Kit Menkin’s Leasing News

                   www.leasingnews.org  Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Accurate, fair and unbiased news for the equipment Leasing Industry

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           Headlines----

Haiku by Al Gamper

  U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray under investigation

     U.S. Rebound Less Certain, CEOs at Mid-Size Firms Say

Now, Questions Turn to Why Tyco's Lawyer Received Bonus

   Fed's Bies: Not Clear Unemployment Peaked

      Centerpoint Leasing Close to Funding All Leases in Backlog

         Accolades for Chuck Brazier’s Performance ----

              Leaseback Capital, Canada---Found

                Great Mantanzas Creek Merlot Special!!!

The Funding Tree---Kendra Bernal Probation Requirements

  GE Donates $1 Million to National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

      Pacific Capital Bancorp Distributes 4-for-3 Stock Split

         UCC Direct Services First to Offer XML Filing via Internet

            Lycos offers new subscription music service

                  Free Calculator for Your Website: Lease-vs-Buy.com

 

 

#### Denotes Press Release

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Haiku by Al Gamper

 

The road to success is rarely a straight line.

Maybe it is time to devise a new strategy...

Prepare for growth...

Sharpen your competitive edge.

 

CIT   The Financial Leader

 

http://www.cit.com/index_flash.asp

 

________________________________________________________________

 

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray under investigation

 

By Associated Press

 

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray is a target of a multistate investigation of Wall Street securities firms and their analysts, said officials from the state of Washington.

 

Securities regulators from 40 states want to know whether a dozen of the nation's biggest securities firms defrauded average investors with overly bullish recommendations for stocks that later lost most or all of their value.

 

Critics claim analysts give companies favorable coverage because it helps their firm land lucrative investment-banking business and earn big bonuses.

 

Piper Jaffray spokeswoman Erin Freeman confirmed the investigation by the state of Washington.

 

The probe is an offshoot of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's successful investigation of Merrill Lynch and Company. Spitzer uncovered e-mail that showed Merrill Lynch analysts privately disparaged companies that they touted to investors.

 

Merrill Lynch agreed last month to pay a $100 million fine and to adopt policies to insulate analysts from investment banking, such as barring them from receiving bonuses for helping land investment-banking business.

 

Spitzer's efforts pushed other regulators off the sidelines, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the North American Securities Administrators Association, which put together the 40-state investigation.

 

Washington drew the role of lead investigator of Piper Jaffray in that probe, according to Michael Stevenson, chief of enforcement for that state's Securities Division. Washington is working with regulators in Missouri, Iowa and New York, which is co- chairing the task force as well as pursuing its own investigation.

 

Minneapolis-based Piper Jaffray has expanded from a regional power to a firm with national reach in recent years.

 

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U.S. Rebound Less Certain, CEOs at Mid-Size Firms Say

 

By Carlos Torres, Bloomberg

 

Chief executive officers at small and mid-size U.S. companies are less optimistic about the economy's recovery from recession than they were three months ago, a survey showed.

 

Almost two-thirds of the company leaders said the world's largest economy has yet to rebound, according to the survey by TEC International, an association of more than 6,000 CEOs at U.S. companies with annual revenues between $1 million and $1 billion. Of those surveyed, 1,450 replied.

 

Fewer than eight in 10 of the chief executives said a recovery would happen by the end of the year, down from 86 percent who forecast a recovery in the previous survey in March.

 

"I think there was just a little too much optimism" last quarter, said Nancy Rhodes, chief executive at Furniture Affairs Inc., a home furnishings discount retailer in Phoenix. "People were looking for a quicker recovery and that wasn't likely to happen."

 

Seven out of 10 executives expect the economy will expand by 1 percent to 2 percent for the year. The CEOs are less optimistic than economists who forecast the economy will expand at a 2.8 percent pace in 2002, according to this month's Blue Chip Economic Indicators consensus.

 

The decline in sentiment has led CEOs to change their plans for hiring and firing, the quarterly survey showed. About 56 percent said they expect to increase staff during the next 12 months, down from 57 percent in the previous survey. Fourteen percent said they would cut payrolls, up from 5 percent in March.

 

The latest government jobs figures show the economy added 41,000 jobs in May after a 6,000 April increase, marking the first back- to-back gains since the start of the recession in March 2001. Some larger companies such as Home Depot Inc. and Best Buy Co. have announced plans to hire. Since the first of the year, the economy has lost 142,000 jobs, the Labor Department said last week.

 

Still, an increasing number of companies plan to boost investment in equipment and software, the CEO survey showed. Forty- nine percent said they would raise capital expenditures in the next year, up from 43 percent of those polled in the first quarter.

 

Eight of 10 company leaders expect sales to improve over the next 12 months compared to the previous year. Three-fifths of the respondents said tensions in the Middle East had no effect on business.

 

The industries likely to rebound fastest from the recession are retailing, manufacturing, and biotechnology, the respondents said. The TEC survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points, the organization said.

 

______________________________________________________________________

 

Now, Questions Turn to Why Tyco's Lawyer Received Bonus

 

By ALEX BERENSON  New York Times.

 

 

 

Mark A. Belnick, Tyco's former general counsel, received a $2 million bonus near the end of 2000 that was tied to a decision by the Securities and Exchange Commission to end an inquiry into Tyco's accounting without taking action, according to a person briefed on the payment.

 

Tyco has now widened its internal inquiry into payments and loans to top executives to examine whether the company cooperated properly with the S.E.C.'s inquiry, which began in December 1999 and ended in July 2000, this person said. He added that there was no evidence that Tyco hid any information it should have disclosed to the S.E.C.

 

Stanley S. Arkin, Mr. Belnick's lawyer, is traveling in Italy and could not be

reached for comment last night. But another person close to the situation said Tyco's characterization of the bonus was wrong.

 

Tyco International fired Mr. Belnick on Monday, contending that he had impeded its internal investigation and used company money to buy or furnish a home in Park City, Utah. Mr. Arkin said Monday that Mr. Belnick did nothing wrong and was cooperating with a criminal investigation of Tyco by Manhattan prosecutors.

 

That inquiry began as an investigation into L. Dennis Kozlowski, Tyco's former chairman, who has been charged with evading more than $1 million in New York State sales taxes. But it has since widened to include other apparently undisclosed payments and loans by Tyco to its top executives. Mr. Kozlowski resigned from Tyco last Monday, one day before being indicted on the sales tax charges.

 

The S.E.C. began an informal inquiry into Tyco's financial statements in December 1999 because of accusations by short sellers that Tyco had abused accounting rules to make its profits appear stronger than they really were. Seven months later, Tyco announced that the commission had decided to take no action.

 

Tyco's stock, which had fallen below $30 when the investigation was disclosed, rose to nearly $55 when the company said the inquiry had been dropped.

 

Even if Mr. Belnick did receive a bonus tied to the end of the investigation, he did not necessarily do anything wrong, said Seth Taube, a former chief of enforcement at the New York regional office of the S.E.C. and now the head of the securities litigation practice at McCarter & English.

 

"Lawyers always hope to be compensated for a successful result," Mr. Taube said. "That is not a motivation for lawyers to distort the facts. If so, the whole concept of paying lawyers for their work is faulty."

 

Bloomberg News reported yesterday that the S.E.C. had reopened its inquiry into Tyco's accounting practices. James Coffman, the assistant director of enforcement for the commission, declined to comment.

 

But people close to the commission and Tyco said that they would be very surprised if the S.E.C. was not investigating, given that its chairman and general counsel have both been forced out in the last 10 days.

 

Also yesterday, Bill Miller, a highly regarded fund manager, said he thought Tyco's shares were a bargain. Mr. Miller, manager of Legg Mason Value, the only mutual fund to outperform the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index for the last 11 years, first began buying Tyco's shares as they slid from almost $60 to about $30 earlier this year. Yesterday, Tyco closed at $11.05, down 35 cents.

 

Mr. Miller said Tyco had solid assets and was one of the most undervalued companies in the stock market, despite its $24 billion in debt, inability to complete the asset sales it has promised investors, falling profits, sudden strategic reversals and the indictment and resignation of its chief executive.

 

"There's been no evidence so far that anything happened at Tyco except perhaps disclosure violations," Mr. Miller said.

 

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Fed's Bies: Not Clear Unemployment Peaked

 

By Jonathan Nicholson

 

HOT SPRINGS, Va. (Reuters) - Federal Reserve ( news - web sites) governor Susan Bies said on Tuesday it was not clear whether the 7-1/2 year high unemployment rate hit in April would prove the peak for joblessness.

 

Bies also sidestepped the question of when the central bank would raise interest rates from the current four-decade lows, except to say it was inevitable borrowing costs would start to rise at some point after 11 cuts last year.

 

"Clearly, I'm not about to forecast interest rates. I've already learned as a new governor not to forecast rates. But at some point we do know that interest rates will start to rise again," Bies told the Tennessee Bankers Association after a speech calling for Corporate America to clean up its accounting act in the wake of scandals like that involving disgraced energy trader Enron Corp.

 

When asked by reporters after the speech if she was certain April's 6 percent unemployment level would prove the high-water mark for joblessness, Bies said: "No, I'm not."

 

The U.S. unemployment rate fell unexpectedly in May to 5.8 percent, while the economy churned out a more modest than anticipated 41,000 jobs, the Labor Department ( news - web sites) said Friday.

 

Bies' remarks echoed those of Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert McTeer, who on Monday said that, while it was "conceivable" the April number could mark the top for the unemployment rate, "it's probably not likely" because companies will stay cautious on hiring until they are certain the expansion is solidly in place.

 

Employment is one of the indicators that Fed officials watch closely when mulling interest rate decisions.

 

Bies said the general trend in job measures and temporary worker hirings was favorable, but cautioned the employment data are "really noisy" currently, in part due to new seasonal adjustments and to a temporary extension of government unemployment benefits.

 

The Fed governor, who took her board seat in December, said U.S. corporate executives have little power to raise prices in the current economic environment, a fact that may have bearing on the central bank's ruminations on inflation pressures.

 

"There is basically no pricing ability," she said.

 

Therefore the easiest way for companies to boost revenues is by cutting costs.

 

Bies said U.S. companies were taking a "more prudent" approach to making investments in new equipment and technology and said those spending decisions are often now being made at higher levels within companies and were more likely to involve critical areas that can realize a more immediate payoff.

 

Fed officials and private economists believe business spending is crucial to a vigorous and sustained recovery from the shallow recession last year.

 

CLEAN UP ACCOUNTING ACT

 

With the stock market still unsettled by fears of further accounting scandals, Bies had tough words for Corporate America's accounting methods and again urged a change in the "industry-driven" discipline process for accountants.

 

"Given human nature, we must expect that rules will sometimes be broken. But we can expect oversight boards to enforce penalties appropriate to the situation that will discourage others from breaking rules," Bies said.

 

Her remarks were an elaboration on a speech she gave Monday, in which she called for a new oversight process for the accounting profession, particularly to discipline its wayward members. Changes are under consideration by Congress, but have been stalled so far. Regulators, in the meantime, are moving ahead with more modest reform proposals.

 

In remarks to reporters after the speech, Bies said the continuing revelations of accounting irregularities among previously high-flying companies is weighing on stock markets and raising "very serious concerns" about the integrity of U.S. financial reporting.

 

"There is some issue about discounting earnings. Investors for a long period of time are going to be questioning because right now the trust is lacking. Corporate America and public accounting are going to have to reestablish that trust," she said.

 

"The fact that we keep finding more and more breakdowns leads, I think, a lot of people to believe that there's more of a systemic problem. It isn't just disciplining a few corporate officers, a few auditors."

 

Bies, who was an audit officer herself before joining the Fed, said the recent revelations show the need for a stronger discipline process for the accounting profession. She also noted many companies subject to accounting questions have been run by "hard-charging, creative, out-of-the-box risk takers."

 

"We don't want to get rid of the entrepreneurial spirit. But we need to make sure the strength in the governance process is equal to the additional risk that those organizations take on," she added.

 

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Centerpoint Leasing Close to Funding All Leases in Backlog

 

The appeal for help has been heard by Centerpoint.  All aspects of credit decisions

will be considered.   Here is one from Jim Fleming at National Business Credit:

 

National Business Credit is interested in looking at Centerpoint's approval backlog from its broker network.  We take a more subjective approach to looking at credit, rather than plugging the deal into an automated scoring system to let the computer

make a decision. We also take more of a partnership approach with our independent agents. Our arrangement with independent reps is that the rep owns the vendor relationship, which we will protect in writing.

 

  All interested parties can contact:

 

Jim Fleming

National Business Crdeit

722 Lake Avenue  Suite 126

Lake Worth, Fl  33460

800-811-8371  Voice  800-811-9701 Fax

 

nationalbusinesscredit@yahoo.com

 

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Accolades for Chuck Brazier’s Performance ----

 

It was good of you to add your favorable personal comments about Chuck

Brazier in the matter of Centerpoint. 

 

Those of us who have known and worked with him for any time (close to twenty years in my case) have come to know Chuck as one of the genuine good guys in the industry.

 

 I agree with you --true character shows in the tough times -- and Chuck Brazier is a gem.  I am proud to call him my friend.

 

Barry Reitman

baldguy@keystoneleasing.com

KEYSTONE EQUIPMENT LEASING, INC.

 

--- 

 

 

I was glad to read your positive comments on Chuck Brazier's integrity. 

I first met Chuck at the WAEL Convention in Spring 1986 right after I started

Kropschot Financial Services.  He was instrumental in helping me get his

employer, Colonial Pacific, as my first M&A assignment, leading to our sale

of the company to Pitney Bowes.

 

 Chuck Brazier is one of the real "nice guys” in the leasing industry, and I have heard nothing but favorable comments on him from those who have been associated with him.

 

Bruce Kropschot

 

BKropschot@aol.com

Kropschot Financial Services

116 Estuary Drive

Vero Beach, FL 32963

(772) 234-4544

 

-- 

 

 

I have worked with Chuck in his various positions for as long as I can

remember and he has always been completely honest and above board with a

very high level of integrity.

 

 I am or I should say was a broker for Centerpoint and it was an absolute pleasure working with Chuck.

 

I absolutely feel that inside this is probably the most difficult time of his

life. Whatever Chuck does in the future he has my vote of confidence and I

wish him good luck.

 

Phil Dushey

"Global Financial Services 17 State Street new York NY 10155 Phone 212-935-4370 Fax 212-935-4378 Web www.globaleasing.com email global@globaleasing.com" <dushey@mindspring.com>

 

 

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Good Morning Kit,

 

I have been getting you letter for some time yet have been out of the leasing industry for about 2 years.  I got up this morning and started reading about Centerpoint and how Chuck Brazier is going the extra step for his people and the company.

 

That is the Chuck Brazier I knew!

 

Many years ago, I was in the leasing business.  I was out of a job and ended up in Southern California.  Chuck Brazier gave me a helping hand.

 

I had kept in contact with Chuck for a while, then after I returned to the Midwest distance and business had gotten in the way and my contact with him stopped.

 

I can say that I really appreciate Chuck Brazier.  I found him to be a wonderful man to be around.  He always went the extra mile for the people he worked with.  He has class and is someone that many in the industry should look to when they are looking for an example of what management and a team player is all about.

 

I wish Chuck the best and know he will land on his feet.

 

George Osbourn

george331@peoplepc.com

 

--- 

 

-----------------------

 

"Chuck Brazier is one of the finest people in our industry and it is

time for his friends to speak up in his defense. After knowing Chuck for

the past 13 years, I consider him a true friend so here goes.  To the

brokers that feel Chuck has let them down----you don't have any clue as

to the time and effort he is dedicating to place your deals quietly

behind the scenes with other sources.

 

 You cannot blame Chuck for the demise of Centerpoint since he was the Director of Sales--not the President, not the CEO and not the money man backing the company. The decision to close Centerpoint was made at the highest levels, but Chuck got the dirty job of shutting down the operation and taking the verbal

abuse and grief from brokers.  He is doing this with integrity and style

by taking the abuse and not trying to pass the buck.

 

Chuck, from your many friends---you are a class act and we wish you success after Centerpoint is dead and buried. Besides, sandy beaches fit you better

than snow anyway.

 

Welcome back to the South".

 

Charlie Lester

clester@lpifinancial.com

 

--- 

 

I agree with your comments regarding Chuck Brazier. I have known Chuck

for 15 years, have done business with him and we've also closed a few

bars together.

 

 I was having dinner with Chuck and Connie Brazier in South Beach when my youngest daughter, Alaina was born.  Chuck and Connie stayed with me through the entire night because I could not get a flight home until early the next morning.  Chuck also gave me one of the best pieces of advice I have ever gotten from anyone in this business.

About 12 years ago Chuck Brazier explained the difference between the

"operational" management philosophy and the "volume" philosophy.  That

explanation and his advice would influence the way we structured and

operated out company until this very day.

 

As members of the UAEL executive committee we also worked through one of

the toughest times in the history of the association.  That was largely

because of a decision that I made as president but Chuck Brazier, to

whom the real brunt of my decision would fall, was behind me all the

way.

 

I would be willing to bet that those who are most critical of Chuck at a

time like this have no understanding of how the situation at Centerpoint

would affect this man mentally and emotionally.

 

Chuck, like so many others in this business in the last few years, could

have disappeared, skulked into the darkness for a couple of months

taking advantage of a new company name and the short memories that are

so prevalent in this industry.  After all, he was not a principal there.

He could have easily feigned any responsibility.  As most of your

readers know, however, he did not do that.  He took the angry calls, the

verbal abuse and the arrows for a situation that, I believe, was beyond

his control. 

 

If I were to present one person in this industry that has presented the example that I have tried to emulate, it would be Mr. Chuck Brazier. 

 

 

 

Bob Rodi, CLP

President

LeaseNOW, Inc.

drlease@leasenow.com

www.leasenow.com

1-800-321-LEAS (5327)x 101

 

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Leaseback Capital, Canada---Found

 

Name = Jeremy Lindsay

               Address = 5230 South Service Road

                  City = Burlington

                 State = On

               Zipcode = L6M 1W4

                 Phone = 1-866-207-0325

                   Fax = 1-866-207-0399

                 Email = jlindsay@leasebank.com

                Source =

Do not add my name to the posting = yes

              Comments = Regarding the Leasebank Capital question. Please feel free to contact me to find out who we are, what we're doing and how we're doing it.........

jlindsay@leasebank.com

 

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                        Great Mantanzas Creek Merlot Special!!!

 

Many readers know I collect wine, and sometimes run into some

super buys.  Here is one that is the best I have seen in many, many

years of collecting wine.  This can be drunk now, or save until 2005

or longer.

 

While I really love Leonetti Merlot, Duckhorn Merlot...Mantanzas is my favorite.

 

http://www.americanleasing.com/recommendations/Winery%20pages/Mantanzas.htm

 

As a member of the Mantanzas club, I was able to purchase three cases of the 1998 for $42 a bottle. When Sue and I went to pick it up, they allowed her to buy a

case for $48 a bottle ( she was not a member of the club and at the time, the

maximum a member could buy was three cases---rules have changed today ).

 

I have been collecting this wine for years.  Last year, I ran into some at

Pacific Wine and Spirits in Los Gatos, and I bought all he had for $65.89

a bottle.  It is that good!

 

I just bought three more cases, at $31 a bottle. Larry Stepek at Cavemasters has a sale on the 1998 Mantanzas Creek Wine for $31 a bottle ( one case minimum order ).  Larry and his wife Jackie operate Cavemasters, selling and importing wine, acting as a consultant, and runs into “buys.”  As an introduction to his company, he is offering this to our readers at the same price: $31 a bottle.

 

Normally wine collectors don’t like to give out where they get the good stuff.

The key to collecting, by the way, is not buying the most expensive wine, but

buying inexpensive wine that takes like the expensive stuff, and running into

great buys like this. I like to visit wineries.  I do have my favorites.  And if you have the right contact, it helps a great deal.

 

 (408) 395-6891

 info@cavemasters.com

http://www.cavemasters.com/

 

They will ship wine to states that accept UPS delivery of wine.

 

I have known Larry since his days at Liquor Barn, then going to work at The Plumed Horse as wine steward, then sommelier, then General Manager; he and

his wife bought a house in France, they import wine, and in between he was

the Wine Buyer and General Manager of California Cafe in Los Gatos.  Besides

Cavemasters, which his wife is the key to the operation, Larry is also general manager of Cafe Marcella in Los Gatos, which keeps him in touch with many

who not only visit the popular restaurant, but wine salesmen who want to sell

wine, as the restaurant has a pretty good wine cellar itself:

 

www.cafemarcella.com

 

If you are local, I also recommend his wine storage.  I ran out of room at

our cellar and put cases away at Cavemaster for five years and longer.

 

Also for the best up-to-date Wine news, no selling:

 

http://www.cavemasters.com/news.htm

 

I normally don’t send this to Leasing News readers, but you won’t see a buy

on my favorite Merlot again. Editor

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

The Funding Tree---Kendra Bernal Probation Requirements

 

The California Department of Corporation Hearing has been postponed,

and Kendra Bernal was reportedly arrested again, for violating parole.

Here is her public probation. Use your common sense and see which provisions she broke at The Funding Tree. Editor )

 

               Superior Court of California, County of Riverside     OTS-INT-230

06/10/02      4.02            Defendant Disposition        SUPERIOR CT  Inquiry

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

( 1) Case Number ..: RIF75158               ( 2) Arrest Number ...: PER96267029A

                                            ( 3) Defendant Number :   2

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Defn Name .: KENDRA BERNAL                                     Defn:   2 of   2

Defn Status: Probation   Conviction Date: 10/20/99      Sentence Date: 01/07/00

 

The following sentence is from BECKY L. DUGAN:                                

The following sentence was modified on 09/26/00.                              

                                                                              

Disposition: 004/476A PC, 010/532(A) PC, (CONVICTED)                          

                                                                              

  Global Sentence Information:                                                

     Defendant has 002 days credit for actual time served                       

                                                              

                                                                               

                                                                          

For Counts: 004/476A PC, 010/532(A) PC:                                       

 

                 Formal probation is granted for 060 months.                  

                 Probation to expire on 01/06/05.                             

                 The following terms and conditions are in effect:            

                    01) Obey all laws and ordinances. (T1)                    

                    02) Be committed to custody of RSO for moderate           

                        period of time, 365 days; (TAB)                       

                    03) Pay Restitution (Victim) in an amount determined      

                        by the Court as directed by Financial Services;       

                        any dispute to be resolved in a Court hearing. (TCB1) 

                    04) Not have any checking account and not possess any     

                        checks; (TGA1)                                        

                    05) Submit to search of your business office home         

                        autos storage area under your control & financial     

                        accts w/financ. institute by PO or law enforcmt;      

                         (TGE)                                                

                    06) Do not accept or work in any position where you       

                        are responsible for receiving or accepting any        

                        type of money on behalf of your employer; (TGF)       

                    07) Do not purchase,sell,register,transfer,lease or       

                        rent a vehicle without prior permission of the        

                        Probation Officer (TGG)                               

                    08) Report any law enforcement contacts to the            

                        Probation Officer within 48 hours (TH1)               

                    09) Seek/maintain gainful employment and/or attend a      

                        full-time school or vocational program; (THB)         

                    10) Reside at a residence approved by the Probation       

                        Officer and not move without prior consent of the     

                        Probation Officer. (THC)                              

                    11) Not have any direct or indirect contact with the      

                        victim; ALL. (THD)                                    

                    12) Report to Probation Officer immediately or upon       

                        release from custody for initial instructions and     

                        abide by all reasonable directives of officer; (THL)  

                    13) Not associate with any unrelated person on            

                        probation or parole. (THO)                            

                    14) Not own possess, or have under your control any        

                        firearm or deadly weapon or related paraphernalia     

                        for LIFE pusuant to 12021 PC/US 922(g)(1). (TXB1)     

                    15) Probation Officer to notify the Defendants            

                        employer of the convicted offense(s) when the         

                        Defendants employment involves work with               

                        currency/receipts. (TXR2)                             

                                                                              

For Counts: 004/476A PC, 010/532(A) PC:                                       

                 Serve 012 months in County Jail.                             

                                                                              

Disposition: 001/470 PC, 002/484(A) PC, 003/532(A) PC, 005/476A PC,           

             006/476A PC, 008/476A PC, 009/476A PC, (DISMISSED)     

 

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### ###################################    ########################

 

GE Donates $1 Million to National Underground Railroad Freedom Center plus Thousands of Candles to Help Light Freedom's Flame

 

 

    CINCINNATI

 

    Everyone who attends June 17 groundbreaking will receive `candle'

 

    On the evening of Monday, June 17, thousands of lights will shine at the Ohio riverfront groundbreaking celebration for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

    Donated by GE -- and just announced along with a $1 million GE gift -- these battery-operated lights are symbolic of the candle-lit windows that signaled safe passage for fugitives on the Underground Railroad.

    Dave Calhoun, GE Aircraft Engines President and CEO, announced GE's $1 million donation at the final rehearsal of the 500-voice community choir organized to sing at next Monday's groundbreaking. Many national dignitaries and celebrities, including Muhammad Ali, are expected to attend the ceremony.

    Mr. Calhoun also announced GE's gift of several thousand penlight "candles" for all who attend the groundbreaking, and presented larger battery-operated candles to the choir. GE volunteers will be at the groundbreaking to hand out the candles.

    "GE employees have been strong supporters of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center since its inception," said Mr. Calhoun. "It's a privilege to be part of history in the making. The Freedom Center will be one of the most important cultural institutions in our nation. It will showcase the courage, cooperation and perseverance of those who were part of the Underground Railroad -- an epic American story."

    Ed Rigaud, Freedom Center President and CEO, accepted GE's $1 million gift. "I'm pleased to announce that, thanks to the generosity of General Electric, we've topped the $76 million mark in funds raised for the campaign," Mr. Rigaud said. "This is a timely -- and much appreciated -- gift leading up to the June 17 groundbreaking.

    "Next Monday at dusk," Mr. Rigaud continued, "our 500-member community choir will cross the Suspension Bridge from Kentucky to Ohio for the groundbreaking, GE candles lighting the way. The choir will walk, singing, toward thousands more people with lighted candles, symbolizing the journey so many took to freedom. It will be an awe-inspiring sight to behold."

 

    MORE on the June 17 groundbreaking

 

    The groundbreaking celebration is an enormous, community-wide effort in Greater Cincinnati. National dignitaries and celebrities announced to date include Muhammad Ali, who will light a symbolic flame of freedom; William Gray, President and CEO of the United Negro College Fund, Ohio Governor Taft, U.S. Senator Mike DeWine, U.S. Congresspersons Stephanie Tubbs-Jones and Rob Portman, Cincinnati Mayor Charles Luken and many local officials. Nick Clooney will be Master of Ceremonies.

    Prior to the groundbreaking, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. there will be a family-oriented festival with food and craft vendors, information on historic sites, storytellers, African dance lessons and other entertainment. Groundbreaking speakers and lighting Freedom's Flame will occur from 8:30 until 9 p.m., at which time everyone in attendance will be asked to turn on their penlight "candles," and the choir will perform from 9 until 9:45. The evening will end with a fireworks display at 9:45.

    For more information about the Freedom Center and the June 17 groundbreaking, visit the website at www.undergroundrailroad.org.

 

    About the Freedom Center

 

    The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will open in mid-2004 on the banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati, one of the most traveled pathways of the Underground Railroad. The 158,000-square-foot Freedom Center will celebrate this heritage and raise awareness of the ongoing struggle for freedom today among men and women around the world. The Freedom Center will also revisit the historic themes of the Underground Railroad as they relate to contemporary society. It will recount the inspiring story of freedom from slavery through exhibitions, programs and the Web as well as outreach at freedom stations in 60 cities in North America.

 

    About GE

 

    GE is a diversified services, technology and manufacturing company with a commitment to achieving customer success and worldwide leadership in each of its businesses. GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs 313,000 people worldwide. Jeffrey R. Immelt is Chairman and CEO.

 

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Pacific Capital Bancorp Distributes 4-for-3 Stock Split

 

    Parent of Santa Barbara Savings and Loan Equipment Leasing

 

    http://www.sbbt.com/equipment_leasing.html

 

    SANTA BARBARA, Calif.--( --Pacific Capital Bancorp (Nasdaq:SABB), a multi-community bank holding company with $4.12 billion in assets, today distributed additional shares of its common stock as part of an earlier announced 4-for-3 stock split. The Company's Board of Directors approved the 4-for-3 stock split of the Company's common stock on April 23, 2002. The shares were distributed on June 11, 2002, to shareholders of record as of May 21, 2002.

    The 4:3 stock split ratio is equivalent to 1.33. Fractional shares resulting from the stock split will be paid in cash. At the close of the stock market today, June 11, 2002, the Company's stock price was adjusted by the new dividend rate.

    According to President and Chief Executive Officer William S. Thomas, Jr., the stock split will produce a 33% increase in total shares outstanding, improving the liquidity of the Company's stock. Pacific Capital Bancorp had approximately 26.1 million shares issued and outstanding at March 31, 2002. Following the stock split, the Company now has approximately 34.8 million shares issued and outstanding.

    Pacific Capital Bancorp shareholders with questions about the transaction should contact the Company's transfer agent, Mellon Investor Services, at (800) 522-6645.

    Pacific Capital Bancorp is the parent Company of Pacific Capital Bank, N.A., a nationally chartered bank with four divisions: Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, First National Bank of Central California, South Valley National Bank and San Benito Bank. Pacific Capital Bank, N.A. is a 41-branch community bank network serving customers in six Central Coast counties, from Morgan Hill in the north to Westlake Village/Thousand Oaks in the south.

 

    CONTACT: Pacific Capital Bancorp

             Deborah K. Lewis, 805/884-6680

             lewisd@pcbancorp.com

 

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UCC Direct Services First to Offer XML Filing via Internet

 

Houston, TX,  – UCC Direct Services announced today that it becomes the first service company to offer electronic UCC filings directly to state filing offices using XML data transmissions via the Internet. Since early 2000, UCC Direct Services has worked closely with filing offices throughout the country and with the International Association of Corporate Administrators (IACA) to create the standard for UCC XML transmissions. The standard has now been integrated into UDS’ flagship UCC management application, iLienOnline.com, enabling registered users access to the numerous advantages provided by this new capability.

As of today, the state of Missouri becomes the first to go online using the XML standard, with North Carolina, Mississippi and Delaware to follow within the next few weeks. Steve Fox, Vice President of Marketing for UCC Direct Services notes, “This is the beginning of an entirely new and far more effective way to file UCC transactions on the public record.”

With the advent of XML filing, filing data is transmitted directly from each user’s computer to the state’s official data repository over the internet with no intervening processes. As a result, the potential errors associated with paper filings, including filing office input errors, are eliminated. Near-instant confirmation of every filing, with file numbers and electronic acknowledgements issued within a matter of minutes, provides quick assurance that a filing has been received. In addition, these electronic filings retain the positive characteristics of paper filings, namely the ability to print an exact copy of a filing that includes the file number and file date. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the fact that the acceptance rate of XML filings by the filing office approaches virtually 100% when combined with iLienOnline’s “intelligent auditor” which prohibits users from submitting defective XML filings.

Fox also states that “as more and more states come online with XML filing over the next 18 months, we will witness a dramatic and fundamental change in the way our business – and the business of the industry at large – is conducted. It is very exciting and rewarding to know that UCC Direct Services has been a driving force in this change".

About UCC Direct Services
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, UCC Direct Services is an industry leader in applying technology advances to product development and refinement. Constantly developing ways to improve efficiency in UCC handling, all UDS products and services are backed by the experience and personal commitment of nationwide teams of service professionals. UCC Direct Services represents the most robust national resource that is uniquely dedicated to the needs of the lending and leasing industries. UCC Direct Services is a division of CCH Legal Information Services.

About iLienOnline.com
An internet-based portfolio management tool, iLienOnline has been designed specifically to help improve accuracy, consistency and speed in UCC processing. It is a comprehensive, intelligent and powerful work management center that provides total control over all UCC activities including filing, searching and document retrieval.

Media Contact:
Jeanne Barron
UCC Direct Services
(413-563-7383)
jbarron@cch-lis.com

 

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Lycos offers new subscription music service

 

( Jazz, too )

 

By Associated Press

 

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) Internet portal Lycos will launch a new paid subscription music service offering access to 10,000 albums with 150,000 songs.

 

Lycos, a subsidiary of Spanish communications conglomerate Terra Networks SA, is the largest Internet partner of Listen.com, the San Francisco-based company that has agreements with four of the five major record labels to provide ''streamed'' CD- quality sound.

 

The Lycos Rhapsody service will be offered free through this month. Then it will offer three tiers of service: free radio service on 20 channels of FM-quality sound; access to more than 50 commercial-free radio stations with CD-quality sound for $4.95 per month; and unlimited streams of individual songs plus access to the 50 stations for $9.95 per month.

 

Customers won't be able to save songs on their hard drives or record them on compact discs,

 

Listen.com's deals with BMG, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Recorded Music and Warner Music Group would give Lycos users access to artists including Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, Jay-Z, Lauryn Hill, Bruce Springsteen and Simon and Garfunkel.

 

Industry-sponsored sites MusicNet and PressPlay limit how many songs can be downloaded.

 

Terra Lycos, which is trying to draw more users to subscription-based content, claims 115 million unique users per month. It has a presence in 43 countries.

 

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Free Calculator for Your Website: Lease-vs-Buy.com

 

This is a completely free, web-based lease analysis tool 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.

 

http://www.lease-vs-buy.com/?exitbutton=enable

 

 

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