuated after the castle was taken. His great personal courage and heroic leadership contributed in large measure to the speedy capture of Lembeck and provided an inspiring example to his comrades.
    1950-The City College of New York (CFCNY) defeated Bradley, 71-68, in the title game of the NCAA basketball tournament, thereby becoming the only team to win both that championship and the NIT title in the same year. Ten days before, CCNY had beaten Bradely, 69-61 to win the NIT.
    1951 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: ``If,'' Perry Como.
    1951---Top Hits
If - Perry Como
Be My Love - Mario Lanza
Mockingbird Hill -Patti Page
The Rhumba Boogie - Hank Snow
1957, the first National curling championship competition was held on March 28-30 at the Stadium Club in Chicago, IL, with 10 teams competing. The winner was the Hibbin Curling Club fro Hibbing, MN, which won eight games and lost one.
    1953--MATTHEWS, DANIEL P. Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Company F, 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Vegas Hill, Korea, 28 March 1953. Entered service at. Van Nuys, Calif. Born: 31 December 1931, Van Nuys, Calif. Award presented: 29 March 19S4. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a squad leader of Company F, in action against enemy aggressor forces. Participating in a counterattack against a firmly entrenched and well-concealed hostile force which had repelled 6 previous assaults on a vital enemy-held outpost far forward of the main line of resistance Sgt. Matthews fearlessly advanced in the attack until his squad was pinned down by a murderous sweep of fire from an enemy machine gun located on the peak of the outpost. Observing that the deadly fire prevented a corpsman from removing a wounded man lying in an open area fully exposed to the brunt of the devastating gunfire, he worked his way to the base of the hostile machine gun emplacement, leaped onto the rock fortification surrounding the gun and, taking the enemy by complete surprise, single-handedly charged the hostile emplacement with his rifle. Although severely wounded when the enemy brought a withering hail of fire to bear upon him, he gallantly continued his valiant l-man assault and, firing his rifle with deadly effectiveness, succeeded in killing 2 of the enemy, routing a third, and completely silencing the enemy weapon, thereby enabling his comrades to evacuate the stricken marine to a safe position. Succumbing to his wounds before aid could reach him, Sgt. Matthews, by his indomitable fighting spirit, courageous initiative, and resolute determination in the face of almost certain death, served to inspire all who observed him and was directly instrumental in saving the life of his wounded comrade. His great personal valor reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
    1958- Eddie Cochran records "Summertime Blues."
    1958- Alan Freed's Big Beat Show tour kicks off the first of its 43 shows at the Brooklyn Paramount Theater with Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Danny and the Juniors, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, The Chantels, The Diamonds, Screaming Jay Hawkins, and more.
    1959---Top Hits
Venus - Frankie Avalon
Tragedy - Thomas Wayne
Come Softly to Me - The Fleetwoods
Don’t Take Your Guns to Town - Johnny Cash
    1964-Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in London announces the Beatles will be cast in wax, the first pop album stars to be honored.
    1964 -- The Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" enters the charts
    1964 -- Jan and Dean's "Dead Man's Curve" enters the charts
    1965 -- Martin Luther King, Jr., on TV calls for boycott buses and trains (I believe) in Alabama. March 21 he and John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC-we pronounced “snick”- started a five-day civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, with 3,200 marches. Part of this I covered by radio from San Francisco, actually speaking with small town police dispatchers who were surprised that a radio station in San Francisco was interested in the "demonstration," one of the words used. At the end, 25,000 gathered in demonstrations at the front of the state capitol in Montgomery. The police and sheriff, and apparently the majority of the citizens were against Dr. King, Jr. and his followers. There was a San Francisco group from SNCC who also would call from telephone booths at the end of the day. The day before Dr. King, Jr. appeal on television ( not the media it is today primarily due to the technocracy of the day), Viola Greeg Liuzzo, a civil rights worker from Detroit,
Michigan was shot and killed in Selma, Alabama.
    1965- President Lyndon Johnson appeared on television, flanked by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, and announced the arrests of four Klansmen in connection with the Liuzzo murder. President Johnson stated:
Due to the very fast and the always efficient work of the special agents of the FBI who worked all night long immediately after the tragic death of Mrs. Viola Liuzzo on a lonely road between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, arrests were made a few minutes ago of four Ku Klux Klan members . . . charging them with conspiring to violate the civil rights of the murdered woman. After naming the arrested Klansmen, the President continued: I cannot express myself too strongly in praising Mr. Hoover and the men of the FBI for their prompt and expeditious and very excellent performance in handling this investigation. It is in keeping with the dedicated approach that this organization has shown throughout the turbulent era of civil rights controversies.
New York Times, March 27, 1965.
One of the arrested Klansmen, Gary Rowe, later surfaced as an undercover FBI informant. Rumors that one of the Klansmen was an informant began to circulate when a federal grand jury indicted only three of the Klansmen, and were confirmed when the informant testified, under heavy guard, before the Alabama grand jury. On Rowe's testimony, the state grand jury returned murder indictments against the three other men who were in the car.
Three criminal trials resulted from the Liuzzo murder: two murder trials in the state courts and one federal conspiracy trial. Only one of the three indicted Klansmen was tried on the murder charge, Collie LeRoy Wilkins. His first trial resulted in a hung jury, and the second in an acquittal. All three Klansmen were successfully prosecuted on the federal charge of conspiring to violate Mrs. Liuzzo's civil rights, and, on verdicts of guilty, each received the maximum sentence.
Gary Rowe testified at all three trials, and related both the background of his involvement with the Ku Klux Klan and the FBI, and his version of the events which took place on March 25. Rowe testified that he was approached by an FBI agent in 1960 or 1961 and was asked to infiltrate the Klan. His duties, he stated, were to "keep up with" any violent actions, and to report to the FBI on the men whom he met in his undercover work.
Note: A book is available on this: The Informant: The FBI, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Murder of Viola Liuzzo

    1966--INGRAM, ROBERT R. Medal of Honor
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Corpsman with Company C, First Battalion, Seventh Marines against elements of a North Vietnam Aggressor (NVA) battalion in Quang Ngai Province Republic of Vietnam on 28 March 1966. Petty Officer Ingram accompanied the point platoon as it aggressively dispatched an outpost of an NVA battalion. The momentum of the attack rolled off a ridge line down a tree covered slope to a small paddy and a village beyond. Suddenly, the village tree line exploded with an intense hail of automatic rifle fire from approximately 100 North Vietnamese regulars. In mere moments, the platoon ranks were decimated. Oblivious to the danger, Petty Officer Ingram crawled across the bullet spattered terrain to reach a downed Marine. As he administered aid, a bullet went through the palm of his hand. Calls for "CORPSMAN" echoed across the ridge. Bleeding, he edged across the fire swept landscape, collecting ammunition from the dead and administering aid to the wounded. Receiving two more wounds before realizing the third wound was life-threatening, he looked for a way off the face of the ridge, but again he heard the call for corpsman and again, he resolutely answered. Though severely wounded three times, he rendered aid to those incapable until he finally reached the right flank of the platoon. While dressing the head wound of another corpsman, he sustained his fourth bullet wound. From sixteen hundred hours until just prior to sunset, Petty Officer Ingram pushed, pulled, cajoled, and doctored his Marines. Enduring the pain from his many wounds and disregarding the probability of his demise, Petty Officer Ingram's intrepid actions saved many lives that day. By his indomitable fighting spirit, daring initiative, and unfaltering dedications to duty, Petty Officer Ingram reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
    1967 – “Raymond Burr starred in a TV movie titled "Ironside". The show, about a wheelchair-bound detective, became very popular as a weekly series in the spring of 1967. Burr, known to millions as determined lawyer, "Perry Mason" (a past TV hit), played the part of Robert Ironside in the new show. He was joined by characters, Detective Sgt. Ed Brown (Don Galloway), Eve Whitfield (Barbara Anderson), Mark Sanger (Don Mitchell) and Commissioner Dennis Randall (Gene Lyons).
    1967---Top Hits
Happy Together - The Turtles
Dedicated to the One I Love - The Mamas & The Papas
There’s a Kind of Hush - Herman’s Hermits
I Won’t Come in While He’s There - Jim Reeves
    1967-Van Morrison records "Brown Eyed Girl", which will enter the Billboard chart next August and rise to #10. The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007.
    1968-the controversial rock musical Hair, produced by Michael Butler. opened at the Biltmore Theatre at New York City , after playing off-Broadway. For those who opposed the Vietnam War and the "Establishment," this was a defining piece of work-as evidenced by some of its songs, such as "Aquarius," "Flair" and "Let the Sunshine In."
    1968 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: ``(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay,'' Otis Redding. The song reaches No. 1 three months after Redding is killed in a plane crash near Madison, Wis.
    1969 - Joe Cocker played his first American concert. He entertained fans at Billy Graham’s Fillmore East
in New York City
    1970-Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's "Woodstock" is released.
    1970-Vietname Moratorium Concert: a seven-hour concert at Madison Square Garden at New York City featured many stars who donated their services for the antiwar cause. Among them were Jimi Hendrix; Dave Brubeck; Harry Belafonte; Peter, Paul and Mary; Judy Collins; the Rascals; Blood, Sweat and Tears and the Broadway cast of Hair.
    1971 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: ``Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me),'' The Temptations.
    1973-Wilt Chamberlain retired from the NBA after playing in 1,045 games. During his entire 14-season career, Chamberlain never fouled out.
    1973- Pink Floyd's LP Dark Side of the Moon hits #1
    1974 - A streaker (i.e.: someone running around naked), ran onto the set of "The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson". The clever NBC censors decided to blackout the lower half of the TV screen on the videotape to prevent an ‘X’ rating. The streaker was arrested, but released, for "lack of evidence," said Johnny.
    1974- "Hooked on a Feeling" by Blue Swede turns gold. The band's novel version of the BJ Thomas' 1968 song hits Number One next month.
    1974 - The Raspberries split up. The group's biggest hit is ``Go All the Way,'' which went all the way to No. 5 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1972.
    1975-- Barbra Streisand attends tonight's Elvis Presley show in Vegas and meets the King backstage to discuss offering him the lead role in her latest film project: a remake of the classic A Star Is Born. Despite the fact that Streisand's boyfriend, stylist Jon Peters, is slated to produce and direct, Presley is said to be ecstatic about the project.
    1975---Top Hits
My Eyes Adored You - Frankie Valli
Lady Marmalade - LaBelle
Lovin’ You - Minnie Riperton
Before the Next Teardrop Falls - Freddy Fender
    1977 – 49th Annual Academy Awards presentation at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, hosted by a cast of four (Warren Beatty, Ellen Burstyn, Jane Fonda, and Richard Pryor), "Rocky" collected Oscars for Best Picture (Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff, producers); Best Director (John G. Avildsen); and Film Editing (Scott Conrad, Richard Halsey). "Network" hauled in the gold for Best Actor (Peter Finch); Actress (Faye Dunaway); Supporting Actress (Beatrice Straight); and Writing (Paddy Chayefsky). "All the President’s Men" was given awards for Best Supporting Actor (Jason Robards); Art Direction (George Jenkins); Set Direction (George Gaines); Sound (Dick Alexander, Les Fresholtz, Arthur Piantadosi, Jim Webb); and Writing (William Goldman). The Best Music/Song Oscar-winner titles are memorable too: Barbra Streisand (music) and Paul Williams (lyrics) for "Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)" from
"A Star is Born".
    1979-Three Mile Island nuclear reactor complex near Middletown, PA sustained a major accident, the first of its kind. Homes in nearby neighborhoods were evacuated after the reactor suffered a loss of coolant and a partial core meltdown caused by a series of equipment failures and human errors.
    1980-although springtime was starting in the Rocky Mountains, the snow just kept on coming! One foot or more of snow fell over portions of eastern Colorado, southwest Nebraska, northwest Kansas and southeastern Wyoming. Winds reached 40 mph and Valentine, Nebraska received 13 inches of snow. North Platte, Nebraska checked in with 15 inches.
    1983---Top Hits
Billy Jean - Michael Jackson
Do You Really Want to Hurt Me - Culture Club
Hungry like the Wolf - Duran Duran
Swingin’ - John Anderson
    1984-With little or no warning, the Baltimore Colts loaded moving vans in the dead of night and left for Indianapolis. Baltimore was left without an NFL team until 1996 when the Cleveland Browns moved there and were renamed the Ravens.
    1984-- Mick Fleetwood, whose band, Fleetwood Mac, had the biggest-selling album of all time just seven years earlier, files for bankruptcy.
    1985-- At 10:15 am EST, 6,000 North American radio stations begin playing the all-star benefit single, "We Are The World," written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and performed by a cast of 45 of music's biggest stars, including Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Diana Ross, Billy Joel, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, and Daryl Hall. Proceeds from the sale of the single and related items -- some $38 million -- go to benefit victims of the recent Ethiopian famine.
    1985 - Bill Cosby broke more records with "The Cosby Show" on NBC-TV. The program was the highest-rated program of any network series since 1983. "The Cosby Show" became the highest-rated series since 1978 when "Mork and Mindy", starring Robin Williams and Pam Dawber, premiered on ABC.
    1984 -severe thunderstorms in the southeastern US spawned 36 tornadoes which tore paths of devastation across the Carolinas during the afternoon and evening hours killing 59 people and injuring 1248 others. One tornado near Tatum, South Carolina, an F4 on the Fujita scale, was 2.5 miles wide at one point. This outbreak was the worst in the area in 60 years.
    1986 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: ``Rock Me Amadeus,'' Falco. The Austrian singer says he was inspired to write the song about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart after seeing the movie ``Amadeus.''
    1987 - The second blizzard in less than a week was in progress across the central plains. 16 inches of snow was recorded at Blue Hill, Nebraska and 14 inches piled up at Omaha, Nebraska. 12 to 18 inches of snow was common across northwestern Kansas. Winds gusting up to 70 mph whipped drifts 20 to 30 feet high in some places. The storm took a great toll on cattle as well.
    1989-softball pitchers Cathy McAllister and Stefni Whitton of Southwestern Louisiana performed a feat unprecedented in NCAA history by throwing back-to-back perfect games against Southeaster Louisiana. McAllister won, 5-0, and Whitten struck out 14 to winning 7-0.
    1990 –62nd Annual Academy Awards, staged at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, with Billy Crystal as host. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) members voted "Driving Miss Daisy" the Best Picture of 1989 (Richard D. Zanuck, Lili Fini Zanuck, producers). The Best Director Oscar was won by Oliver Stone for "Born on the Fourth of July". Best Actor was Daniel Day-Lewis for "My Left Foot" and Best Actress was Jessica Tandy in "Driving Miss Daisy" (the 80-year-old actress was a favorite to win). Oscars for Actor and Actress in a Supporting Role went to Denzel Washington ("Glory") and Brenda Fricker ("My Left Foot"), respectively. Best Music/Song winners were Alan Menken (music), Howard Ashman (lyrics) for "Under the Sea" from "The Little Mermaid". You’re probably still humming this tune from that full-length animated film from Walt Disney Studios. Other popular 1989 films that were honored as nominees or winners include: "Field of Dreams"; "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"; "Back to the Future Part II"; "Lethal Weapon II"; "Batman"; "Dead Poets Society"; "When Harry Met Sally"; and "Sex, Lies, and Videotape".
    1990 - Jesse Owens receives the Congressional Gold Medal from President George Bush.
    1991---Top Hits
One More Try - Timmy -T-
Coming Out of the Dark - Gloria Estafan
This House - Tracie Spencer
Loving Blind - Clint Black
    1992- 1.6 inches of snow fell on this date at Syracuse, New York. This brought the seasonal snowfall total to 162.8 inches which set a new all-time seasonal snowfall record for the location. The old seasonal record was 162.0 inches set back in the winter of 1989-90.
    1996- Williamsport, Pennsylvania recorded .8 inches of snow on this day to bring its seasonal snowfall total to 83.9 inches -- the city's snowiest winter ever.
    1996-- Twenty years to the day after first appearing with them on stage as their new lead singer, Genesis front man Phil Collins announces he is leaving the group.

NCAA Basketball Champions This Date

    1942 Stanford
    1944 Utah
    1950 CCNY
    1977 Marquette




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