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Independent, unbiased and fair news about the Leasing Industry

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

Correction: Evergreen Legal in all 50 states
  Classified Ads---Legal
 Vendor Vartanian Makes Lease Fleece Plea Agreement
   Innovative Lease Services, Inc joins
    Companies who notify lessee in advance of lease expiration
    and require their discounter to also notify lessee in advance
 ZRG Partners Global Leasing Employment Up 15%
  Community/Regional Banks Getting Stronger
     ICBA Celebrates Small Business Week
    Leasing 102 by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP
    The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and Drafting a Lease
     New Broker Division Opened by Forum Financial
      NAELB New Officers/Congratulations/Farewells
       Top Stories May 14--May 18
    Career Crossroad—“Use Text on a Job Board”
         Orange, California Adopt-a-Pet
    Bank Beat---Insider Loans Take Small Bank Down?
News Briefs---
 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing files for bankruptcy
  "What'cha gonna do?"
   'Idol' finals: Jessica vs. Phillip

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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Correction:  Evergreen Legal in all 50 states

Edward R. Dietz, Vice President and General Counsel, Marlin Business Services Corp., Mount Laurel, New Jersey, requested we inform readers that Evergreen clauses are legal in all 50 states.
In this article, “Marlin Does Not Disclose Possible Loss of Evergreen Payments,”
( it was stated: "Evergreen clauses are illegal in four states, meaning automatic payments cannot continue, especially prevalent in ACH payments."

Leasing News has placed a comment to correct the story that Evergreen clauses are legal in all 50 states in “Seeking Alpha,” where the article appeared with the sentence, “Evergreen clauses are illegal in four states, meaning automatic payments cannot continue, especially prevalent in ACH payments.”

The shorter story that appeared in Seeking Alpha was edited from the original story which appeared in Leasing News, where it was stated:

"At this time, these states require the lender or lessor to inform the borrower or lessee regarding the termination of the initial lease contract:

"New York
Rhode Island
(In Illinois, Consumer law, but may affect commercial,
especially a proprietorship, partnership or personal guarantee)"

Many leasing companies require the lessee in 46 states to notify the lessor 90 days in advance by certified letter regarding the exercise of the residual, and if not, payments will continue for an additional twelve months. In the four states above, the lessor is to notify the lessee in advance.

Leasing News apologizes for any confusion. The Evergreen clause is legal in 50 states.

Original article: 
It's Evergreen Again with Marlin's Profits
by Christopher Menkin


Classified Ads---Legal

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

San Diego , CA 
Experienced in-house corporate, equipment leasing and financial services attorney seeks position as managing or transactional counsel. Willing to relocate.
Cell Phone: 760-533-4058; | Resume

Free Posting for those seeking employment in Leasing:

All “free” categories “job wanted” ads:


Vendor Vartanian Makes Lease Fleece Plea Agreement

(Copy of Fax Blast, 2001)

In perhaps that last of the Operation Lease Fleece, which began November 7, 2007, ISystems President Chant Vartanian signed a plea agreement with the United States Attorney's Office for the Central District of California, represented by Jennifer L. Waier, Assistant Attorney General, who has been the lead on all the "Fleece" cases.

Sarkus Vartanian, vice-president of ISystems Technology and Solutions, brother of Chant indictment was dismissed without prejudice.

This is the first plea agreement that Leasing News has discovered that spells out “what happened” as well as the penalties that may be involved.

From the Plea Agreement of Chant Vartanian:

"Defendant owned and operated I-Systems Technologies & Solutions (“I-Systems”), a purported equipment vendor, located in Los Angeles, California. Defendant partnered with CapitalWerks (“CapitalWerks”) located in Orange County, California (Mark McQuitty, Jim Raeder. Editor)

"Beginning in or around 2001 and continuing until at least 2006, in Orange and Los Angeles Counties, within the Central District of California, and elsewhere, defendant knowingly and with the intent to defraud, devised, executed, and participated in a scheme to defraud funding sources as to material matters, and to obtain money from funding sources by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, and the non-disclosure and concealment of material facts, in connection with a fraudulent equipment lease scheme.

"CapitalWerks advertised working capital loans to small businesses who could not qualify for such loans through financial institutions. CapitalWerks communicated with clients who responded to the advertising, and reiterated that CapitalWerks could obtain working capital loans for them. CapitalWerks told clients that they would get a loan, but would sometimes have to accept some computer equipment with which the clients were free to do with it what they wished.

"Once the clients agreed to CapitalWerks’ assistance, CapitalWerks would refer the transactions to defendant at I-Systems. Defendant used false statements and promises to induce funding sources to provide equipment leases to the clients.

"At the direction of defendant, I-Systems caused false and misleading invoices to be submitted to funding sources to make it appear as though the lessees were receiving computer equipment worth a substantial amount of money. These invoices were designed to cause the funding sources into paying for nonexistent and over-valued equipment. I-Systems would, in turn, provide the lessees computers that were worth substantially less than what was represented to the funding source, and in some instances, I-Systems would not provide all the equipment represented in its invoices.

"Based upon the false invoices provided by defendant, the funding sources forwarded funds to I-Systems for the purported equipment leases.

"Rather than using the funds to solely acquire the equipment as promised, defendant took the money received from the funding sources, used a small portion to pay for equipment in some cases, kept a commission for himself, and caused the remainder to be paid to accounts controlled by CapitalWerks who sent the majority of the money to the lessees as a cash loan.

"By devising, executing, and participating in the fraudulent equipment lease scheme, defendant caused funding sources to lose $728,619.

"In furtherance of the above scheme, defendant caused a $53,282.96 payment to be wired from Hudson United Bank in New Jersey to I-Systems located in the Central District of California."


"5. Defendant understands that the statutory maximum sentence that the Court can impose for a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 is: 20 years imprisonment; a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offense, whichever is greatest; a 3-year period of supervised release; and a mandatory special assessment of $100.

"6. Defendant understands that supervised release is a period of time following imprisonment during which defendant will be subject to various restrictions and requirements. Defendant understands that if defendant violates one or more of the conditions of any supervised release imposed, defendant may be returned to prison for all or part of the term of supervised release authorized by statute for the offense that resulted in the term of supervised release, which could result in defendant serving a total term of imprisonment greater than the statutory maximum stated above.

"7. Defendant understands that, by pleading guilty, defendant may be giving up valuable government benefits and valuable civic rights, such as the right to vote, the right to possess a firearm, the right to hold office, and the right to serve on a jury. Defendant understands that once the court accepts defendant’s guilty plea, it will be a federal felony for defendant to possess a firearm or ammunition. Defendant understands that the conviction in this case may also subject defendant to various other collateral consequences, including but not limited to revocation of probation, parole, or supervised release in another case and suspension or revocation of a professional license. Defendant understands that unanticipated collateral consequences will not serve as grounds to withdraw defendant’s guilty plea.

"8. Defendant understands that, if defendant is not a United States citizen, the felony conviction in this case may subject defendant to removal, also known as deportation, which may, under some circumstances, be mandatory. The court cannot, and defendant’s attorney also may not be able to, advise defendant fully regarding the immigration consequences of the felony conviction in this case. Defendant understands that by entering a guilty plea defendant waives any claim that unexpected immigration consequences may render defendant’s guilty plea invalid."

Chant Vartanian Plea Agreement

Sarkis Vartanian Dismissal

Operation Lease Fleece stories:



Companies who notify lessee in advance of lease expiration
and require their discounter to also notify lessee in advance

Innovative Lease Services, Inc., Carlsbad, California

"ILS notifies our Lessees regarding any residual, and always in advance of any month-month renewal. We don’t evergreen for a longer period but if there is no exercise of purchase option, then the rental reverts to a monthly extension."
Andrew Nere

Companies who notify lessee in advance of lease expiration
and require their discounter to also notify lessee in advance

ABCO Leasing
Advantage Funding
Agility Ventures LLC
Allegiant Partners
American Leasefund, Inc.
Balboa Capital Corp.
BancLease Acceptance Corporation
Bank of Ozarks Leasing
Bankers Capital
Bank of the West, Indirect Equipment Finance
Black Rock Capital
BSB Leasing
Capital Technology & Leasing, LLC
Cobra Capital, LLC
Commerce National Bank
Dakota Financial, LLC
Direct Capital


Financial Pacific Leasing
Five Point Capital, In
Forum Financial Services, Inc.
Gonor Funding
GreatAmerica Leasing
Innovative Lease Services, Inc.
Madison Capital
Manufacturer's Lease Plans, Inc
Marquette Equipment Finance
Mesa Leasing
Maxim Commercial Capital
Mount Pleasant Capital
National Machine Tool Financial Corporation
Navitas Lease Corp.
Northwest Leasing Company
P&L Capital Corporation
Pacifica Capital
Pawnee Leasing Corporation

Standard Professional Services, LLC
TEAM Funding Solutions
Vehicle Lenders Group, LLC


full list




ZRG Partners Global Leasing Employment Up 15%

The ZRG Partners Global Equipment Leasing and Finance Hiring Index (GELAF) showed an overall increase of 15% in March-April-May period compared to the December-January-February period. ZRG Partners report the numbers would have been higher except for the decline in South America/Mexico, where the job decrease was 19%. Most serious, they note, it appears are the last two periods, showing a 50% decline in Mexico.

Europe/UK posted a 13% decline this quarter with both France (-38%) and Germany (-15%) showing weaker demand for new hiring in the sector. The UK posted flat numbers.

The USA rebounded from Q1’s declining numbers with a 27% increase during this period. There was broad demand to fill many business development / volume generating roles in the region.

China had the biggest increase with 153% jump in hiring activity, followed by Russia’s 26% and Brazil’s 18%. The hiring appears to be fairly broad based across captive finance organizations as well as global and local banks, all competing for local financing dollars.

As reported by Leasing News, looks like the emphasis is moving away from the European leasing market back to the United States, as well as the largest international companies are active in China, India, and Asia. Reports are mixed in Brazil, but South American Leasing economy and exports are very strong. The ZRG statistics bear out the trend.

ZRG Partners Global Equipment Leasing and Finance Hiring Index



Community/Regional Banks Getting Stronger

Note less bank failures.

Despite the cries of too much regulations and problems still with the top five banks, just as Bank of America and JP Morgan Case, regional and community banks are back in business, looking for business, and there are less bank failures.

The median cost to the deposit insurance fund at the time of announcement as a percentage of the failed banks' assets was 22% in 2012, with 24 failures. The median cost in 2011 was 23%, the same as in 2010 but lower than the 29% median cost in 2009.





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

ICBA Celebrates Small Business Week

Washington, D.C.—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), and community banks nationwide are joining the Small Business Administration (SBA) in celebrating National Small Business Week, May 20 through May 26. ICBA, the nation’s voice for community banks, is reminding everyone about the critical role community banks serve in supporting local small businesses.

“Small businesses are critical to the economic stability of this country,” said Jeff Gerhart, ICBA chairman and chairman, Bank of Newman Grove, Neb., noting that small businesses have accounted for 65 percent of the private sector job creation over the past 15 years. “Not only do community banks support local small businesses through unparalleled lending, they are also local small businesses themselves. This means that community banks understand their local markets better than anyone and also understand the challenges their customers face.”

Community banks under $10 billion in assets provide nearly 60 percent of small business loans between $100,000 and $1 million. For their size, community banks are prolific small business lenders—providing a substantial number of small business loans across the country, including SBA loans. By lending to local entrepreneurs and small businesses, community banks help local economies thrive—driving economic growth and prosperity.

Representing more than 24,000 locations nationwide and employing nearly 300,000 Americans, ICBA members hold more than $1.2 trillion in assets, $1 trillion in deposits and nearly $750 billion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community.

Gerhart went on to say that small business owners and consumers can find their local community bank by visiting ICBA’s Community Bank Locator at “Simply type in your ZIP code and the app will show you all the community banks in your area. You can even download free ICBA locator apps for your iPhone, Android or BlackBerry,” he said

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

Gary DiLillo, President 440.871.0555 or

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


Leasing 102
by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP

The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and Drafting a Lease

The drafting of documents reflecting lease transactions should not be undertaken without a careful analysis and appraisal of the content of Article 2A and Article 9, both govern equipment leases.

Article 9 is for leases that do not qualify for Article 2A.

The provisions of Article 9 of the UCC are applicable to a lease in the nature of a security agreement (lease intended as a security) even though lessor/lessee terminology is employed. At times an attorney may be aware that a particular lease transaction will probably be treated by the courts as a security agreement, but his client desires to use the lease form as an additional selling tool. Care should be taken in drafting such a document because the provisions of Article 9 may be in conflict with some of the customary covenants in a lease, particularly the rights of the parties upon termination and default.

In a secured installment sale, (Article 9) upon disposition of the equipment, the lessee is entitled to any surplus over the secured debt and expenses of repossession, unlike a true lease under Article 2A in which the lessor is entitled to any surplus over the present value of the unpaid rents and expenses of repossession. After payment in full of an installment sale, the lessee has title and continued possession of the equipment; under a true lease the equipment must be returned to the lessor.

There is no provision in Article 2A requiring the filing a UCC1 financing statement because the true lease lessor is recognized as the owner of the equipment. Article 9 requires the filing of a lien (UCC-1), to protect the investment of the lender/lessor, in the State were the lessee filed its business formation papers.

A provision in Article 9 (9-505) allows the filing of a UCC-1 “not” to be used as evidence that the filer thought he had a loan. Therefore most true lessors (Article 2A) understand that the filing of a UCC1 is one of the few ways to make the public aware that the lessee is in possession of equipment that they did not own. Some small ticket lessors prefer to place labels, or stickers, on equipment that could be sold to consumers or people that do not understand how to use the UCC to determine if the equipment has a lien on it.

If in a default occurs and the court determines that the lease fails Article 2A and is therefore an Article 9 transaction, the filing of the UCC1 establishes the lessors lien position in the equipment. Many customers will borrow and pledge all their assets as collateral with the lender filing a blanked lien UCC -1 filing. The court has to determine who is first filed and therefore who has the priority claim.

If a blanket lien has been filed prior to the lease, the lessor has twenty days from the date the lessee takes possession of the equipment to file the lien as a “purchase money” lien filing.

Understanding the requirements of the UCC is critical to a property constructed lease and knowing all the documents required to close a lease is necessary to protect the lessor’s investment in the lease. A properly constructed lease is not a loan, but way too many in this industry think it is and make the mistake of trying to handle it that way.

Mr. Terry Winders, CLP, has been a teacher, consultant, expert witness for the leasing industry for thirty-five years and can be reached at or 502-649-0448

He invites your questions and queries.

Previous #102 Columns:

Mr. Terry Winders available as Expert Witness. 35 years as a professional instructor to the top equipment leasing and finance companies in the United States, 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.

Mr. Winders received his Master of Business Administration and his Bachelor of Science degrees from the College of Notre Dame.



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


New Broker Division Opened by Forum Financial

Spearheaded by Tim O’Connor and Bryon Tansel, available to a select group of lease brokers, Forum Financial Services, Richardson, Texas, has launched a new leasing division on companies in the North Texas area.

The parent company minimum is $50,000 and goes up to $1.5 million, but average transaction is around $250,000 ($100,000 to $500,000).

DFW Equipment Leasing, will target most credit types on equipment with an acquisition cost of $10,000 to $1.0 million.

“As part of offering a comprehensive lease program this new division will have an online ‘Application Only’ up to $100,000 on most types of equipment,” Tim O’Connor said. “DFW Equipment Leasing will provide for a variety of lease structures including $1.00 buyouts and fair market value lease options.”

Established in 1996, Forum Leasing is a national equipment leasing company specializing in middle market distressed credits and venture capital backed corporations.

For more information on DFW Equipment Leasing or Forum Leasing please contact Tim O’Connor at 972-690-9444 ext. 225 or







Top Stories May 14--May 18

Here are the top ten sorties opened by readers:

(1) Two Leasing News Articles make Seeking Alpha
Marlin Business Services/Resource America-LEAF

(2) Archive May 16, 2007
Prayers are with Bob Baker, CLP

(3) Founder of Chase Industries Files Bankruptcy
by Christopher Menkin

(4) Hudson Buying His Way Back into Leasing
by Christopher Menkin

(5) Mark McQuitty Sentencing Operation Lease Fleece

(6) Yes, Virginia, Leasing is Regulated!
by Christopher Menkin

(7) May 18, 2005 Archive
NAELB Conference

(8) Open Positions at Leasing Funders/Various Locations

(9) Fastest Dying Jobs/Fastest Ones Replacing them

(10) Doing Business with Different Generations

John Kenny Receivables Management

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

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


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





Career Crossroad—“Use Text on a Job Board”

Question: How do you upload a resume to a job board?

Answer: While I do not encourage this form of applying for a position, to me, it is like being blindfolded and throwing a dart against a target on a wall, I do have a recommendation.

If you still want to do this, put your resume in a "text format." If you have written it in Microsoft Word, take it to the notepad (in accessories) and copy and paste. Then save it in the notepad format.

You may need to reformat your resume in text, as you will certainly find out. I recommend printing it and reading it in print to make sure you caught all the changes to be made, as sometimes words can get lost in putting into text format.

On the job board there will be a link to upload the resume. Once uploaded, make sure you read and make sure all pertinent information was correctly uploaded.

Don't forget to close the program, then open it up again to see how it looks on the job board.

No matter what program the potential employer is using, or whatever version of the program, your text resume will be clean and clear to read.

Emily Fitzpatrick
Sr. Recruiter
Recruiters International, Inc.
Phone: 954-885-9241
Fax: 954-499-8802
Cell: 954-612-0567
Twitter: @RIIInfo
Invite me to Connect on LinkedIn & Follow RII on LinkedIn

Career Crossroads Previous Columns

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Ask them to subscribe. We are Free!!


Orange, California Adopt-a-Pet


Pet ID: A1174016

Sex: M
Age: 2.5 Months
Color: BLACK - TAN
Kennel: 325

OC Animal Care
561 The City Drive South
Orange, CA 92868

Hours of Operations:
Sunday through Saturday - 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
We are open until 7:00 PM on Wednesdays.
Closed Holidays
Shelter and other information

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

Adopt a Pet 


Bank Beat---Insider Loans Take Small Bank Down?

Alabama Trust Bank, National Association, Sylacauga, Alabama, was closed with Southern States Bank, Anniston, Alabama, to assume all of the deposits. This small bank was founded April 14, 2000 and as of December 31, 2011 it has 10 full time employees. December, 31, 2007 it had 33 full time employees.

Sylacauga 2000 census shows a popular of 12,616. The city is roughly 51 miles southeast of Birmingham, 63 miles north of Montgomery, and 40 miles southwest of Anniston, Alabama.

Downtown Sylacauga by Night

The city is known as "The Marble City" as the finest white cream marble in the U.S. comes from here, as just one deposit is 32.5 miles wide and 400 feet deep. Sylacauga was first mentioned in Fernando DeSoto's records in 1540. It was later listed in the French territorial records in 1759 as being a town inhabited by 50 Shawnee Indian Warriors, and the name then known as Chalakagay, land of the Chalaka Tribe. Late in the summer of 1836 all of the Indians remaining in Alabama were taken west by the United States Government.

After raising $3.5 million, 2008 appears a number of people with the last name of Allen acquired voting shares of the bank via Guardian Bancshares June 3, 2008. It was the last year of profit for the bank.

It appears the group began in 2006, and according to the Birmingham Business Journal "...collectively will buy up new stock issued by the bank for $3.5 million to become, as a group, its single largest shareholder... 'They don't want to own a bank, they don't want to run a bank; they would just like to refer business,' Jim Clark, Alabama Trust's CEO, said of the Arlington group. That year they put two on the board.

June, 2009 the Office of the Comptroller took enforcement actions, which resulted with two founding members of the Board of Directors, James Clark and bank president Harold Dickson, resigning ten days after the order.

According to The Daily Home, James Clark said they had been several loans between a person at the bank and a relative. "When asked if the officer was the man who left the bank the same day, Clark said yes.

Dickson said there was a disagreement between him and others about the loans. 'I don’t believe I did anything inappropriate," Dickson said.

In 2008 the bank charged off $87,000 in individual loans, $413,000 in 2009, and by year end, 2010 there were $1.4 million in charge offices. The Comptroller of Current on December 17, 2010 issued a 35 page plan calling for a sale or merger of bank with many other requirements.

The loans to individuals were very high in 2011 with charge offs of $235,000 to individuals, as well as the residential mortgage foreclosures and by March 31, 2012 the net equity of the bank that was a high $10 million year-end 2007 was at $111,000 March 31, 2012.

The Tier 1 risk-based capital was .025%

(in millions, unless otherwise)

Charge Offs
2006 $72,000 ($47,000 loans to individuals), $25,000 commercial & industrial loans)
2007 $64,000 ($48,000 nonfarm/nonresidential, $16,000 loans to individuals)
2008 $178,000 ($115 nonfarm/nonresidential), $87,000 individ., -$24,000 commercial)
2009 $1.3 ($413,000 invid., $385,000 commercial/ind., $324,000 1-4 family, $103,000 multi-family,
$86,000 nonfarm, $31,000 other loans)
2010 $1.4 ($495,000 commercial/ind., $232,000 consumer, $230,000 multifamily, $169,000 construction/land, $158,000 nonfarm/nonres./$134,000 1-4 family homes)
2011 $2.8 ($1.0 1-4 family homes, $413,000 construction land, $325,000 loans to individual,-$79,nonfarm.)
3/31 $902,000 ($900,000 commercial/industrial, $2,000 1-4 family homes)

Construction and Land, 1-4 family multiple residential, Multiple Family Residential, Non-Farm Non-Residential loans.

(in millions, unless otherwise)

Net Equity
2006 $6.74
2007 $10.28
2008 $6.2
2009 $5.2
2010 $3.2
2011 $1.3
3/31 $111,000

2006 $632,000
2007 $531,000
2008 $651,000
2009 -$1.3
2010 -$1.7
2011 -$1.9
3/31 -$486,000

Non-Current Loans
2006 $709,000
2007 $1.09
2008 $787,000
2009 $4.3
2010 $1.2
2011 $3.

As of March 31, 2012, Alabama Trust Bank, National Association had approximately $51.6 million in total assets and $45.1 million in total deposits. In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, Southern States Bank agreed to purchase essentially all of the assets.

The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $8.9 million.

List of Bank Failures:

Bank Beat:


News Briefs----


Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing files for bankruptcy

"What'cha gonna do?"

'Idol' finals: Jessica vs. Phillip



You May Have Missed---

Electric police motorcycles nail speeders with stealth



SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

Dieters Find Success With A Spouse



Sports Briefs----


Golden State Warriors to announce move to San Francisco on Tuesday morning




Baseball Poem


        by Tim Peeler

When every relationship and previously 
Understood concept feels tenuous. 
Albeit the gravity grows weak 
And the voices that rise 
Are not the sanguine few 
You remember as wise, the coaches
That actually "knew" something
Beyond the roar of their anger-

Now your days on the field
Are gone or have slipped 
Into the churn and become 
Sweet buttered memories,
Not the indecisive hell 
Of rounding second not knowing 
Where the ball was and the 
Third base coach hollering 
At a player on the bench 
While they trapped you in 
A rundown.

You recall
The running outfield catches
Of a sunny childhood, not the
Dark liner lost in the lights till
It roared toward you
Like a car with one headlight.
Memory is the shaky tightrope 
You wrap your dreams around; 
And faith in the past, the balance 
To get you through this day.

“Waiting for Godot’s First Pitch.”

with permission of the author




California Nuts Briefs---

Clash of the theme parks: Universal takes on Disney



“Gimme that Wine” 

Swanson Winery gets OK for new Oakville facility

Wineshipping investing millions in Napa fulfillment facility

Monks' winery thriving on Leland Stanford's former land

Evaluating the taste and cost of "Two-Buck Chuck"

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Winery Atlas\

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page



This Day in History

     1798 -- Canada: Chippewa cede 28,000 acres in Ontario, including present-day site of Toronto, for 101 British pounds.
    1802-Martha Washington, our first lady, passes away; quite a remarkable woman who was also “first in our hearts of her country”
    1804 - The Lewis and Clark Expedition officially began as the Corps of Discovery departed from St. Charles, Missouri.
    1807 -- Former Vice-President Aaron Burr on trial for "assembling an armed seize the city of New Orleans...and to separate the Western from the Atlantic states."
    1843-1,000 men, women, and children climbed aboard their wagons and steered their horses west out of the small town of Elm Grove, Missouri. The train comprised more than 100 wagons with a herd of 5,000 oxen and cattle trailing behind. Dr. Elijah White, a Presbyterian missionary who had made the trip the year before, served as guide. The first section of the Oregon Trail ran through the relatively flat country of the Great Plains. Obstacles were few, though the river crossings could be dangerous for wagons. The danger of Indian attacks was a small but genuine risk. To be on the safe side, the pioneers drew their wagons into a circle at night to create a makeshift stockade. If they feared Indians might raid their livestock-the Plains tribes valued the horses, though generally ignored the oxen-they would drive the animals into the enclosure. Although many neophyte pioneers believed Indians were their greatest threat, they quickly learned that they were more likely to be injured or killed by a host of more mundane causes. Obstacles included accidental discharge of firearms, falling off mules or horses, drowning in river crossings, and disease. After entering the mountains, the trail also became much more difficult, with steep ascents and descents over rocky terrain. The pioneers risked injury from overturned and runaway wagons.
The 1,000-person party that made the journey in 1843, the vast majority of pioneers on the trail survived to reach their destination in the fertile, well-watered land of western Oregon. The migration of 1844 was smaller than that of the previous season, but in 1845 it jumped to nearly 3,000. Thereafter, migration on the Oregon Trail was an annual event, although the practice of traveling in giant convoys of wagons gave way to many smaller bands of one or two-dozen wagons. The trail was heavily traveled until 1884, when the Union Pacific constructed a railway along the route.
    1844- Mary Cassatt, only U.S. painter to exhibit with the French Impressionists. She is known for her paintings of women and children because, some say, such subject matter did not challenge any male egos and it was the price she had to pay to be accepted into the French impressionists school. In fact, she liked to paint women and children and it enabled her to expand in an un-crowded field. The natural posing of her subjects is still unsurpassed. She resided in France most of her life and in her late 50s began to have eye problems until forced to stop painting at age 70. Although often described as a "old maid," her diary reveals love affairs - some with women.
    1856 - Southern Congressman Preston Brooks savagely beats Northern Senator Charles Sumner in the halls of Congress as tensions rise over the expansion of slavery. Wielding the cane he used for injuries he incurred in a duel over a political debate in 1840, Brooks entered the Senate chamber and attacked Sumner at his desk, which was bolted to the floor. Sumner's legs were pinned by the desk so he could not escape the savage beating. It was not until other congressmen subdued Brooks that Sumner finally escaped. Brooks became an instant hero in the South, and supporters sent him many replacement canes. He was vilified in the North and became a symbol of the stereotypically inflexible, uncompromising representative of the slave power. The incident exemplified the growing hostility between the two camps in the prewar years. Sumner did not return to the Senate for three years while he recovered.
    1861-the first Union solider killed in the Civil War was Bailey Thornsberry Brown, Company B, 2 nd West Virginia Volunteer Infantry. He was engaged in obtaining recruits and ambushed by Confederate pickets at Fetterman, near Grafton, WV.
    1892--Birthday of Ralph Peer, the most notable talent scout of the 1920's, was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Peer, who discovered such artists as Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, was appointed recording director for Okeh Records in 1920. He first began recording blues artists, but when the rival Victor Company scored a hit with Wendell Hall's hillbilly song, "It Ain't Gonna Rain No More," in 1923, he was authorized to organize field recording centers throughout the US South. Peer's first session with Fiddlin' John Carson proved to be a landmark in country music. By 1927, Peer was working for Victor records, and in August of that year assured himself a place in country music history by recording the first sessions of both Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family. In 1928, Peer formed the Southern Music Publishing Company, which continues today as the Peer-Southern Organization, a multi-million-dollar concern. Ralph Peer died in 1960. 
    1902-One of the world's deepest lakes, Crater Lake was first discovered in 1853. In 1885 William Gladstone Steele saw the lake and made it his personal goal to establish the lake and surrounding areas as a national park. His goal was attained 17 years late.
    1902- Marie Poland Fish birthday, ichthyologist. At 21 she discovered where eels laid their eggs, a puzzle that for 2,000 years was one of the great mysteries of science. Eels are a staple food source in much of the world and the discovery enabled the enlargement of the crops. In later years she was awarded U.S. Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award for her work in oceanography and as a marine biologist. Her inventions enabled the Navy to distinguish between large schools of fish and enemy submarines with sonar.

    1911 - the temperature at Lewiston, Maine soared to 101 degrees. It was the hottest reading ever recorded in New England during the month of may.
    1914-birthday of Herman (Sonny) Blout, better known as “Sun Ra,” a pioneering and innovative jazz musician whose avant garde performances mixed elements of theater with his surreal composition and performance style. Ra was born at Birmingham, Al, and died there May 30, 1993.
    1924-Birthday of French singer Charles Aznavour.
    1928 –Singer Jackie Cain birthday.
    1930-Birthday of Harvey Bernard Milk, gay rights activist and San Francisco city Supervisor, (early nickname "Glimpy Milch, Woodmere, Long Island, New York. 
    1934-Brithday of pianist and conductor Peter Nero.
    1937-British jazz traditionalist Kenny Ball was born in Ilford, England. He had a string of hits during what was known as the "Traditional Jazz" (Dixieland) craze in Britain in the early 1960's. "Midnight in Moscow" was Ball's only hit in North America. A similar arrangement of the tune is used by Radio Moscow as its signature on English-language shortwave broadcasts. 
    1947-Congress approved the Truman Doctrine in order to contain Communism after World War II. It provided for US aid to Greece and Turkey. A corollary of this doctrine was the Marshall Plan, which began sending aid to war-torn European countries in 1948.
    1950-- pop lyricist Bernie Taupin was born in Sleaford, England. Taupin has been closely linked throughout his career with rock star Elton John, and for most of the 1970's the two were a virtual hit factory, putting 23 singles in the Billboard Top 40, including five that made number one. Among the chart-toppers were "Crocodile Rock" and "Bennie and the Jets."
    1950---Top Hits
My Foolish Heart - The Gordon Jenkins Orchestra (vocal: Eileen Wilson)
Bewitched - The Bill Snyder Orchestra
If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake - Eileen Barton
Birmingham Bounce - Red Foley
    1952 - San Francisco's first Jazz Festival on Sunday Evening will be headlined by Luis armstrong and his troupe. Also on the program are the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Anita O'Day and the Four Freshman. 
    1953-Charlie Parker produces begins the recording session that produced some of his unforgettable albums with strings and voices This day he cut “Old Folks, “ “If I Love Again,” “ and “In the Still of the Night.” A jazz genius and performer. The background may sound “tinny” due to the recording abilities in those days, but Parker's alto saxophone solo's shine through today with brilliance and his melodies are quite apparent, something questioned in 1953. I listen to this album quite often and have never been bored hearing it again. In fact, it is really a classic, as each time I play it, I swear it is better and I hear something I did not before.

    1955 – Comedian Jack Benny signed off his last live network radio broadcast after a run of 23 years. Joining Milton Berle and his best friend George Burns, his television shows became as popular as his radio shows, as he brought along with him his announcer Don Wilson; bandleader Phil Harris; Eddie ‘Rochester' Anderson; singer Dennis Day; and his wife, Mary Livingstone.
    1955--Police in Bridgeport, Connecticut cancel a dance at the Ritz ballroom featuring Fats Domino. Authorities say the cancellation is because they discovered that "Rock and Roll dances might be featured" and justify their action by citing "a recent near riot at the New Haven Arena" where Rock and Roll dances were held. 
    1958-Jerry Lee Lewis arrives at London's Heathrow Airport to begin his first British tour, along with his new bride, 14 year old third cousin, Myra. Although advised not to mention it, Lewis answers all questions about his private life, truthfully. The public's shock over Lewis' marriage marks the start of a controversy which eventually ruins his career. The London Morning Star runs an editorial calling Lewis "an undesirable alien" and calls for his deportation, leading to his British tour being cancelled after just 3 of the scheduled 37 performances. 
    1961-the first revolving restaurant was dedicated, The Top of the Needle, located at the 500-foot level of the 500-foot-high steel and glass tower at the Century 21 exposition, Seattle, WA. It contained 260 seats and revolved 360 degrees in an hour. Above the restaurant was an observation deck and above that, a beacon. It was designed by John Graham and Company.
Today, there is the SpaceNeedle, privately owned and operated.
    1958---Top Hits
All I Have to Do is Dream - The Everly Brothers
Return to Me - Dean Martin
Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry
Just Married - Marty Robbins
    1958- singer Jerry Lee Lewis announced his marriage to his 14-year-old cousin, Myra, as he arrived in London. The resulting controversy caused Lewis to be booed off stage and forced the cancellation of all but three of the 37 scheduled concerts on his British tour. It would take years for Lewis's career to recover.
    1963-Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees hit a home run off Bill Fisher of the Kansas City Athletics as the Yankees beat the A's, 8-7. Mantle's blast caromed off the rooftop facade at Yankee Stadium and came within a few feet of becoming the only homerun ever hit out of that park.
    1965-The Beatles attained their eighth Billboard number one hit with "Ticket To Ride", on which Paul McCartney, not George Harrison, played lead guitar. 
    1965 - The Beatles got their eighth consecutive number one hit as "Ticket to Ride" rode to the top of the singles list. The song topped the charts for one week.
    1966- Bruce Springsteen and his band, the Castiles, recorded two songs co-written by Springsteen. The recordings, Springsteen's first, were never released. He and the Castiles did, however, perform several dates at New York's Cafe the following year.
    1966---Top Hits
Monday Monday - The Mamas & The Papas
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 - Bob Dylan
When a Man Loves a Woman - Percy Sledge
Distant Drums - Jim Reeves
    1967-Premeire of “Mr. Rogers” on TV. “Won't You Be My Neighbor? “Presbyterian minister, Fred Rogers, hosted this long-running PBS children's program Puppets and human characters interacted in the neighborhood of make-believe. Rogers played the voices of many of the puppets and educated young viewers on a variety of important subjects. the last episodes of the program were filmed in 2001. Almost 2,000 episodes were produced over the show's history.
    1970 - The “Guess Who” from the Winnipeg, Canada area earned a gold record for both the album and single, "American Woman". It would be one of three million-seller awards for the group. Their other hits included, "These Eyes", "Laughing" and "No Sugar Tonight". The group, which dates back to 1963, disbanded in 1975, with several reunions since then.
    1972-President Richard Nixon became the first American president to visit Moscow. Four days later on May 26, Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev signed a t5reaty on antiballistic missile systems and an interim agreement on limitation of strategic missiles.
    1972 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "Oh Girl," Chi-Lites.
    1973 - President Nixon confessed his role in the Watergate cover-up.
    1974---Top Hits
The Streak - Ray Stevens
Dancing Machine - The Jackson 5
The Entertainer - Marvin Hamlisch
Country Bumpkin - Cal Smith
    1977-Janet Tuthrie became the first woman driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 with an average speed of more than 188 miles per hour. She lasted only 27 laps in the race, dropping out when her car broke a valve seal.
    1979-Cheap Trick's "Live at Budokan" LP was certified gold in the US. It eventually sold more than one-million copies, delaying the release of the follow-up album, "Dream Police." 
    1982---Top Hits
Ebony and Ivory - Paul McCartney with Stevie Wonder
Don't Talk to Strangers - Rick Springfield
I've Never Been to Me - Charlene
Just to Satisfy You - Waylon & Willie
    1985 - “Fortune” Magazine named Sears, Roebuck as the nation's largest retailer for the 21st year in a row.
    1985 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "Everything She Wants," Wham!
    1987 - A powerful (f4) tornado obliterated the small southwest Texas community of Saragosa, destroying 85 percent of the structures in the town. The tornado claimed 30 lives and injured 121 others in the town of only 183. The twister hurled trucks and automobiles through adobe and wood-frame homes with some blown over 500 feet. Many of the victims were parents or grandparents of children who died sheltering them from flying debris during a ceremony for head start for four-year-olds.
    1990-The Cincinnati reds intentionally walked outfielder Andrew Dawson of the Chicago Cubs a record five times in a 16-inning game. Dawson's five free passes broke the record held by Roger Maris and Garry Templeton. Perhaps Barry Bonds will beat it this year.
    1990-Microsoft unveiled Windows 3.0 at gala events in twenty cities around the world, linked by satellite to a theater in New York City. The show featured a speech by Bill Gates, as well as laser lights, videos, and surround sound. Microsoft spent $10 million publicizing the new release in what was generally regarded as the most expensive software introduction to date. While PIK, IMB,Apple and others tried to promote their operating system, even with 12 floppy disks, Microsoft sold three million copies of Windows 3.0 as it was quite “user friendly.”
    1990---Top Hits
Vogue - Madonna
All I Wanna Do is Make Love to You - Heart
Hold On - Wilson Phillips
Walkin' Away - Clint Black
    1992-After almost 30 years as host of the "Tonight" show, Johnny Carson hosted his last show. Carson became host of the late-night talk show, which began as a local New York program on Dumont than was purchased by NBC, and Steve Allen was the first on the network show. October 1,1962, Carson took over from Jack Paar with side kick Ed McMahon and Doc Severinsen, longtime band leader. In a split with the network, David Letterman went to CBS as Jay Leno was chosen to take over the spot.
    1992-- Replacing Tom Runnells , Felipe Alou is named as the manager of the Expos. The eventual second-place Montreal club is 17-20 at the time the Colorado native firing.
    1993-the first movie was broadcast on the Internet by its director David Blair. It was his cult science-fiction film “Wax: Or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees.” Blair uploaded the film in digital video format for viewing world-wide.
    1996- Garth Brooks celebrated his 60- millionth album sold with a 1960s theme party in Nashville. The Recording Industry Association of America said Brooks was the best-selling country artist of all-time and the second-highest selling artist ever in the US. Only the Beatles had sold more. Third place belongs to Billy Joel, who has not released a new song in a decade.
    1997- The hit-making Fleetwood Mac lineup of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks reunited for their first full-fledged public performance in 15 years. The show, on a soundstage at Warner Brothers studio in Burbank, California, was one of two taped for an MTV special and a live album. Nicks stopped the concert - twice - because she forgot the words to "Dreams," Fleetwood Mac's only number-one single.
    2001--- For the second time this season, Barry Bonds homers in six consecutive games. His nine homers during this span games establishes a National League mark. Senators' slugger Frank Howard's 1968 feat of hitting 10 homers in six games major league is the major league record.
    2003-- Arturo Moreno purchases the World Champion Angels from Walt Disney for $184 million to becoming the third owner in the 43-year history of the franchise. The 56-year-old outdoor advertising tycoon, who is a fourth-generation Mexican-American, is the first Hispanic to have a controlling interest in a major league club.




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