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Independent, unbiased and fair news about the Leasing Industry

Friday, May 18, 2012

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

  May 18, 2005 Archive
   NAELB Conference
    Classified Ads---Controller
 Facebook and the Leasing Social Network
    by Kit Menkin
Doing Business with Different Generations
 New Hires---Promotions
    Classified Ads---Help Wanted
  Loan growth remains tough challenge for community banks
   By Kevin Dobbs and Tyler Hall, SNL Financial
    Banking Report Card
     Dale Kluga, Cobra Capital, on JP Morgan Chase
       Redwood City, California Adopt-a-Dog
  Dark Shadows/The Pirates!/Bank of Misfits
    The Grey/Albert Nobbs/Chronicle
      Movie/New DVD Reviews by Fernando Croce
News Briefs---
 Mortgage rates keep dropping and refis are hopping
  Regulators subpoena Georgia 3rd Largest Bank
   HP reported to eliminate up to 30,000 jobs/computer sales
    U.S. sets heavy tariff on China's solar panels
     'American Idol': And our two finalists are ...
       Donna Summer, 1948-2012
        Donna Summer's Hit List

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

   You May have Missed---
    SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer
     Sports Briefs---
      Baseball Poem     
       California Nuts  
        "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

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May 18, 2005 Archive
NAELB Conference

May 12-14
St. Louis, MO

By: Charlie Lester

(With the permission of the NAELB Board of Directors)

By any standard, the 2005 annual National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers Conference was a tremendous success. It was a blending of the old and the new with an energy and enthusiasm level that was refreshing as much as it was tiring for an old guy like me. I have not seen so much energy and enthusiasm in the last 15 years of attending the various industry association conferences.

The NAELB conference drew 364 attendees from its membership of 592. More importantly in my opinion, 119 were attending their first industry conference and 60 were new members. The number of exhibitors was over 40 with 39 claiming to be funding sources. As usual, some of the funding sources were brokers or super brokers pretending to be true funding sources, but the question that stumped those that attended Dwight Galloway's session on “Do You Know Your Funder?” was “what is a true funding source?” It would interesting to hear what your readers define as a “true” funding source.

Probably the most interesting news with the “funding sources” was the emphasis on C & D level credits. Using the Exhibitor Profiles passed out to the attendees, 19 said their credit window was for A & B level credits only, but 20 said their credit window covered C & D level credits. Wonder if the C & D level sources have ever heard of the old adage that you can't compensate for risk with rate? Guess not or there would not be so many of them------at least for now.

The blending of the old and the new was very apparent. Bruce Kropschot was moderator for a session on “How to Get Top Dollar When You Sell Your Lease Brokerage Business” with Gerry Oestreich, Jim Borland and Charlie Lester as three old guys telling the story on how they sold their companies. At the end of the session, Jim Borland of US Energy Capital announced his plan find a merger or acquisition partner to help him realize the full potential of his niche market. He has a large number of national programs he has been developing for the past 25 years that the big guys are still trying to figure out how he did it. A press release from Jim is expected soon.

The new wave that pushes the edge of technology with the Internet as a marketing tool included Bob Anderson's session as moderator on “Lots of Leads for a Little Loot” and Kurt Hess and Gary Saulter's session on “Winning with Cutting Edge Marketing Tactics”. Looks like the old guys will have to learn more of the modern technology to keep up with the kids of the industry. What ever happened to the simple phone and fax as a way to communicate? What's a BLOG? Sounds like a horror movie to me.

Old or new, the sessions were well attended and participation was high even on Saturday afternoon when the sessions are normally attended by the janitors cleaning up and the presenters.

Claude Elmore somehow found the key to success as far as organization and execution of the pieces that make for a very successful conference. However, Claude has failed to learn that the Conference Chair who has a suite should give a party for those that made him successful. However, Claude is young and almost as cheap as Dwight Galloway. Even the Power Point presentations came off with very few computer problems that somehow have plagued sessions in the past. How Claude did that may be the 8th wonder of the world.

Donna Cole had the joy of turning over the job as President to Heather von Bargen from Caladesi Leasing. Somewhere in the depths of my little brain was the saying that “If you want a job done right, give it to a woman”. If you look up a woman leader in the dictionary, you will find a picture of Donna Cole. She has been a quiet, strong leader over the past year that has been able to avoid controversy that could have been divisive to the association.

After spending some time with Heather, I can tell you that she is a human dynamo that will follow in Donna's footsteps with strength and an unbelievable drive. I am glad I don't work for Heather since I would not enjoy being in rehab for exhaustion most of the time.

All the old pros were there, but there is a changing of the guard in the NAELB in my opinion. The members are younger, better trained in the technology necessary to succeed in today's environment and their energy level is disgusting. I am just glad I am nearing the end of my career in this great industry since I would not want to compete with the new breed of brokers we have today. To you other old folks, learn the new technology, adjust to the industry changes and take lots of vitamins or these new kids will eat your lunch and you won't even know it.

I say kids respectfully, but also with a sense of humor. Some are so young; I don't know whether to shake their hands or put them over my shoulder and burp them.

Since I am trying to move to retirement more and more, this conference may be my last annual conference and I thank all of you that have helped me have what I believe has been a meaningful career with respect for my competitors and customers.

Thank you and God Bless.

Charlie Lester



Classified Ads---Controller

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

Chicago, IL
experienced in lease accounting, operations, management, and Sarbanes-Oxley. Seeking position with equipment lessor. Would consider contract assignments or relocating. 
Southeastern, MI
Controller & Management experience w/ equip lessors &broker. MBA, CPA w/ extensive accounting, management, securitization experience with public and private companies. Willing to relocate. 

Southern CA
20 years exp. as hands-on leasing CFO, managing accounting, treasury, FP&A, including securitizations, Great Plains/FRx, budgets, risk management.  MBA.  Also available as interim Controller/CFO, consultant. 

Free Posting for those seeking employment in Leasing:

All “free” categories “job wanted” ads:


Facebook and the Leasing Social Network
by Kit Menkin

My best friend since 1963 named his son after me, who works for Facebook, Global Real Estate and Facilities. He has invited us both next week to have lunch with him at the facilities. I am looking forward to it. I should also disclose my family is buying stock via the Merrill Lynch-Private Client Group, as well as Leasing News and I have a Facebook site. So I am very "pro" not against this social site.

Whether it is a site for leasing business, don't know yet, but certainly those in retail, selling products, or using it as "yellow pages" or for following certain celebrities, musicians, politics, singers, it has tremendous value. I certainly enjoy seeing photos of my kids and their grandkids, or where friends have visited or photos and notes about their trips and news about their kids and grandkids.

I helped the United Association of Equipment Leasing (now National Equipment Finance Association) in setting up and housing at our office TeleMagic by dial-up in 1994 (it may have been 1993, don't remember) to access the membership directory and changes, as well as communicate on a bulletin board. Soon afterwards, Summit and I created for free a website, instead of dial-up, offering free emails. At the time, companies were charging $10 a month to have your own email. At a Los Angeles Regional meeting, I was the main speaker: the subject was the new UAEL web site and free emails. When I asked how many had an email in a room of about 75, four raised their hands, and three were from the same company.

I was asked why would we need an email, anyway?

I told the UAEL leasing audience the membership directory on line and members could add and make changes, so they could get the latest information and we had a "listserve." “What was that,” they asked? You can send emails back and forth to each other and they are posted. "Why would we want to do that?" they asked.

Actually Facebook is basically a chat room, which is a very old idea, first used by AOL where you had public and private chat rooms; they also were the first let you build your own web site. But they did not have photo's or video's that you could post, and AOL was a dial up at 9600 baud, quite slow compared to today's fast speeds, nor did it have the many features and ease of use that Facebook has.

As to the public exposure on Facebook, it can be private or public, but in reality privacy died when the internet was created – once the cucumber becomes a pickle, it can't go back.

Definitely privacy died, as our ability to research news stories can substantiate. Even attorney emails with clients have been ruled public in California.

Almost everyone has a hand held device and can make photographs or videos, so you see events on line with video and photographs showing all types of events, personal, business, and news. Nothing is private anymore.

There also is the fact that Google and the others sell and/or utilize all the information they gather from your visits. I saw a calendar at Staples and the next few days, I kept getting pop-ups of the calendar with the price and how to order it. I turned all pop ups off, which is a pain as some pop-ups you want to see when you visit a site, so you have to manually allow each one. I do like Amazon reminding me of things I bought and what is new, but sure don't like the pop-ups that interrupt what I am viewing.

To those who think Facebook is a fad or won't help their business, my advice is think about this some more.

John Kenny Receivables Management

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

The Solution to Your Credit & Accounts Receivable Needs
John Kenny


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



Doing Business with Different Generations

(Courtesy of Barbara Griffin, President, Southern California Leasing--appeared in her May, 2012 Newsletter)

"Did you know that the baby boomers are considered the
hardest working people in today's workforce?"

Face to face meeting

Prefer phone calls

Voicemail and email

Instant message, blogs, text





New Hires---Promotions

Bill Griffith was promoted to Portfolio Manager for the TAB Bank Equipment Leasing Division, Ogden, Utah; working out of Chicago, Illinois. "As Portfolio Manager, Bill will be responsible for oversight of portfolio performance data, analytics, and reporting, including the monitoring of delinquency and non-performing assets. Bill will take the lead in monitoring the Leasing Division’s third-party Servicing designees relative to their Service Agreement performance. Responsibilities will also include managing the Leasing Division’s Small -Ticket Portfolio inclusive of evaluating new and existing Portfolio Program opportunities, as well as managing the documentation review/approval and funding function for the monthly small-ticket portfolio acquisitions. Also, Bill will participate with the Leasing Division’s management team in assessing strategic opportunities, new Originator Program opportunities, as well as new products/services."

"Bill Griffith has been in the equipment leasing and finance industry for more than 20 years. His career began in the late 1980s with Associates Finance. From there he spent four years with Transamerica Leasing. Bill joined Padco Lease Corp. as a Senior Credit and Collection Analyst in 1997 and was soon promoted to Credit and Operations Manager where he remained prior to joining TAB Bank. Bill served for five years as Area Director for the UAEL (now known as NEFA -- National Equipment Finance Association). He was recognized as the UAEL Volunteer of the Month in May 2007 and served on the UAEL Board of Directors in 2007-08. Bill has also served on various credit committee conference panels for NAELB (National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers). In his new role with TAB Bank, Bill will be responsible for underwriting small-ticket equipment leasing portfolio acquisitions." DePaul University BA, Marketing (1994 – 1997) Deans List, 3.407 GPA Activities and Societies: DePaul Mentor Program

(The Griffith family new addition, recently rescued, Lola)

Matthew Hieber appointed Vice President of Asset Management, CoActiv Capital Partners, a Marubeni Group Company, Horsham, Pennsylvania. Previously he was vice-president asset management, De Lage Landen, where "...he served as global process manager where he standardized process flows for remarketing activities across North America and Europe." "I am looking forward to bringing my international business experience and Asset Management knowledge to the CoActiv management team,” Hieber stated. “I am also excited to be reunited with several colleagues whom I’ve worked with before, early on in my leasing career. “ (January, 2007-February, 2012).Penn State University MBA, Finance (2000 – 2002),Temple University - Fox School of Business and Management BS, Finance (1988 – 1991)

Dean Vicha was appointed president NationalLease, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. He joined the firm January, 2006. He previously "...served as vice president, national accounts. Earlier, he served as vice president of member services and as national account executive. Director, Business Development, Ryder systems (March, 2000-December, 2005). National Sales Executive, Rollins Leasing Corp (February, 1993-March, 2000) “NationaLease’s National Accounts effort expanded its reach and grew its customer base significantly under Dean’s leadership of that program,” Doug Clark, chief executive officer of NationaLease said. “Now that he’s at the helm of the entire organization, he will bring that same energy, dedication, and expertise to our member companies so that they can deliver the highest quality transportation solutions to their customers.” NationaLease is one of the largest full service truck leasing organizations in North America, with more than 600 service locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, a combined customer fleet of 125,000 tractors, trucks, and trailers, and annual revenue in excess of $4 billion. Dan Vicha graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor degree in Communications (1987-1992)



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

Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees.


Loan growth remains tough challenge for community banks
By Kevin Dobbs and Tyler Hall
SNL Financial

Quarter 1, 2012 vs. Quarter 4, 2011

For many banks and thrifts, the worst of the credit troubles stemming from the last downturn are behind them, putting the focus back on driving profits.

But central to that drive is loan growth, and it remains hard to come by for many community lenders.

"It is a challenging environment out there in a lot of ways, including on loan growth," Michael Sand, president and CEO of Hoquiam, Wash.-based Timberland Bancorp Inc., told SNL, summing up the difficulties lenders face trying to expand loan books in an era of heightened regulatory scrutiny, slow economic growth and, in many swaths of country, anemic loan demand.

An SNL Financial analysis of first-quarter call report filings among banks under $10 billion in assets found that loan books actually shrunk nearly 1% from the end of 2011 and were down from the same quarter a year earlier.

Sand's thrift operates in a variety of markets in the Pacific Northwest, from rural to urban communities, from markets heavy on private industry to others that are influenced by military spending. As such, he views the lender's footprint as a good barometer of overall conditions. And the reading so far this year boils down to this: Local economies are healing enough to juice loan demand modestly, but not enough to drive robust loan growth.

"We are out there picking up credits," Sand said, adding that he expects at least high single-digit loan growth this year after a "flattish" 2011. Sand noted multifamily housing as a source of strength, given the slowdown in single-family home sales in favor of more apartment complexes in the wake of the housing bust.

Particularly when compared with a year earlier, multifamily lending was a bright spot for the community banks with more than $1 billion in assets in the latest completed quarter.

Quarter 1, 2012 vs. Quarter 1, 2011

But runoff rates remain high, as many borrowers continue to deleverage and pay down debts. And, increasingly pressing, competition for coveted customers is fierce, meaning conservative lenders have to back away from a fair number of credit deals because of downward pressure on pricing.

"It is very competitive out there, and at times you just can't go down on price to keep certain credits, so I don't think we're different than most everybody else in that we're not going to avoid some runoff," Sand said.

But there is a silver lining within all of that from community bankers' perspective, Sand said. "Many customers are telling us they are tired of working with the really big banks — and that is a big source of the competition out there — and they are tired of the service they are getting," Sand said. As such, community banks, which strive to be long on personalized service and local expertise, are finding they can pluck away good customers from larger lenders, he said.

"Community banks, certainly, can't provide all the products and services of a big bank, but with technology today, we can provide many of them," Sand said. "Not everything, but most people don't need everything. If they can get what they need, and get it with really good service, that becomes very appealing."

Stealing share from lenders is a big reason why Sand anticipates some loan growth this year.

"It is pretty significant," Sand said. "Some of the nicer credits we've been able to get recently have come from the big banks."

Stealing share is particularly important in areas where, as Chico, Calif.-based TriCo Bancshares President and CEO Richard Smith put it, "economic malaise drags on" and continues to negatively affect the psyches of both businesses and consumers.

Alvin Kang, president and CEO of Los Angeles-based BBCN Bancorp Inc., shared many of the same concerns while speaking at the D.A. Davidson conference.

BBCN Bancorp caters to Korean-American communities, but Kang said the challenges of modest loan demand ring true for a niche operation like his in much the same way as they do for banks with broader customer bases. BBCN has operations along the West Coast, as well as in Illinois, New York and New Jersey.

Kang said the company's loan pipeline is building up, but loan growth so far this year "is really low to mid-single digits."

"We have quite a bit of capacity lending-wise," Kang said. "But there is still a sense of caution" among customers due to economic sluggishness.

And Kang is worried that as baby boomers begin to retire en masse in coming years, they will slow their spending, adding a new drag on businesses and, by extension, the banks that lend to them.

"I'm very concerned about our economy," Kang said.

Why Choose Advanced Property Tax Compliance?

Dedicated to the leasing industry
click here to learn more.

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Gary DiLillo, President 440.871.0555 or



Banking Report Card has given every FDIC regulated bank across America a grade for their commitment to small business lending. The grade is based on publically available date as of 12/31/2011

"Based on our analysis of the FDIC data, the average bank in America uses 7.62% of their deposits to make loans to small businesses. Therefore, we established the following grading structure:

  • A (Excellent): a bank uses 25% or more of its deposits to make small business loans.

  • B grade (Good): a bank uses between 10% and 25% of its deposits to make small business loans.

  • C grade (Average): a bank uses between 6% and 10% of its deposits to make small business loans.

  • D grade (Poor): a bank uses between 3% and 6% of its deposits to make small business loans.

  • F grade (Failing): a bank that uses under 3% of its deposits to make small business loans. "

The following ten states have the highest number of A grade banks with headquarters in their states:

Minnesota 242 A banks
Iowa 216 A banks
Texas 162 A banks
lllinois 160 A banks
Missouri 137 A banks
Nebraska 134 A banks
Wisconsin 132 A banks
Kansas 128 A banks
Oklahoma 95 A banks
California 81 A banks

Go here to search for a bank in your area
(by zipcode city/state, bank name, address)





Dale Kluga, Cobra Capital, on JP Morgan Chase

4-13-12 radio interview where he blasts Jamie Dimon for his high risk investments (before the $2B loss was announced):

Here is the link to Dale’s 4-27-12 American Banker article:

Here is the link to his 4-24-12 Bloomberg TV interview:

Mr. Kluga (49) has over 28 years of commercial leasing and banking experience. In 1989 he co-founded a community bank for the second largest Chicago based banking organization at the age of 29 and subsequently founded the parent company’s equipment leasing subsidiary, which was acquired in 2007 by Bank of America. Mr. Kluga is a CPA and 1981 graduate of Northern Illinois University with a B.S. in accounting and is a graduate of Continental Illinois National Bank’s Financial Information Services Training Program and its’ Wholesale Banking Training Program.

Send Leasing News to a colleague.
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Redwood City, California Adopt-a-Dog


ID#: 4576991

Sex: Female
Breed: Maltese/Yorkie, Yorkshire Terrier Mix
Color: Tan/Yellow/Fawn - With White
Age: Young
Size: Weights ten pounds

“I am already spayed, up to date with shots, good with kids, good with dogs, and good with cats.”

Ashley's Story...

Please contact Laura ( for more information about this pet.

She will be at the Pet Club at 1850 South Norfolk Street in San Mateo on Saturday, May 19 from 10:00 am until 7:00 pm.

Please call us at 408-390-3160 or 408-835-4264 before driving to the event to see if the dog has already been adopted.

Priority is given to potential adopters who have already filled out an application and talked to us about the dog.

Her adoption fee is $400.

We are not an animal shelter. We are a rescue organization that saves and takes care of dogs that were on their last days in overcrowded shelters. We were able to get the dogs out of the shelter before they were put to sleep and now they need permanent homes.

For an application, please contact us ASAP at:

She has been spayed (fixed) and given DHLPP, rabies, bordatella shots, a de-worming, flea and tick treatment and a microchip implantation.

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

Adopt a Pet 


Fernando's View
By Fernando F. Croc

"Dark Shadows" and "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" present audiences with a double-bill of eccentric humor, while visceral action ("The Grey"), Oscar-nominated drama ("Albert Nobbs") and one of the year's most ingenious sleepers ("Chronicle") await DVD watchers.

In Theaters:

Dark Shadows (Warner Bros.): Tim Burton delivers more of his inimitable blend of whimsy and ghoulish humor in this visually sumptuous horror-comedy. Based on the cult TV series, the story centers on Barnabas (Johnny Depp), an 18th-century playboy vampire who makes the mistake of crossing beautiful witch Angelique (Eva Green). As punishment, he loses his beloved and is imprisoned in a tomb, only to be freed two centuries later in the funky 1970s. Trying to adapt to the strange times and to the hilariously dysfunction family now running his majestic manor, he comes face to face with his lost love… as well as with his witchy nemesis. With an excellent cast that includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter and Chloe Moretz, Burton’s latest is an often delectably clever tribute to weird families everywhere.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Columbia Pictures): Aardman, Britain’s answer to Pixar and the animation studio responsible for “Chicken Run” and “Wallace & Gromit,” serves up another inspired bit of eccentricity in this delightful parody of swashbuckling adventures. The plot takes off as the Pirate Captain (voiced by Hugh Grant) and his ragtag bunch of bandits search the high seas, hoping to steal from enough ships to win the Pirate of the Year Award. Instead, what they find none other than legendary scientist Charles Darwin (David Tennant), whose fascination with the Captain’s parrot leads them to Victorian London for an audience with the Queen herself (Imelda Stanton). Though primarily marketed for kids, adults are such to appreciate the deadpan humor in this irreverent romp, which marks another Aardman triumph.

Netflix Tip: With "Dark Shadows," Tim Burton and Johnny Depp continue their artistic relationship as one of the most entertaining director-actor collaborations in current movies. Check out Netflix for their previous movies together, ranging from fanciful fantasy ("Edward Scissorhands"), gothic horror ("Sleepy Hollow"), family comedy ("Charlie and the Chocolate Factory") and ghoulish musical ("Sweeney Todd").


The Grey (Universal): The season gets a welcome shot of adrenaline in this tough tale of survival in the face of the grimmest of circumstances. Liam Neeson stars as John Ottway, a lonely sharpshooter whose latest job takes him to the harshest parts of Alaska. Originally hired to protect the workers of a local oil company, he comes face to face with nature once he and the roughnecks survive a plane crash and must confront merciless weather and hungry animals. With time running out and a pack of rogue wolves prowling around him, can John endure this icy inferno? Directed with often grisly vigor by action specialist Joe Carnahan (“Narc”), this is a muscular thriller that works up more than enough tension and existential somberness to overcome its often implausible plot.

Albert Nobbs (Lions Gate): Glenn Close delivers an Oscar-nominated performance in this intriguing period piece, adapted from a long-running theatrical play. Set in Ireland during the 19th-century, it tells the story of Albert (Close), an efficient, diffident and mysterious butler who works at a luxurious house while harboring a secret—that he is actually a woman who’s been disguised as a man for the past 30 years. Dreaming of opening his own tiny business, Albert risks coming out of his shell and trying to court a capricious young maid (Mia Wasikowska). But will this lead to newfound happiness, or expose the masquerade? Directed by drama specialist Rodrigo Garcia (“Mother and Child”), this haunting movie displays acting not just a poignant portrayal from Close but also a scene-stealing one from Janet McTeer.

Chronicle (Fox): The superhero genre gets a fresh spin in this engaging, inventive action-comedy that also doubles as a witty metaphor for adolescence. Making creative use of the found-footage format popularized by "The Blair Witch Project," the plot follows Andrew (Dane DeHaan), Matt (Alex Russell) and Steve (Michael B. Jordan), a trio of youngsters who one day stumble into a secret deep in the woods and emerge with newfound telekinetic powers. Suddenly able to fly through the skies and move anything with their thoughts, they have the time of their lives... until these powers start to draw on the increasingly darker sides of their personalities. Directed by Josh Trank with low-budget ingenuity, this small-scale sleeper manages to pack more punch than the entirety of "The Avengers."

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

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



News Briefs----


Mortgage rates keep dropping and refis are hopping

Regulators subpoena Georgia 3rd Largest Bank

HP reported to eliminate up to 30,000 jobs/computer sales

U.S. sets heavy tariff on China's solar panels

'American Idol': And our two finalists are ...

Donna Summer, 1948-2012

Donna Summer's Hit List



You May Have Missed---

Neary 3/4 of Americans Open Up Grill on Memorial Day



SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

15 Surprising Sources of Added Sugar



Sports Briefs----


Kings Beat Coyotes and Move to Brink of Stanley Cup Finals




Baseball Poem

 Stop Action

Slowly as in an underwater dance
the shortstop dips to take the ball
on a low hop, swings back his arm, balancing
without thought, all muscles intending
the diagonal to the first baseman's glove.

As the ball leaves his hand, the action stops —
and, watching, we feel a curious poignancy,
a catch in the throat. It is not this play only.
Whenever the sweet drive is stopped
and held, our breath wells up like the rush

of sadness or longing we sometimes feel
without remembering the cause of it.
The absolute moment gathers the surge
and muscle of the past, complete,
yet hurling itself forward — arrested
here between its birth and perishing.

Written by Conrad Hilberry, published in
“Line Drives,” 100 Contemporary Baseball
Poems edited by Brooke Horvath and Tim Wales,
published by Southern Illinois University Press




California Nuts Briefs---

Brown state worker pay proposal would cut $230 million in wages from local econony

Jerry Brown's budget cuts rekindle California's judicial civil war
Read more here:

Postal Service Moves Ahead with Modified Network Consolidation Plan

Petaluma postal hub's closure means lost jobs, slow mail

Brown approves Rohnert Park casino compact



“Gimme that Wine” 

California Grape Growers Hear Good News\ &htitle=Grape%20Growers%20Hear%20Good%20News&

Wine grape market shifts in game change

America's most expensive restaurants to BYOB

Calaveras County Fair’s Jumping Frog Jubilee is this weekend

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Winery Atlas\

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page



This Day in History

      1631 -The General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony decreed that 'no man shall be admitted to the body politic but such as are members of some of the churches within the limits' of the colony. (Separation of church and state was an unthinkable concept in early American colonialism. In contrast to what is taught in schools, most were not escaping for religious freedoms, but were missionaries with strong prejudices against other religious groups except for their own.)
    1652- Rhode Island enacted a slavery emancipation law: “No blacken mankind or white... (maybe) forced by covenant bond or otherwise to serve any man or his assignees longer than ten years, or until they come to be 24 years of age, if they be taken in under 15, from the time of their coming within the Liberties of the Colonies, and at the end of termed of ten years... (are to be set) free, as is the manner with the English servants. And that man that will not let them goe free, or shall sell them elsewhere, to that end that they may be enslaved to others for a long time, he or they shall forfeit to the Colonie forty pounds.”
    1766- The Church of the United Brethren in Christ was organized in Lancaster, PA, under the leadership of Martin Boehm, 41, and Philip William Otterbein, 39. (It became a branch of the Evangelical United Brethren in 1946.)
    1798 - The first Secretary of the U.S. Navy was appointed. He was Benjamin Stoddert.
    1827 -- Josiah Warren opens his first Time Store in Cincinnati, Ohio — the first commercial cooperative. Warren, Josiah, 1798–1874, American reformer & anarchist, b. Boston. An early follower of Robert Owen, he soon rejected Owen's political socialism, advocating instead anarchy based on “the sovereignty of the individual.” Warren founded several “equity” or "time" stores, with the idea of exchanging goods for an equivalent amount of labor & on the principle that cost should be the limit of price. He also established three utopian colonies; the most successful was Modern Times (1851–c.1860), Long Island, N.Y. (now Brentwood). The most important of his publications was True Civilization (1863, 5th ed. 1875).
See "The Lemonade Ocean & Modern Times" by Hakim Bey,
    1836-- Cynthia Ann Parker, a blue-eyed blonde Caucasian woman, was captured by the Comanche at age nine. When U.S. soldiers found her four years later in a Comanche camp where she was living under the name "Prelock," she refused to return. She said she was happy living as a Comanche. ///In 1860 she and her infant daughter were captured in a U.S. army raid and were forcibly detained. She was sent to Parker's father. The infant died soon after capture and Prelock died in 1864, according to legend, by starving herself to death longing to go back to the Comanche way of life. ///Her eldest son Quanah became chief of the Kwahadi tribe which held out against the white man. Some called him the most ferocious Indian who ever lived. In 1875 he suddenly brought his people in and settled near the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma and saw to it that Comanche children went to school and were educated.
    1849-Sailing ship "Grey Eagle" arrived in San Francisco with 34 passengers from the East in 113 days, a record at that time.
    1852- Massachusetts rules all school-age children must attend school
    1860 --Republican Party nominates Abraham Lincoln for president.
06 November 1860, Lincoln defeated his opponents with only 40% of the popular vote, becoming the first Republican to win the presidency. The announcement of his victory signaled the secession of the Southern states, which since the beginning of the year had been publicly threatening secession if the Republicans gained the White House. By the time of Lincoln's inauguration on 04 March 1861, seven states had seceded and the Confederate States of America had been formally established with Jefferson Davis as its elected president. One month later, the American Civil War began when Confederate forces under General P. G. T. Beauregard opened fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina. 
    1863- A new sport became available to Americans with the introduction of roller skating by James L. Plimpton. Plimpton invented the four-wheel skate, which worked on rubber pads, thus permitting skaters to change direction by shifting their weight to one side or the other without lift the wheels of the skate off the ground. Roller skating became fashionable in New York City and soon spread to other cities. In Newport, R.I., the Roller Skating Association leased the Atlantic House and turned its dinning room and plaza into a skating rink. In Chicago, the Casino could accommodate 3000 spectators and 1000 skaters. In San Francisco, a rink advertised 5000 pairs of skates available for rent.
    1863- Union General Ulysses S. Grant surrounds Vicksburg, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River, in one of the most brilliant campaigns of the war. On May 16, Grant fought the Confederates under John C. Pemberton at Champion's Hill and defeated them decisively. He then attacked again at the Big Black River the next day, and Pemberton fled into Vicksburg with Grant following close behind. The trap was now complete and Pemberton was stuck in Vicksburg, although his forces would hold out until July 4. In the three weeks since Grant crossed the Mississippi in the campaign to capture Vicksburg, Grant's men marched 180 miles and won five battles. They took nearly 100 Confederate artillery pieces and nearly 6,000 prisoners, all with relatively light losses.
    1864--The fighting at Spotsylvania in Virginia, reaches its peak at the Bloody Angle.
    1872 -- Bertrand Russell born (1872-1970), Trelleck, Wales. Philosopher, mathematician & social critic, one of the most widely read philosophers of this century. Awarded Nobel for Literature, 1950. Outspoken pacifist, imprisoned during WWI. Abandoned pacifism during WWII, but was a leading figure in the antinuclear movement. Imprisoned in 1961 for taking part in a demonstration in Whitehall. A pioneer of logical positivism. I took a course from him at UCLA and have read most of his books.
    1883 - An F4 tornado tracked 20 miles through Kenosha and Racine Counties in Wisconsin. 8 people were killed and 85 were injured. The tornado made a spectacular exit as a multiple vortex waterspout over Lake Michigan and was described as: "whirling columns of air seemed like great wreaths of smoke, bearing with them spiral columns of water...a half dozen could be seen at a time, then all would disappear and new ones would reform".
    1896- Plessy v. Ferguson: the Supreme Court ruled separate-but-equal facilities constitutional on intrastate railroads. For fifty years, the Plessy v. Ferguson decision upheld the principle of racial segregation. Across the country, laws mandated separate accommodations on buses and trains, and in hotels, theaters, and schools. The premise was separate, but “equal.” When I first went to New Orleans in 1958, the facilities were not equal, but certainly separate. As I traveled in other parts of the South, Blacks would walk on one side of the main street, and whites on the other. Restaurants were “white only.” Rest rooms were “white only.” Even the French Quarter was quite segregated with “white only” jazz clubs, and further down you would find “black” or “Cajun,” which was even “rougher.” Drinks were much cheaper, the food simple, but delicious. We were musicians, so we never experienced any difficulty as often the two of use would be the only whites in the club. We had our own mouthpieces, as it was the tradition then, as I believe now, if you play someone else’s instrument, you used your own mouthpiece. I had both a clarinet and alto sax; Warren had his trumpet mouthpiece, which he carries still today when we have gone to places where he would be invited to play.
    1900--Birthday of author Laura Z. Hobson. She wrote revolutionary novels about social injustices. "Gentleman's Agreement" dealt with anti-Semitism, "Tenth Month," on unwed motherhood, "Consenting Adult," on homosexuality. 
    1901-Birthday of Jeanette Macdonald, very popular U.S. singer-actor best known today for her singing over the ruins of San Francisco (1936) and duets with Canadian Mounties although she was an accomplished Broadway actor and a fine comedic player. She was one of the top money grossers of her era.
    1902 - An f4 tornado struck the town of Goliad, Texas, killing 114 people. No U.S. tornado disaster of similar magnitude has ever occurred further south than this event.
    1902 --Birthday of Meredith Wilson, composer and lyricist (The Music Man).
    1911-Blues Shouter Joseph Vernon “Big Joe” Turner born Kansas, City, Mo-- one of the forefathers of rock 'n' roll. His 1950's recordings of such songs as "Shake, Rattle and Roll," "Honey Hush" and "Flip, Flop and Fly" are rock 'n' roll classics. But Turner had been singing for more than 20 years when these songs were recorded. In the 1930's, he teamed with boogie-woogie pianist Pete Johnson. Their appearance at John Hammond's famed "Spirituals to Swing" concert in 1938 helped spark the boogie-woogie craze of the time. In 1951, Turner began recording rhythm-and-blues for Atlantic Records. Many of his songs were rock 'n roll hits when recorded by white artists. Bill Haley turned "Shake, Rattle and Roll" into a million-seller in 1954 and Pat Boone had a pop hit with Turner's "Chains of Love" in 1956. In the '60s, Big Joe Turner turned to jazz singing, continuing to perform and record until his death on November 24th, 1985.
    1912—Perry Como birthday, born in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. A self-described admirer of Bing Crosby, Como copied Crosby's singing style and relaxed approach. He was a barber whose first record, "Goodbye Sue," was a hit in 1943. And so was "And I Love You So," recorded more than 30 years later. His other successes have included "Till the End of Time," "Temptation" and "It's Impossible." On television, Perry Como was the host of "The Chesterfield Supper Club," "The Perry Como Show" and "The Kraft Music Hall." He was perhaps the most popular singer on television in the 1950's.
    1912-Birthday of Sylvia Porter, financial writer who first wrote under her initials because men would not pay attention to a woman financial writer. She was long been recognized as one of the finest authorities in the field.
    1922-Trombonist Kai Winding born Aarhus, Denmark
    1927 - Grauman's Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard was opened, the first of the Fox chain of movie theaters. The lavish 2,200 seat theater cost $1 million to build. Its first film was shown on this date, Cecil B. DeMille's King of Kings, at the high price of $2.00 per seat. It was later renamed Mann's Chinese Theater.
    1927 -- Bath, Michigan School Disaster. Andrew Kehoe, seeking revenge against the community for taxes imposed on his farm to pay for a new school, set off a TNT bomb in the school, killing 43 people, including 39 grade-school children. After the explosion, Kehoe killed his wife, then drove his truck back, loaded with dynamite & nails, to the school, & set it off, killing himself & the school superintendent.
    1931-Bix Biederbecke joins Casa Loma Band for a date at Metropolitan Hotel, Boston.
    1933--- President Franklin Roosevelt signs the Tennessee Valley Authority Act.
    1942--Birthday of Rodney Dillard, of the electric bluegrass group, the Dillards, born in Salem, Missouri. Formed in 1962, the Dillards left their home state that year for Hollywood where they played a hillbilly band on TV's "Andy Griffith Show." Their albums contained songs by folk and rock composers such as Bob Dylan, and their use of electric instruments helped pave the way for such country-rock groups as the Byrds and the Eagles.
    1944- The Allies Captured Monte Cassino (you may remember the movie). There had been five Allied attempts to take the German position at The Benedictine abbey at Monte Cassino. Although the abbey had been reduced to rubble, it served as a bunker for the Germans and they could relay all activity in the area to airplanes and giant cannot attacks. In the spring of 1944 Marshal Alphonese Pierre Juin devised an operation that crossed the mountainous regions behind the fortress like structure, using Moroccan troops of the French Expeditionary Force. Specially trained for mountain operations, they climbed 4,850 feet to locate a pass. On May 15, 1944, they attached the Germans from behind. On May 18, Polish troops attached to this force took Monte Cassino.
    1945 - On Okinawa, the US 6th Marine Division, part of US 3rd Amphibious Corps, captures most of the Sugar Loaf Hill, as well as parts of the Half Moon and the Horseshoe positions that overlook it, after several days of bitter fighting. The US 1st Marine Division continues to battle for the Wana river valley and Wana Ridge but fails to eliminate Japanese resistance, even with flame-throwers and tanks in support. Meanwhile, the US 77th and 96th Divisions, parts of US 24th Corps, attack Japanese positions on Flat Peak without success.
    1945 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time," Les Brown Orchestra/Doris Day.
    1946---Top Hits
All Through the Day - Perry Como
The Gypsy - The Ink Spots
Shoo Fly Pie - The Stan Kenton Orchestra (vocal: June Christy)
New Spanish Two Step - Bob Wills
    1952 -- US / Canada: Which Side Are You on? Paul Robeson, in dramatic defiance of government’s ban on his leaving US soil, standing on a flatbed truck parked one foot inside the US border at the Peace Arch, in Blaine, Washington, speaks and sings to a crowd of 40,000 Canadians & Americans gathered on both sides of the border.
(My father Lawrence Menkin was a recipient of the Paul Robeson Award for producing and writing “Harlem Detective” in the early 1950’s for WOR-TV)
    1952--country singer George Strait was born in Pearsall, Texas. Strait's traditional country sound, influenced by Bob Wills, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Hank Williams, began to find favor at the beginning of the 1980's. His rise to popularity was due at least in part to a reaction against the slicker "urban cowboy" sound. Strait is now one of the biggest country stars, with such number-one hits as "Love without End, Amen," "Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind," "All My Ex's Live in Texas" and "I've Come to Expect It from You." His 1985 "Greatest Hits" album spent more than five years on the charts.
    1953 - Air Force Lieutenant Colonel George I. Ruddell, 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, became the 31st ace of the war after making his fifth MiG kill in an F-86 Sabre called "MiG Mad Mavis."
    1953 - The first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, Jacqueline Cochran, piloted an F-86 Sabrejet over California at an average speed of 652.337 miles-per- hour.
    1953-- Robbie Bachman, drummer for Bachman-Turner Overdrive, was born in Winnipeg. The Canadian rock band, which also included Robbie's brothers Randy and Tim on guitars, was internationally popular in the 1970's with such hits as "Blue Collar," "Let It Ride," "Takin' Care of Business" and "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet," a 1974 million-seller. At its peak, BTO won many polls and honors in the US, as well as seven Juno Awards.
    1954---Top Hits
Wanted - Perry Como
Little Things Mean a Lot - Kitty Kallen
If You Love Me (Really Love Me) - Kay Starr
I Really Don’t Want to Know - Eddy Arnold
    1955 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White," Perez Prado.
    1957-The Chicago White Sox and the Baltimore Orioles played a 1-1 tie, a game called precisely at 10:20pm so that the White Sox could catch a train out of Baltimore. The Orioles’ Dick Williams hit a home run on the game’s last pitch to tie the game and avoid defeat. The game was replayed from the beginning at a later date, and Baltimore won.
    1959--Wilbert Harrison's recording of Leiber and Stoller's "Kansas City" rose to the top of the Billboard singles chart. Cover versions by Hank Ballard and The Midnighters, Rocky Olson, Rockin' Ronald & The Rebels, and Little Richard all appeared in March of 1959, but the Harrison version was by far the most popular. Further success for Harrison would have to wait until 1970 when "Let's Work Together" made it to number 32 in the US.
    1960 - Salt Lake City, Utah received an inch of snow. It marked their latest measurable snowfall of record.
    1960 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "Cathy's Clown," The Everly Brothers.
    1962---Top Hits
Soldier Boy - The Shirelles
Stranger on the Shore - Mr. Acker Bilk
She Cried - Jay & The Americans
She Thinks I Still Care - George Jones
    1963-- At the first annual Monterey Folk Festival, Bob Dylan joins Joan Baez onstage to duet on his antiwar song "With God on Our Side."
    1963 --- Jackie DeShannon makes her television debut, singing "Rock-A-Bye Your Baby" and "Just in Time" on CBS' Jackie Gleason Show.
    1963--- The Beatles begin their third tour of 1963 at the Adelphi Cinema in Buckinghamshire, England, opening for Roy Orbison; within a few days, thanks to growing "Beatlemania," they will be headlining.
   1963-Lesley Gore's "It's My Party" enters Billboard's Top 40, where it will reach #1. 
   1963-After hitting #22 the previous year with "Twistin' Matilda", Jimmy Soul reached #1 on the Billboard chart with "If You Wanna Be Happy". It would prove to be his final entry as the follow-up "Treat 'Em Tough" flopped completely, after which Jimmy entered the US Army. 
    1965 -- Outer Space: Gene Roddenberry suggests 16 names -- including Kirk -- for Star Trek Captain. It will never fly say some. And small hand held devices that you can talk as if you are on a telephone anywhere, who would believe it. In the Next Generation they were on the shirt that you could turn on with a touch or vocal command or attach to your ear. Unheard of at the time; common today..
    1966 -PH Phactor Jug Band opened at 40 Cedar Alley near Polk and Geary in San Francisco. Does anyone else remember Cedar Alley?
    1966-*STEWART, JIMMY G.   Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 2d Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 18 May 1966. Entered service at: Ashland, Ky. Born: 25 December 1942, West Columbia, W. Va. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Early in the morning a reinforced North Vietnamese company attacked Company B, which was manning a defensive perimeter in Vietnam. The surprise onslaught wounded 5 members of a 6-man squad caught in the direct path of the enemy's thrust. S/Sgt. Stewart became a lone defender of vital terrain--virtually 1 man against a hostile platoon. Refusing to take advantage of a lull in the firing which would have permitted him to withdraw, S/Sgt. Stewart elected to hold his ground to protect his fallen comrades and prevent an enemy penetration of the company perimeter. As the full force of the platoon-sized man attack struck his lone position, he fought like a man possessed; emptying magazine after magazine at the determined, on-charging enemy. The enemy drove almost to his position and hurled grenades, but S/Sgt. Stewart decimated them by retrieving and throwing the grenades back. Exhausting his ammunition, he crawled under intense fire to his wounded team members and collected ammunition that they were unable to use. Far past the normal point of exhaustion, he held his position for 4 harrowing hours and through 3 assaults, annihilating the enemy as they approached and before they could get a foothold. As a result of his defense, the company position held until the arrival of a reinforcing platoon which counterattacked the enemy, now occupying foxholes to the left of S/Sgt. Stewart's position. After the counterattack, his body was found in a shallow enemy hole where he had advanced in order to add his fire to that of the counterattacking platoon. Eight enemy dead were found around his immediate position, with evidence that 15 others had been dragged away. The wounded whom he gave his life to protect, were recovered and evacuated. S/Sgt. Stewart's indomitable courage, in the face of overwhelming odds, stands as a tribute to himself and an inspiration to all men of his unit. His actions were in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and the Armed Forces of his country.
    1967-GRANDSTAFF, BRUCE ALAN  Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Platoon Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry. Place and date: Pleiku Province, Republic of Vietnam, 18 May 1967. Entered service at: Spokane, Wash. Born: 2 June 1934, Spokane, Wash. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. P/Sgt. Grandstaff distinguished himself while leading the Weapons Platoon, Company B, on a reconnaissance mission near the Cambodian border. His platoon was advancing through intermittent enemy contact when it was struck by heavy small arms and automatic weapons fire from 3 sides. As he established a defensive perimeter, P/Sgt. Grandstaff noted that several of his men had been struck down. He raced 30 meters through the intense fire to aid them but could only save 1. Denied freedom to maneuver his unit by the intensity of the enemy onslaught, he adjusted artillery to within 45 meters of his position. When helicopter gunships arrived, he crawled outside the defensive position to mark the location with smoke grenades. Realizing his first marker was probably ineffective, he crawled to another location and threw his last smoke grenade but the smoke did not penetrate the jungle foliage. Seriously wounded in the leg during this effort he returned to his radio and, refusing medical aid, adjusted the artillery even closer as the enemy advanced on his position. Recognizing the need for additional firepower, he again braved the enemy fusillade, crawled to the edge of his position and fired several magazines of tracer ammunition through the jungle canopy. He succeeded in designating the location to the gunships but this action again drew the enemy fire and he was wounded in the other leg. Now enduring intense pain and bleeding profusely, he crawled to within 10 meters of an enemy machine gun which had caused many casualties among his men. He destroyed the position with hand grenades but received additional wounds. Rallying his remaining men to withstand the enemy assaults, he realized his position was being overrun and asked for artillery directly on his location. He fought until mortally wounded by an enemy rocket. Although every man in the platoon was a casualty, survivors attest to the indomitable spirit and exceptional courage of this outstanding combat leader who inspired his men to fight courageously against overwhelming odds and cost the enemy heavy casualties. P/Sgt. Grandstaff's selfless gallantry, above and beyond the call of duty, is in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country. 
    1968 - A tornado outbreak occurred across Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, and Arkansas. Charles City, Iowa was devastated by a tornado rated f5 on the Fujita Scale with 13 people killed and 30 million dollars damage done. An f4 tornado tracked through Jackson, Craighead, and Mississippi Counties in Arkansas, killing 35 people and injuring 361. 164 homes in Jonesboro were destroyed.
    1968-Electric Flag played the Late Show at the famed San Francisco Carousel Ballroom (To listen)
    1969- Apollo 10 began their orbit to circle the moon ten times. 
    1969 -- The Klamath tribe wins $4.1 million for loss of Oregon lands during fraudulent government surveys in 1880s. 
    1969-Birthday of 1969, pop singer Martika, whose real name is Marta Marrera. Her "Toy Soldiers" was a number-one record in 1989.
    1969 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "Get Back," The Beatles.
    1970---Top Hits
American Woman/No Sugar Tonight - The Guess Who
Vehicle - The Ides of March
Cecilia - Simon & Garfunkel
My Love - Sonny James
    1974 - "The Streak" started a 3-week run at number one on the "Billboard" pop music chart. The novelty tune by Ray Stevens was about people running nekkid where they shouldn’t be nekkid, like, in public. It was the second number one hit for the comedian who made numerous appearances on Andy Williams’ TV show in the late 1960s, as well as his own show in the summer of 1970. His first number one hit, just prior to "The Streak", was "Everything is Beautiful". Both songs won gold records, as did his comedic "Gitarzan", a top ten hit in 1969. Stevens has been the top novelty recording artist of the past three decades.
    1974--Ray Stevens had the whole country saying "Don't look Ethel", the hook line from his second straight Billboard chart topper, "The Streak".
    1978---Top Hits
If I Can’t Have You - Yvonne Elliman
The Closer I Get to You - Roberta Flack with Donny Hathaway
With a Little Luck - Wings
It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right - Dolly Parton
    1978- The Buddy Holly Story, a film starring Gary Busey as Holly, has its world premiere in Dallas. The movie will be a critical and commercial success.
    1980 - 9,677-foot Mt. St. Helens, quiet for 93 years, blew its top. The volcanic blast was five hundred times more powerful than the atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima. Steam and ash erupted more than eleven miles into the sky and darkened skies in a 160-mile radius. Forest fires erupted around the volcano and burned out of control. The eruption, and those that followed, left some sixty dead and caused damage amounting to nearly three billion dollars.
    1982 Unification Church founder Reverend Sun Myung Moon convicted of tax evasion.
    1983--- Dr. Sally Ride, 32-year-old with a Ph.D. in physics and pilot's license becomes the first U.S. woman astronaut in space as a mission specialist aboard space shuttle Challenger, 20 years and two days after the first Russian woman went into space. It would be another 15 years before an American woman became a co-pilot of a U.S. space vessel. It took until 1995 - 32 years later - for American Lt. Col. Eileen Collins to touch the controls of an American spacecraft as co-pilot on a space mission. In 1998, she was named a space mission pilot and is scheduled to lift off her spacecraft in late 1999.
    1985-- Patricia Kimbrell, the first woman admitted to the ranks of the United States Jaycees, was installed as president of the Dallas chapter of that civic organization.
    1985--The Scottish Rock band Simple Minds make their breakthrough in North America when "Don't You (Forget About Me") tops the Billboard singles chart. The song was written specifically for the film The Breakfast Club and was only the second tune recorded by the group that they did not write.
    1986--A remake of "Stagecoach," starring Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and John Schneider aired on network television. The production apparently was far from smooth, with Nelson walking off the set at one point. The stars all criticised the movie in a "TV Guide" article, with one aide to Cash describing it as being filmed with "a Concorde cast and a cropduster crew."
    1986---Top Hits
Greatest Love of All - Whitney Houston
Why Can’t This Be Love - Van Halen
What Have You Done for Me Lateley - Janet Jackson
Ain’t Misbehavin’ - Hank Williams, Jr.
    1987 - Thunderstorms in Kansas, developing along a cold front, spawned tornadoes at Emporia and Toledo, produced wind gusts to 65 mph at Fort Scott, and produced golf ball size hail in the Kansas City area. Unseasonably hot weather prevailed ahead of the cold front. Pomona NJ reported a record high of 93 degrees, and Altus, OK, hit 100 degrees.
    1988- A's Dave Stewart breaks a major league record committing his twelfth balk of the season.
    1990 - Thunderstorms produced severe weather in the central U.S. spawning sixteen tornadoes, including a dozen in Nebraska. Thunderstorms also produced hail four inches in diameter at Perryton TX, wind gusts to 84 mph at Ellis KS, and high winds which caused nearly two million dollars damage at Sutherland NE. Thunderstorms deluged Sioux City IA with up to eight inches of rain, resulting in a record flood crest on Perry Creek and at least 4.5 million dollars damage.
    1991-Gertrude Belle Ellon, co-recipient of the 1988 Nobel Prize in Medicine, became the first woman inducted as a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Elion’s researched to the development of leukemia-fighting drugs and immunosuppressant Imuran, which is used in kidney transplants. 
    1994-- Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley were married in a private ceremony at a judge's home in the Dominican Republic. First word of the marriage came two months later from the judge himself in an interview published in a Dominican newspaper. The Jackson camp denied the story for several weeks. The marriage came after Jackson reached an out-of-court settlement with a teenager who accused the singer of seducing him. Jackson denied the allegations. Presley filed for divorce in January 1996.
    1995- Severe thunderstorms spawned 86 tornadoes over the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys, resulting in 4 deaths and 161 injuries. 5 of the tornadoes were rated f4 on the fujita scale.
    1997-- Tiger Woods wins Byron Nelson Golf Classic
    1998 - The CBS season finale of TV sitcom Murphy Brown aired, with the title character, played by Emmy-winner Candice Bergen, giving birth to an illegitimate son. Vice President Dan Quayle publicly lambasted the comedy, saying that the program "glorified" single-parenthood, and that it made a mockery of families with fathers. He went on to comment that "Murphy Brown" lacked the judgment to be a proper role model for young women, and that her actions were immoral. Despite the national unpopularity of his criticisms, Quayle did not back down from his stand against the popular show, providing fodder for many stand-up comics.,1,3019,00.html
    1999 - The Backstreet Boys release their highly anticipated third album, "Millennium." The album goes on to become the best-selling album of the year.
    2000- Mark McGwire passes Mickey Mantle into eighth place on the all-time home run career list with 539. 'Big Mac' goes deep three times as the Cardinals beat the Phillies, 7-2.
    2004--- At the age of 40, southpaw Randy Johnson becomes the oldest pitcher to ever throw a perfect game as the Diamondbacks beat the Braves, 2-0. The ‘Big Unit’ joins Cy Young, Jim Bunning, Hideo Nomo and Nolan Ryan as the only hurlers to throw no-hitters in both leagues and creates the longest time span between no-no’s having first accomplishing the feat against the Tigers in June of 1990.

Stanley Cup Champions This Date

    1971---Montreal Canadiens




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