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Leasing News is a web site that posts information, news, and
entertainment for the commercial alternate financing,
bank, finance and leasing industries

Working Capital from $10,0000 to $250,000                 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

SB 297 Amended -- The Finder License Bill
   Status in the Appropriation Committee
Borrowing by Small US Firms Stalled in March
   Reports PayNet
NAELB Annual Conference – Memphis Tennessee  
   By John Boettigheimer
Sales Makes it Happen by Doug Houlahan, CLFP
    Transaction Profile
Calculators ----Lease Finance
   Free Lease-vs-Buy Calculators  Updated
Purchase, Renewal, Return ("PRR") Clauses
    by Christopher Menkin
How Much Taxes Do U.S. Tech Giants Actually Pay?
   By Felix Richter, Statista
TV Series Reviews by Kit Menkin
  "The Crown"
Hound Mix
   Plano, Texas  Adopt-a-Dog
Attorneys Who Specialize in
   Banking, Finance, and Leasing
News Briefs---
Auto sales tumble;
 7-year win streak could come to an end
PayPal launches a small biz toolset, ‘Business in a Box’
 115,000 businesses worldwide/$3 billion in loans/cash advances
Lendio Announces Annual List of Top 10 Best States
    for Small Business Lending

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (writer's columns)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months (Be Careful of Doing Business)
Leasing News Icon for Android Mobile Device 

You May have Missed---
  Spring Poem by Barry Marks, Esq.
  Sports Brief----
   California Nuts Brief---
   "Gimme that Wine"
     This Day in American History
       Daily Puzzle
         Weather, USA or specific area
          Traffic Live----

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SB 297 Amended -- The Finder License Bill
Status in the Appropriation Committee

California SB 297 which would create a licensed "Lead Generator," and be strictly enforced, including vendor and other "referrers," on May 1st wound up in the California Assembly Appropriation Committee. The committee voted 7-0 to place the bill on "suspense."

The suspense file is a holding placing for bills with significant fiscal impacts. Bills are generally held on the suspense file before each fiscal deadline so that each House can evaluate the total impacts to the state. Bills which are moved out of suspense then go to the floor, while bills held in suspense die.

It is still considered, according to public records, as an "Active Bill - In Committee Process, Majority Vote Required, Non-Appropriation.”

For readers who have not been following the story, here is Leasing News Legal Editor latest:

California Amends SB 297 – The Finder License Bill
Set for Hearing May 1 Appropriation Committee




Borrowing by Small US Firms Stalled in March
Reports PayNet

" owners remained cautious about investing
 amid policy uncertainty..."

PayNet, a provider of small business credit ratings and market insight to the commercial credit industry, reports "Small Business Lending Index" was down 1% since last month. The database consisted of 325 "leading U.S. Lenders," they report. Their website states their "proprietary database, updated weekly, is the richest and largest collection of commercial loans and leases, encompassing more than 23 Million current and historic contracts worth over $1.3 Trillion."

PayNet reported in March that US Small Business borrowing fell 13%, and in January, a level of 118.2, the lowest level since November, 2014.

Bill Phelan

According to Reuters, Bill Phelan said, "Bets that U.S. President Donald Trump's planned tax cuts will boost corporate profits have lifted U.S. equities since his November election, but small businesses appear to be keeping their powder dry."

"They didn't get sucked into all the euphoria of public markets; they are just, 'Wake me up when we are there,'" Phelan said in an interview. "There's not going to be any kind of enthusiasm."




NAELB Annual Conference – Memphis, Tennessee  
By John Boettigheimer

Incoming NAELB President Rodney Blecha, President, Precision Leasing, (left) receives gavel, from outgoing President Mike Parker, Florida National Equipment Finance.

This year’s National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers (NAELB) Annual Conference was held on April 27th-29th in Memphis, Tennessee.  Many of the 229 attendees experienced some travel delays, but the adverse travel did not deter anyone. In fact, it bonded the attendees and the event developed into a very fun and productive atmosphere.

The conference opened on Thursday night with a “Speed Dating” mixer which was followed by a reception at the Graceland Auto Museum. One main topic of conversation was the change in the association management team back to FSA Management. FSA Management’s Monica Harper is now back running the day-to-day operations of the Association to everyone’s relief. 

The next morning, the exhibit floor opened with 43 exhibitors. Most exhibitors remarked that the turnout and quality of the attendees was better than expected. Prior to the event, early attendee numbers were lower than some previous NAELB conferences but most said the quality of their appointments more than compensated for the slightly lower turnout. 

The luncheon included some updates and awards. Doug Richters (Accord Financial Group) was awarded for service to the NAELB and the President’s Award went to Barry Marks, CLFP, Esq. (Marks & Associates, P.C.) and Spencer Richmond (American Financial Network, Inc.).  Incoming President Rodney Blecha (Precision Leasing, Inc.) was also introduced.

Golf tournament winners: Grego Oestreich (ABC Leasing & Financing– Gerry’s son), John Boettigheimer (Centra Funding, LLC), Jeff Bates (Stiles Machinery)

In the educational sessions later that day included “Cyber Security,” “Digital Strategies” (for marketing), “Using LinkedIn for Business Development”, and “Exploring Alternative Financing Solutions” and were all well attended. 

Comments on the show from various participants:

Don Myerson, BSB Leasing: “Great conference.  Great meetings”
John Hollender, Trade River USA: “Better than we expected and all the people were great”
Brian Trebels, ELGA: “Good meetings.  Was great to meet everyone face to face”
Mike Green, Quarter Spot: “This was our first time at the conference and it was great to connect to everyone”
Jim Zelinskie, Bryn Mawr Funding: “We come to the NAELB every year because the meetings are great”
Brian Kirlin. SLS Financial Services: “It was great conference for us”
Ron Elwood, Navitas Credit: “great turnout and there was a lot of excitement about the future”
Grant Shaw, Channel Partners: “Great to meet face to face.”

While the total attendee numbers were down slightly from previous years, the major contributing factor is the lack of direct flights to Memphis – especially from the West Coast. All the attendees, however, found the conference to be very beneficial and all the exhibitors were equally happy with the quality of their appointments. There also was a lot of enthusiasm regarding the equipment financing marker and the future of NAELB under FSA Management.


2017 - 2018 NAELB Board of Directors and Staff

Back Row: Rodney Blecha, Jaime Kaneshina, Michelle Romero, Mike Parker, David Minks, Timothy Daum, Henry Grace, Paul Burnham

Front Row: Natasha Pitcock, Carrie Radloff, Sheri Bancroft, Monica Harper


John Boettigheimer
Centra Funding, LLC / 4 Hour Funding Plus LLC




Sales Makes it Happen
by Doug Houlahan, CLFP

Transaction Profile

This was originally written by Doug Houlahan, CLFP, now CFO-Member, Maxim Commercial Capital Credit, and published in Leasing News February 1, 2006.  It is still pertinent today, perhaps more than ever. Names were not included, but nothing else was changed. Editor.

Recently a broker asked "How do I more effectively close transactions with your company?" We in turn deferred to one of our more successful brokers for some insight into a transaction we closed last month.

This is the second transaction we've closed with this broker for a successful restaurateur opening his fourth location. After receiving his documents, the lessee decided he was not going to pay these rates and so we worked together to lower his payment and close the transaction.

Below are the points the broker shared with us that allow her to effectively close deals with us:

1. Our rates are in line with those of competitors in the structured transaction market. In other words, the broker feels that this is a fair proposition and is not afraid to make the point to the customer.

2. We will work with a broker to get a transaction done when pricing is an issue. We cut the rate and the broker cut the commission to sell this deal.

3. It is important to close, if at all possible. The broker ends up with a customer, a satisfied vendor and a funding source relationship. All these parties can be sources in developing more business.

4. Don't let your commission get in the way of developing a customer. This broker earned only 1.5% on the first transaction with another lessee. That customer has come back and done well in excess of $1M in business over an 8 year period. The client stopped being concerned about how much she was making after the first deal.

Look to your source not only for approving a transaction, getting the best rate or commission, but helping you keep the deal, making your customer happy, and obtaining repeat business.

Doug Houlahan, CLFP
CFO - Member
Maxim Commercial Capital




Free Lease-vs-Buy Calculator

“Our web-based lease-vs-buy calculator is completely free, provided as a courtesy to the capital equipment leasing community by S.B. Associates, Inc. You can view sophisticated lease-vs-buy analyses right on the web site, or you can print out reports for your customers. You'll appreciate the many sophisticated elements that can reveal the advantages of leasing, such as stepped or skipped rents, alternative minimum tax situations, loss carryforwards, or end of term options.

“We currently offer 5 different lease calculators. In addition to the free lease-vs-buy calculator described above, we offer LeaseMan Express (see below), a lease yield and pricing calculator specifically designed for the needs of the small ticket market and non-tax based leases in the middle market. For tax-based and leveraged leases, we offer the LeaseMan (non-express) version. We also offer two separate calculators specifically designed for consumer vehicle leasing.”

*** * *** 
Publish interest tables, also computed the rates into factors, where you could then compute "retail" rates from "wholesale" rates.

For instance, on 60 months .025 was 18% or 10% add on ( in advance) and you could then multiply 1.05 ( if you wanted five points) times it and get the retail rate, the selling rate. 
They also have books that had first and last and then with residuals.

A reader asked us for a program that would calculate his commission based on a lease factor. Many founders and equipment leasing companies offer these programs on line, for free. Some allow you to download the program Excel can also do this easily.

Bob Teichman, CLFP, sent us the correct formula for HP17BII :


"This is a very difficult formula to copy correctly, whether on paper or on the calculator.
"I use this formula in my pricing classes, and it is very useful as it will solve for any of the leasing variables, given any number of advance payments, including rate factor, cost, term, yield (or rate), and residual. As shown above, the formula is only for leases or loans which are paid monthly and where payments are level. However, the formula could be easily adapted to other payment periods (quarterly, for instance). You would have to use a difference formula, or a program such as T-Value, to calculate skip or step payment structures.

"Thanks for printing the information about on-line calculators. I continually refer people to your list."


Bob Teichman, CLFP
Teichman Financial Training
3030 Bridgeway, Suite 205
Sausalito, CA 94965
Tel: 415 331-6445
Fax: 415 331-6451

In the old days we would take the factor and multiply it by 1.00 with the commission the salesman was seeking. For instance, .0331 and the salesman wanted five points, multiply 1.05 times .0331 and it would be 034755.

Here are some personal financial portals and calculation tools we will be adding to the page:
The Motley Fool

CNN Money has also a financial calculator and other tools, and it's advantage, it is designed with currency converters, and may other programs at work all over the world:

Collection of free financial calculator, including stock spread calculator, rent vs. buy

It there is a calculator we have not mentioned on this page, please let us know as we will share with other readers.

Here is one sent in by reader, Emily Hill .  She says she uses 
it all the time as it "...features over one hundred (by the looks of it) finance-related calculators."

*** * ***


*** * ***

Rosanne Wilson, CLFP, sent in a company that will add a calculator to your web page for a fee.

Rosanne Wilson, CLFP 
1st Independent Leasing, Inc.
3800 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Suite 165 
Beaverton , OR 97005 
(800) 926-0851 or Fax: (503) 626-1631 
"It's the Lease We Can Do"



Purchase, Renewal, Return ("PRR") Clauses
by Christopher Menkin

"PRR" clauses are in the category of "Evergreen Clauses" and "Wintergreen Clauses," where the lessee must notify the lessor of its intention, often 90 days in advance, regarding its intent toward the residual. Its abuse, when the lessee fails in notify the lessor, has resulted continuing automatic payments, ACH, until the lessee realizes what is happening.  Worse is the Purchase, Renewal, Return clause ("PPR"). It basically is an automatic 12 month extension of the lease contract when there is not resolution or 90 day notification. The wording makes it a merry-go-round.   In the case of Republic Bank, Bountiful, Utah, before they started winding down, they would not only discount the stream of
payments but the 12 month "PPR" to the lessor.  One of their favorites was Mazuma Capital, Draper, Utah; who “merged” with Onset Financial, South Jordan, Utah, January, 2014 (1).

In the "Evergreen Section, "Leasing News identifies Marquette Equipment Finance, Midvale, Utah, Mazuma Capital Corp, Draper, Utah, Onset Financial, South Jordan, Utah, Pacific Western Equipment Finance, Cottonwood Heights, Utah, Tetra Finance Group, Salt Lake City, Utah 9 (2).  The evidence is from court cases as well as current leasing contracts that contain the provision.

A typical example comes from a court case involving Onset Financial:

“(Section 20:
n. Lessee's Options at Maturity of Base Period. At the maturity of the Base Period of any Lease, Lessee shall, provided at least one hundred fifty (150) days prior written notice is received by Lessor from Lessee via certified mail, do one of the following: (1) purchase the Property for a price to be determined by Lessor end Lessee, (2) renew the Lease for twelve (12) additional months at the rate specified on the respective Schedule, or (3) terminate the Schedule and return the Properly to Lessor at Lessee's expense to a destination within the continental United States specified by Lessor; provided, however, that for option (3) to apply, all accrued but unpaid late charges, interest, taxes, penalties, and any and all other sums due and owing under the Schedule must first be paid in full, the provisions of Sections 8f, 8g and 7d hereof must be specifically complied with, and Lessee must enter into a new Schedule with Lessor to lease Property which replaces the Property listed on the old Schedule. With respect to options (1) and (3), each party shall have the right in its absolute and sole discretion to accept or reject any terms of purchase or of any new Schedule, as applicable. In the event Lessor end Lessee have not agreed to either option (1) or (3) by the maturity of the Base Period, or if Lessee fails to give written notice of Its option via certified mail at least one hundred fifty (150) days prior to the maturity of the Base Period, or if an Event of Default has occurred under any Lease, then option (2) shall apply at the maturity of the Base Period. At the maturity of the renewal period provided for In option (2) above, the Lease shall continue in effect at the rate specified in the respective Schedule for successive periods of six (6) months each subject to termination at the maturity of any such successive six-month renewal period by either Lessor or Lessee giving to the other party at best thirty (30) days prior written notice of termination." (3)


  1. Mazuma-Onset Merger
  2. Evergreen Clauses
  3. Onset Contract 


How Much Taxes Do U.S. Tech Giants Actually Pay?
By Felix Richter, Statista

Last week, the Trump administration laid out its plans for tax reform at a White House briefing by Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn. The proposal includes sharp reductions in individual and corporate income taxes and aims to simplify the tax code.

At 35 percent, the U.S. corporate income tax rate is significantly higher than it is in most other countries, causing many U.S. companies to park their foreign earnings overseas, where they are taxed at a lower rate. President Trump plans to cut the corporate tax rate to 15 percent in an attempt to bring back that money and boost investment domestically.

As our chart illustrates, the largest U.S. tech companies currently pay an effective tax rate that is significantly lower than the statutory rate of 35 percent but (in most cases) higher than the proposed rate of 15 percent. Take Apple for example: the world’s most profitable company paid $15.7 billion in income taxes in the past fiscal year, $13.5 billion in the U.S. and $2.1 billion abroad. The company’s effective tax rate was 26.6 percent. Had it been 15 percent, Apple would have saved more than $6 billion in taxes.

This chart shows the effective tax rate paid by U.S. tech companies in the latest fiscal year.



TV Series Reviews by Kit Menkin
"The Crown"

Netflix has announced the next season of their TV series is to be released, many at the end of this month. Now is the opportunity to get ahead for series you have not seen. Some have already started. One of my favorites is "The Crown," based on the life of Queen Elizabeth II, now available in season 2. Again, I suggest you start at the beginning.

It starts off on the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. It is very revealing, and historical. One of the things I learned is what a terrible life they have and how they are expected to behave and what political control they really have. IMDb gives it an 8.8 rating.

Winston Churchill played by John Lithgow


Hound Mix
Plano, Texas  Adopt-a-Dog

Dean Martin
ID #34304620
Age: 2 Years, 4 months
Declawed: no
House Trained: Unknown
Intake Date: 1/3/2017

As my name might suggest, I'm quite the ladies’ man around here, but you'd never have guessed I'd have so many new volunteer friends if you'd seen me before I arrived. I was rescued from a pretty rotten situation and terrified out of my mind in a city shelter, when Second Chance met me - all I could do was lie in my kennel and tremble uncontrollably. In a quieter atmosphere, it became apparent that not only was I a beautiful and affectionate boy, but that my tremors might be something neurological. I take one medication daily to help control my shakes, and I have some near sighted vision issues, but I never let that interfere with my play or my happy personality! I've found I may not be able to catch a ball, but I can sure chase one, and I love to run racetrack circles in the backyard during free time! I'm a very special boy who deserves a wonderful home full of love, I know I can return it tenfold when I meet my lucky forever family.
Age: 2 years, Weight: 44 pounds

ADOPTION PROCESS: If you are interested in adopting an animal from Second Chance SPCA, you will need to come to our adoption center during business hours. Appointments are not required. Adopters must visit with an adoption counselor, and complete an application process. Adoptions are approved based on the best matched home for each pet. We reserve the right to reject an application based on the needs of the pet. Adopters must live in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Adopters must be at least 21 years-old. Renters must provide proof of pet deposit and/or written permission by landlord to have a pet.

ADOPTION FEES: $200 for dogs older than 6 months; Includes spay/neuter, age appropriate vaccinations, microchip, fecal and heartworm test. All dogs are current on heartworm and flea preventative.

Second Chance SPCA
1700 J Avenue
Plano, TX 75074

Tue - Fri: 1pm to 7pm
Sat + Sun: Noon to 5pm
Closed Monday

Adopt a Pet



Attorneys Who Specialize in
Banking, Finance, and Leasing

Birmingham, Alabama
The lawyers of Marks & Associates, P.C. have over 30 years experience in dealing with virtually every type of equipment financing and are recognized throughout the industry for prompt, practical solutions and exemplary service. They offer cost-conscious, effective lease enforcement and good counsel. 
California, National: city: Riverside 
Ellen Stern - get results, reasonable pricing; numerous industry contacts, nearly 30 yrs SoCal, 20 yrs equip.: CFL license specialist, documentation, work-outs, litigated collections, recoveries; deal-maker. 

Kenneth C. Greene

Leasing and Financial consultant, active in several leasing
associations, as well as involved in music and film production inLA.  Mention "Leasing News" for a free consultation.
Skype: 424.235.1658
Connecticut, Southern New England: 
EVANS, FELDMAN & BOYER, LLC Collections, litigation, documentation, portfolio sales and financing, bankruptcy. We represent many of the national and local leasing companies doing business in this state. Past chairman EAEL legal committee. Competitive rates. 
Los Angeles/Santa Monica
Hemar & Associates, Attorneys at Law
Specialists in legal assistance, including debt collection, equipment recovery, litigation for 35 years. Fluent in Spanish. 
Tel: 310-829-1948 

David G. Mayer
Partner, Dallas, Texas
Schackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton 
9201 N. Central Expressway
Fourth Floor
Dallas, Texas 75231
Telephone: (214) 780-1400

Los Angeles, Southern CA 
Seasoned attorney representing secured creditors in auto finance and truck/equipment lease industry.  Bankruptcy and State Court litigation.   Vincent V. Frounjian (818) 990-0605 or email:

Encino, California: Statewide “ELFA” 
Hemar, Rousso & Heald, LLP 30 yr excellent reputation Lessor representation commercial litigationdebt collection, and bankruptcy.
Call Stephen E. Jenkins Esq (818) 501-3800

Los Angeles, Statewide: CA.     "ELFA" Aggressive creditors rights law firm specializing in equipment leasing handling collection matters on a contingency, fixed fee or hourly cbasis. 

Los Angeles, Statewide: CA      "ELFA"
Practice limited to collections, bankruptcy and problem accounts resolution. Decades of experience. 10-lawyer firm dedicated to serving you. Call Ronald Cohn, Esq. (818)591-2121 or email. Email:   

Los Angeles- Statewide, CA
Lawyer specializing in banking and leasing issues statewide. Documents and litigation. 
Tom McCurnin, Barton, Klugman & Oetting. Voice: (213) 617-6129 
Cell:(213) 268-8291

California & National

Paul Bent – More than 35 years experience in all forms of equipment leasing, secured lending, and asset based transactions. Financial analysis, deal structuring, contract negotiations, documentation, private dispute resolution, expert witness services. 
(562) 426-1000

Kevin E. Trabaris: Concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial finance, corporate and business transactions. Extensive experience representing banks, financial companies, equipment lessors, insurers and other funding and intermediary entities and borrowers in connection with thousands of business financing matters. He has handled everything from small ticket transactions to billion dollar syndicated loans, real estate financing to asset-based facilities.
Work: 312.667.1354
Cell: 847.840.4687

Massachusetts (collection/litigation coast to coast) 
Modern Law Group focuses its practice on collections, lease enforcement and asset recovery. For the past five years, our attorneys have helped clients recover millions of dollars. We are able to cover your needs coast to coast.

Michael J. Witt, experienced bank, finance, and leasing attorney, also conducts Portfolio Audits. Previously he was Managing Counsel, Wells Fargo & Co. (May, 2003 – September, 2008); Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Advanta Business Services (May, 1988 – June, 1997) Tel: (515) 223-2352 Cell: (515) 868-1067 

National:  The OMEGA Network Group-nationwide legal representation of small and mid ticket equipment lessors-flat fee bankruptcy & replevin, contingent collection, 
billable litigation (704-969-3280)

National: Coston & Rademacher: Business attorneys serving the lease-finance industry since 1980. Transactional, documentation, corporate/finance, workouts, litigation, bankruptcy, portfolio management. Chicago-based national practice. Jim Coston, CLP (Members: ELFA, NEFA). 

St. Louis County , MO. - statewide: 
Schultz & Associates LLP., collections, negotiation, and litigation. Also register and pursue recovery on foreign judgments. Contingency and reasonable hourly rates. 
Ronald J. Eisenberg, Esq.
(636) 537-4645 x108
NJ, De, Pa: Specializing in leased equipment/secured transactions. Collections, replevins/workouts reasonable rates. Sergio Scuteri/Capehart & Scratchard, /
New York and New Jersey

Frank Peretore
Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi
West Orange, New Jersey
Phone 973-530-2058
 Documentation, portfolio purchase & sale, replevin, workouts, litigation, collection, bankruptcy. Aggressive. Over 30 years experience.

Thousand Oaks, California: 
Statewide coverage Spiwak & Iezza, LLP 20+ years experience,Representing Lessors banks in both State/ Federal Courts/ all aspects of commercial leasing litigation.
Nick Iezza 805-777-1175




News Briefs---

Auto sales tumble;
 7-year win streak could come to an end

PayPal launches a small biz toolset, ‘Business in a Box’
 115,000 businesses worldwide/$3 billion in loans/cash advances

Lendio Announces Annual List of Top 10 Best States
    for Small Business Lending 



You May Have Missed---

Where flight attendants sleep on planes



This poem by Robert L. Harrison depicts one of the best teams of all times. The 1927 Yankees or "Murderer's Row" were legendary and this poem pays tribute to those magnificent Yanks.

1927 Yankees

by Robert L. Harrison ©

Published: New York Baseball Poems (1999)

Gather 'round you fans of baseball
you lovers of season past,
let me take you back to the greatest team
that ever played on grass.

Guided by Miller Huggins
known as "murderer's row,"
never was such a string of pearls
so feared this side of Hell.

Greedy was this awesome bunch
with Ruth and Gehrig leading the punch,
and Hoyt and Moore on the mound
shooting all the batters down.

Gasping crowds assemble
like sinners in a tent,
watching all the other teams
trying to repent.

God blessed those boys of summer
those pin-striped renegades,
with a winning passion
while others saw only the haze.

Gathering in the rosebuds
by playing excellent ball,
called the "five o'clock lightning"
taking the pennant in the fall.

Gone were any pretenders to the throne
no on stood wherever these Yankees roamed,
twenty-five men made up this team
and all had a year better than their dreams.

1927 Yankees by Robert L. Harrison ©

Fast Facts

Murderer's Row was anchored by Babe Ruth, who hit sixty home runs and batted .356; and Lou Gehrig, who had forty-seven home runs and batted .373. The team won one-hundred ten games and the other members included: Earle Combs, who hit .356 and led the league in hits, singles and triples; Tony Lazzeri, who hit eighteen home runs and batted .309; and Bob Meusel who hit .337. This poem is a Baseball Almanac exclusive and appears here with expression written permission from the author.




Sports Briefs----

Here is the gorgeous $2 billion stadium the Las Vegas
     Raiders are expected to call home

The highest-paid player on every NBA team 

Raiders first-round pick Gareon Conley won't face discipline from NFL  

2017 NFL schedules for every team

Raiders second-round pick Obi Melifonwu
   says Athos gave him an edge in training

Andy Reid: We love Alex Smith, but he’s getting older


California Nuts Briefs---

True or false? All the myths and urban legends in Bay Area history

Developers plan to replace historic Lucky 13 bar
   with 5-story apartment building



“Gimme that Wine”

2016 California Wine Sales in U.S. Hit New Record:
    238 Million Cases with Retail Value of $34.1 Billion

U.S. Consumers Rave about Rosé
    According to Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Shaken by 2014 quake, Napa winery again standing tall

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in American History

     1494 - Christopher Columbus saw the island of Jamaica on his second voyage. He never actually saw nor did his discoveries include the United States, but the island off the continent. The islands were Europe's main gateway into the New World. Nearly 300 years later, the first Revolutionary War naval battle was fought here to gain control of this ocean thoroughfare.
    1654 - Richard Thurlow built the first toll bridge with his own money over the Newbury River at Rowley, MA. The court fixed a rate of toll for animals, but passengers were permitted free passage. It remained until 1680.
    1761 - Large tornadoes swept the Charleston, South Carolina harbor when a British Fleet of 40 sails was at anchor. It raised a wave 12 feet high, leaving many vessels on their beam ends. 4 people drowned.
    1774 - A May snowstorm from New York City to Virginia covered the ground. A severe frost killed fruit in North Carolina
    1802 – Washington, DC incorporated.  The US Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress and the District is therefore not a part of any state. The states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria.  In the 1830s, the District's southern territory of Alexandria went into economic decline partly due to neglect by Congress.  The city of Alexandria was a major market in the American slave trade and pro-slavery residents feared that abolitionists in Congress would end slavery in the District, further depressing the economy. Alexandria's citizens petitioned Virginia to take back the land it had donated to form the District, through a process known as retrocession.  The Virginia General Assembly voted in February, 1846 to accept the return of Alexandria and on July 9, 1846, Congress agreed to return all the territory that had been ceded by Virginia. Therefore, the District's current area consists only of the portion originally donated by Maryland.  In 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the District.  The Twenty-third Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1961, granting the District three votes in the Electoral College for the election of president and vice president, but still no voting representation in Congress. In 1973, Congress enacted the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, providing for an elected mayor and 13-member council for the District.  In 1975, Walter Washington became the first elected and first black mayor of the District.
    1825 - Laura Matilda Towne (d. 1901) birthday, Pittsburgh, PA. After the Civil War, she and her close friend, Ellen Murray, founded one of the earliest and most successful schools for former slaves on the coastal islands of South Carolina. She had studied homeopathic medicine privately and taught school in her native Pennsylvania before volunteering to teach - and in many ways care for - a large population of former slaves of the sea islands of South Carolina. She taught, acted as physician, and directed relief aid and, in 1862, with Murray founded the freedman's Penn School that used the same curriculum as New England schools. For dozens of years, Penn School was the only education available for the black population of the islands. Her school was eventually taken over by the South Carolina public school system.

    1862 - After nearly a month's siege, General Joseph Johnston's outnumberedConfederate forces evacuatedYorktown, VA, and moved back to Richmond. General McClellan's Army of the Potomac occupied Yorktown the following day. General Johnston is considered one of the top generals of the Confederacy and, if it were not for the overwhelming amount of money, the ability to “buy” foreign recruits, the war may have gone the way of the Confederacy due to military leaders such as Johnston. With the capture of Yorktown, President Abraham Lincoln left Washington, DC, for Fort Monroe, VA, to observe the ongoing Peninsula Campaign.
    1886 - At the height of the movement for the 8-hour day, police opened fire in a crowd of workers participating in a general strike at McCormick Harvester Co. in Chicago. Four workers were killed.
    1895 - A F5 tornado carved a 13-mile path through Sioux County in Iowa. 9 people were killed and 35 were injured.
    1898 - Israeli founder and Prime Minister Golda Meir was born Goldie Mabovitch in Kiev, Ukraine.
    1903 - John “Honey” Russell (d. 1973), Basketball Hall of Fame player and coach born at New York, NY. Russell played in more than 3,200 pro basketball games in the sport's early years. In 1936, he became coach at Seton Hall University, remaining there for 11 seasons. He was also a baseball scout, a football scout and a promoter. Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1964.  [Note: Russell ran a tryout for the Phillies at Hinchcliffe Stadium in Paterson, NJ that I attended in 1962.  As I was 15 at the time, he was kind enough to let me down easy for being too young to be signed…Ralph Mango]
    1906 - Birthday of actress Mary Astor (d. 1987), born Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, Quincy, IL. "She was so beautiful she almost made me faint." said John Barrymore but even beyond her beauty, she was a fine actor of screen and stage appearing in more than 100 movies.  Astor began her long motion picture career as a teenager in the silent movies of the early 1920s. She eventually changed to talkies. At first her voice was considered too masculine and she was off the screen for a year. But she appeared in a play with friend Florence Eldridge and the film offers came in and she was able to resume her career in talking films. Four years later, her career was nearly destroyed due to scandal. In 1936, Astor was later branded an adulterous wife by her ex-husband, in a custody fight over her daughter. Overcoming these stumbling blocks in her private life, Astor went on to greater success on screen, eventually winning an Academy award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “The Great Lie” (1941). She is also the creator of one of the most memorable roles on the screen, Brigit O'Shaughnessy in “The Maltese Falcon.”
    1911 - Trumpet player Yank Lawson (d. 1995) born Trenton, MO.,+Yank.htm
    1913 - Birthday of playwright William Inge (d. 1973), born in Independence, Kansas. He won the Pulitzer Prize for “Picnic,” some of his other plays included “Bus Stop,” “Come Back, Little Sheba.”
    1918 - Tenor Leopold Simoneau (d. 2006), considered one of the most distinguished Canadian singers of the century, was born in St-Flavien, Quebec. Simoneau developed an international reputation in the 1950's as a specialist in the works of Mozart. Among the many highlights of his career was his 1952 appearance in Paris in a production of Stravinsky's "Oedipus Rex," with the composer as conductor and Jean Cocteau as narrator.
    1919 - Birthday of folksinger, songwriter Pete Seeger (d. 2014), born New York, New York. In the 1940's, he performed with Woody Guthrie, before forming the Weavers, who had hits with such folk tunes as "On Top of Old Smokey" and "Goodnight Irene." Seeger was blacklisted by the US government during the '50s. On August 18, 1955, Seeger was subpoenaed to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) as he once was a member of the US Communist Party. Seeger refused to plead the Fifth Amendment and instead, as the Hollywood Ten had done, refused to name personal and political associations on the grounds that this would violate his First Amendment rights: "I am not going to answer any questions as to my association, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs. I think these are very improper questions for any American to be asked, especially under such compulsion as this."  Seeger's refusal to answer questions that violated his fundamental Constitutional rights led to a March 26, 1957 indictment for contempt of Congress; for some years, he had to keep the federal government apprised of where he was going any time he left the Southern District of New York. He was convicted in a jury trial of contempt of Congress in March, 1961, and sentenced to ten 1-year terms in jail (to be served simultaneously), but in May 1962, an appeals court ruled the indictment to be flawed and overturned his conviction.  In the 1960s, he re-emerged on the public scene as a prominent singer of protest music in support of disarmament, civil rights, counterculture and the environment. A prolific songwriter, his best-known songs include "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” (with Joe Hickerson), "If I Had a Hammer" (with Lee Hayes of the Weavers), and "Turn, Turn, Turn" (lyrics adapted from Ecclesiastes), all of which became hits by multiple artists.
    1920 - Pianist John Lewis (d. 2001) born LaGrange, Il.
    1921 - Reece “Goose” Tatum (d. 1967), basketball player, born at Calion, AR. Tatum played football and baseball and came into his own when Abe Saperstein asked him to play basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters. Tatum's best asset was his hands, big enough to allow him to hold the ball with one hand. He perfected the overhand hook shot later used by Wilt Chamberlain, Connie Hawkins and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Suspended by Saperstein in 1955, he formed his own team, the Harlem Magicians.
    1921 - “Sugar Ray” Robinson, boxer, born Walker Smith, Jr., (d. 1989) at Detroit, Ml. Generally considered “pound for pound the greatest boxer of all time,” Robinson was a welterweight and middleweight champion whowon 175 professional fights and lost only 19. A smooth and precise boxer, he fought until he was 45, dabbled in show business and established the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation to counter juvenile delinquency. To this day, his name connotes class, style and dignity. My father took me to his fight in Yankee Stadium when we lived in New York. My father was a great fight fan and took my brother and I to many bouts.
    1928 - James Brown (d. 2006) birthday, born in Barnwell, SC.
The creator of funk music and a major figure of 20th century popular music and dance, he is often referred to as the "Godfather of Soul."  In a career that spanned six decades, he influenced the development of several music genres.  He sold millions of records in the US from the mid-1950's to the mid-1960s, yet remained virtually unknown to most white Americans. But by the late '60s, the breakthroughs scored by black artists on the Motown and Stax-Volt labels helped bring Brown to the attention of the mass audience as well. James Brown's first hit, with his group the Famous Flames, was "Please, Please, Please" in 1956. It sold more than a million copies - the first of his dozens of million-sellers. Thirty years later, in 1986, he was at the top of the charts with "Living in America" from the soundtrack of "Rocky Four."  In 1996, James Brown celebrated his 63rd birthday with a concert in his hometown of Augusta, Georgia. Musical guests included rock guitarist Slash, country group Sawyer Brown and soul star Isaac Hayes.
    1936 - Joe DiMaggio made his Major League debut for the New York Yankees and collected three hits in their 14-5 victory over the St. Louis Browns. For the year, DiMaggio hit .323 with 29 home runs and 125 runs batted in. He used to visit friends in Los Gatos, California often. I saw him eating lunch and dinner out several times. He was well respected and never bothered in the restaurants here.  There were places here where Marilyn Monroe stayed, sometimes with him and they had great privacy, I am told. He was a very private man.
    1937 - Frankie Valli, lead singer of the Four Seasons, was born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio in Newark, New Jersey. They were one of the most popular groups of the 1960's, with more than 30 singles on the best-seller charts from 1962 to 1976. Frankie Valli's falsetto singing was the group's trademark on such hits as "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Walk Like a Man." Valli began a successful solo career in 1974, and had such hits as "My Eyes Adored You" and "Grease." He has also put together Four Seasons groups for rock 'n' roll revival shows.
    1937 - Margaret Mitchell won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel "Gone with the Wind."  First published in 1936, the story is set in Clayton County and Atlanta, both in Georgia, during the Civil War and Reconstruction. It depicts the struggles of young Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, who must use every means at her disposal to claw her way out of poverty following the destructive Sherman’s March to the Sea.  As of 2014, a Harris Poll found it to be the second favorite book of American readers, just behind the Bible. More than 30 million copies have been printed worldwide.
    1943 - Robert Frost won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, his fourth time. He won it for “A Witness Tree.” His other awards were in 1924 for “New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes.” in 1931 for “Collected Poems,” and in 1937, for A Further Range.”

    1948 - CBS Evening News began as a 15-minute telecast with Douglas Edwards as anchor. On November 30, 1956, the program became the first to use the new technology of videotape to time delay the broadcast (which originated in New York City) for the western US.  Walter Cronkite succeeded him in 1962 and, on September 2, 1963, the program became the first half-hour weeknight news broadcast of network television and was moved to 6:30 p.m. Eastern time. Eric Sevareid served as commentator. Dan Rather anchored the news casts upon Cronkite's retirement in 1981. At one point, to boost sagging ratings, Connie Chung was added to the newscast as Rather's co-anchor, but she left in 1995 in a well-publicized dispute. Rather remained solo, and as Walter Cronkite would say "...that's the way it is."  Several successors have anchored the “News” with the incumbent Scott Pelley ending his sixth year.
    1948 - The Supreme Court ruled that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities were legally unenforceable.
    1952 - Eddie Arcaro became the first and only jockey to win the Kentucky Derby five times: 1938, Lawrin; 1941, Whirlaway; 1945, Hoop Jr; 1948, Citation: 1952, Hill Gail.
    1952 - Historians give credit to Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Otis Fletcher as the first man to set foot on the North Pole as he landed the first airplane flight there, a ski-wheeled Air Force C-47. It took off from Fletcher's Ice Island, about 115 miles from the Pole, carrying 10 Air Force officials and scientists. It was piloted by Lieutenant Colonel William Pershing Benedict of San Rafael, CA, and copilot Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Otis Fletcher of Shawnee, OK. In 1997, historian Robert M. Bryce published the results of research indicating that no previous explorer succeeded in reaching the Pole, despite two long standing claims, and that Fletcher was the first human known to set foot on it. In addition, Dr. Albert Paddock Crary, who was in this party, on February 12, 1961, reached the South Pole by tracked vehicle as part of a scientific expedition. He became then the only explorer to set foot on both the North and South Pole.
    1952 - CBS became the first network to televise the Kentucky Derby. Eddie Arcaro rode Hill Gail to a two-length victory over Sub Fleet. Blue Man was third. For Arcaro, it was a record fifth Derby win. Trainer Ben A. Jones won for the sixth time, also a record.
    1955 - Top Hits
Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White - Perez Prado
The Ballad of Davy Crockett - Tennessee Ernie Ford
Dance with Me Henry (Wallflower) - Georgia Gibbs
In the Jailhouse Now - Webb Pierce
    1956 - "Most Happy Fella," a musical by Frank Loesser, opened at the Imperial Theatre in New York City. The show, an adaptation of "They Knew What They Wanted" by Sidney Howard, ran for 676 performances on Broadway. The original production was partially bankrolled by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Critics called the show a masterpiece, thanks to the outstanding performances by Robert Weede and Jo Sullivan. Many of the songs made the “Hit Parade.” Frank Loesser's hits included "Standing on the Corner," "I Like Everybody," "Joey, Joey, Joey," "Big Acquaintance" and "Don't Cry."
    1960 - The play, "The Fantasticks," opened at the Sullivan Playhouse in New York City. It would later become the longest-running off-Broadway play. "Soon It's Gonna Rain" was one of the big hit tunes from the production. Many high schools make this their musical performance for students to present to their community.
    1963 - Top Hits
“I Will Follow Him” - Little Peggy March
“Can't Get Used to Losing You” - Andy Williams
“Puff the Magic Dragon” - Peter, Paul & Mary
“Lonesome 7-7203” - Hawkshaw Hawkins
    1963 - In Birmingham, Alabama, Police Chief "Bull" Connor orders fire houses and dogs turned on children marching out of the 16th St Baptist Church to keep them from marching out of the "Negro section." This after jailing 900+ yesterday. There was no national radio or television coverage, let alone the internet or cellular telephone pictures or reporting. Imagine if this were to occur today.
    1964 - Gerry & the Pacemakers make their United States TV debut on the "Ed Sullivan Show" and perform "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying."
    1968 - New owners Tom Cousins and Carl Sanders announced that the St. Louis Hawks of the NBA would move to Atlanta for the 1968-69 season. The team began as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks (1949-51), moved to Milwaukee and then to St. Louis in 1956.    
    1968 - The Beach Boys open a 17-date tour of the U.S. with a show in New York. The second half of the concert is given over to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who lectures on "spiritual regeneration." The audience’s reaction is so negative, more than half of the tour dates are cancelled.
    1968 - Thelonious Monk and Dr. John the Night Tripper at the San Francisco Carousel Ballroom.
    1970 - Ohio Gov. Rhodes vows to "use every weapon" against antiwar protesters at Kent State University. Tomorrow he does.
    1971 - Anti-Vietnam War protesters began four days of demonstrations in Washington, D.C.
    1971 - Top Hits
“Joy to the World” - Three Dog Night
“Put Your Hand in the Hand” - Ocean
“Never Can Say Goodbye” - The Jackson 5
“Empty Arms” - Sonny James
    1975 - Tony Orlando and Dawn's "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)" hits #1
    1978 - Persistent thunderstorms caused widespread flooding in southeastern Louisiana and extreme southeastern Mississippi. Rainfall totals of ten to thirteen and a half inches were reported around New Orleans causing the worst flooding in thirty years. The water depth reached three to four feet in several hundred homes, and total property damage was estimated at one hundred million dollars
    1979 - Top Hits
“Heart of Glass” - Blondie
“Reunited” - Peaches & Herb
“Stumblin' In” - Suzi Quatro & Chris Norman
“Where Do I Put Her Memory” - Charley Pride
     1980 - Genuine Risk, ridden by Jacinto Vasquez, became just the second filly to win the Kentucky Derby. She posted a one-length victory over Rumbo.
    1987 - Top Hits
“(I Just) Died in Your Arms” - Cutting Crew
“Looking for a New Love” - Jody Watley
“La Isla Bonita” - Madonna
“Don't Go to Strangers” - T. Graham Brown
    1988 - The White House acknowledged that First Lady Nancy Reagan had used astrological advice to help schedule President Ronald Reagan's activities.
    1991 - Andy Williams, 60, marries former hotel concierge Debbie Haas, 36, in New York City.
    1993 - Strong winds buffeted the Owens Valley area and the Eastern Sierra of Southern California. A USGS anemometer on Crowley Lake recorded a wind gust to 140 mph before blowing away. Bishop Airport had a wind gust to 65 mph. One person was killed when he was hit by a flying projectile. Many trees were downed and power outages were widespread.
    1995 - The Neville Brothers, the Dixie Cups, Allen Toussaint and Professor Longhair are inducted into the New Orleans Musical Walk of Fame.
    1995 – David Bell made his Major League debut for the Cleveland Indians, following dad, Buddy, and grandfather Gus.
    1998 - Mariner Dan Wilson hits the first inside-the-park grand slam in the franchise's history.
    1999 - The Dow-Jones Index of 30 major industrial stocks topped the 11,000 mark for the first time.
    2000 - Metallica delivers over 60,000 pages of information to Napster's San Mateo, Calif., offices, listing more than 1.4 million copyright violations of 95 Metallica songs and recordings by 335,435 distinct users.
    2001 - The United States lost its seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission for the first time since the commission was formed in 1947.
    2010 - United and Continental Airlines announced that the two American companies will merge, creating the world's largest airline.
    2010 - Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad was apprehended aboard a flight preparing to depart New York for Dubai.
    2014 - Donald Sterling, L.A. Clippers owner, was banned for life and fined $2.5 million after reports of his racist comments.  A new CEO was appointed and other team owners pressured Sterling into selling, which he did… Sterling's wife, Shelly, reached an agreement to sell the Clippers for $2 billion to Steve Ballmer, which Sterling has contested in court. The NBA Board of Governors approved the sale of the Clippers to Ballmer on August 12, 2014.  As of April 2015, half of the $2 billion paid by Ballmer was held in an escrow account controlled by the NBA pending the conclusion of Sterling's lawsuit over the sale of the team.  On April 29, 2014, UCLA had announced that it was rejecting a $3 million gift from Sterling.  Sterling has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.



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