Friday, September 2, 2016

Begin Again

We are back, after a summer of odd Rink Rats publishing dates, Rink Rats returns with weekly postings for awhile.

It was a good summer; travels to Chicago, Michigan, Upstate and Central New York, Las Vegas, and the Central Coast of California were all memorable.

We studied with students from South and Central America, Central Europe, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, and in America from Texas to California, Oregon to Illinois. Students who were attending their very first American University, and students who were Officers in the United States Air Force, students beginning their higher education and students finishing up their graduate studies,  all wonderful students and great people.

We attended wonderful alumni events in Canton New York, Los Angeles and Rancho Cucamonga California. We saw some good and bad local concerts, and of course did not even come close to all the events we planned on attending at the beginning of the summer and that summer reading list is still on the night stand collecting dust.

Summer is over now let the games begin for a new academic year, new business challenges, the major league baseball playoffs,  new seasons of football, hockey, and of course new television seasons of Shameless, Masters of Sex, and Fargo.

I hope all of you enjoyed a safe and eventful summer.

COLLEGE CHRONICLES - An excerpt from St. Lawrence University President Bill Fox's opening remarks to the Class of 2020, "Finding Something to Do."

CELEBRITY TEACHER - For two weeks next May, M.B.A. students at Stanford University will be taking tips in personal branding from the former host of “America’s Next Top Model.” Tyra Banks is slated to make her teaching debut at the school as a guest lecturer, co-teaching a class on creating and protecting a personal brand. Some 25 graduate students will receive instruction from Ms. Banks on how to harness all forms of old and new media to showcase their strengths. The former Victoria’s Secret model and chief executive of TYRA Beauty will also deliver tips on handling press exposure as a business leader. The first assignment for the class, “Project You: Building and Extending your Personal Brand,” asks students to create a short video introducing both themselves and the vision for a brand, according to the official course description.

Celebrity sightings have become increasingly common on the campuses of the nation’s top business schools. In 2000, Oprah Winfrey taught a “Dynamics of Leadership” class at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Notable students are making star turns at B-schools, too. In the wake of a doping ban, tennis player Maria Sharapova enrolled in an executive-education course at Harvard Business School this summer. Ms. Banks herself completed an HBS executive-education program in 2012. In June, rapper LL Cool J and National Basketball Association players Pau Gasol and Chris Paul attended a four day course at HBS on the “Business of Media, Entertainment, and Sports.” In that course, actor Channing Tatum participated as a “live case” study.

SYLLABUS - More than 400 incoming USC students are first-generation college-goers. Los Angeles Times:

A NEW RICHARD NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY? Indeed -- The Richard Nixon Foundation has announced "three days of special events to celebrate its opening" and the life of President Nixon from Oct 14-16 in Yorba Linda. "Two of President and Mrs. Nixon's grandchildren, Christopher Cox and Melanie Eisenhower, will serve as co-chairs for the Opening Committee.

The 'new' Nixon library's challenge: Fairly depicting a failed presidency: When the Richard Nixon Presidential Library first opened 26 years ago, it was dismissed by many historians as more of a whitewash than a faithful retelling of his presidency ... But in 2007, when the library finally entered the official presidential library system under the auspices of the National Archives, the exhibit was torn down and eventually replaced with a much more critical version ... Now a $15-million renovation focuses on the rest of the museum's decades-old galleries, set to reopen in October, with the aim of building an unflinching but well-rounded portrait of a complicated man whose long career has often been overshadowed by his quick and stunning fall from grace." I might visit…..NOT.

WIN OLYMPIC MEDALS, PAY THE TAXMAN -- For an Olympic medal winner from California, call it the thrill of victory and the agony of taxes. And it won't change when they return from Rio de Janeiro, after an effort to exempt their winnings from state taxes was killed on Thursday by a legislative panel.

AB 1944 by Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee) would have given tax-exempt status to bonuses paid by the U.S. Olympic Committee for athletes who win gold, silver or bronze medals. Those payments - $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze - are considered taxable income under California law.

MACY TO SHUTTER 100 STORES - The great American consumer is very much alive. It's just that people aren't shopping like they used to, reluctant to pay full price or even leave the couch ... For legacy stores, the fallout from this shift has been profound, perhaps never more apparent than this week. Macy's, the country's largest department store, said on Thursday that it would close 100 stores, saying they were more valuable as real estate properties.

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, announced that it would buy a small online rival for more than $3 billion. The hope is that the deal will reverse its sputtering online growth. Other retailers have taken aggressive action, too, trying to turn their fortunes around. Billions of dollars have been poured into e-commerce efforts.

TRUMP 101 - An investigation by The New York Times into the financial maze of Mr. Trump's real estate holdings in the United States reveals that companies he owns have at least $650 million in debt - twice the amount than can be gleaned from public filings he has made as part of his bid for the White House. The Times's inquiry also found that Mr. Trump's fortunes depend deeply on a wide array of financial backers, including one he has cited in attacks during his campaign.

"For example , an office building on Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan, of which Mr. Trump is part owner, carries a $950 million loan. Among the lenders: the Bank of China, one of the largest banks in a country that Mr. Trump has railed against as an economic foe of the United States, and Goldman Sachs, a financial institution he has said controls Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, after it paid her $675,000 in speaking fees."

BROOKLYN BRAIN DUMP -- this week's message -- "Hillary Clinton is light years ahead of Donald Trump in transparency -- and the deeper we get into this campaign, the more we realize how little we know about Trump. Hillary Clinton has released decades of her tax returns, has provided detailed information from a credible doctor about her health, and publicly disclosed all donors to the Clinton Foundation. And just this week, the Clinton Foundation laid out the limitations under which it would operate should she be elected president. By contrast, Trump has yet to prove he will be free of conflicts given his vast and complex financial ties that directly affect his personal net worth. Today's New York Times looked into Trump's web of financial dealings and found that his businesses held $650 million in debt in the U.S. alone. Among the debtholders is the Bank of China, even as Trump claims he will crack down against China on trade.Trump needs to commit to divesting his holdings or otherwise explain how he would operate as President to ensure he is not letting his own financial interests affect decisions made by his administration."

Trump and his Enemies," by William Voegeli on the cover of the summer issue of Claremont Quarterly: "Sometimes, worthy causes have unworthy champions."

Days until the 2016 election: 67.

GOOD READS - Excerpt from MAUREEN DOWD 's new book "The Year of Voting Dangerously: The Derangement of American Politics" (out Sept. 27 from Twelve): "2016 is a dizzying dive through the looking glass and into Donald Trump's Narcissus pool-and must-follow Twitter feed ... The Republican Party, held hostage to the whims of its 70-year-old high-chair king, is imploding. The Democratic Party, held hostage to the Clintons' bizarre predilection for arrogant and self-defeating behavior just when things are going well, had to stitch itself back together after its unexpected civil war. Tectonic plates are grinding. Gatekeepers, old rules and old media are vanishing. We have an out-of-control id taunting a tightly controlled super-ego. We have the king of winging it versus the queen of homework. She says he's too unpredictable to be president, he says she's too predictable. Trump can excite his crowds but falters on substance; Hillary has substance but falters on exciting her crowds. 'The boor versus the bore,' Time's Charlotte Alter calls it." The cover

From Montreal to Minnesota, by Inland Sea," by Porter Fox in tomorrow's NYT Travel section: "I was so used to driving and flying, my understanding of North America had become distorted. Then I took a slow boat through four Great Lakes. I saw every mile."

"Intellectuals are Freaks," by Michael Lind in The Smart Set: "Why professors, pundits, and policy wonks misunderstand the world."

"Can Brazil Be Saved?" by Franklin Foer in Slate: "Colossal corruption. Political chaos.The worst recession in its history. The Olympics won't rescue the once-booming nation. But all is not lost."

TIM COOK’S FIVE YEAR ANNIVESARY - One of the most important succession plans in corporate history will hit a milestone last week.

Five years ago, Apple Inc.’s iconic and visionary cofounder Steve Jobs passed the torch to his handpicked successor, Tim Cook. The official transition took place six weeks before Mr. Jobs died.

Now Apple is the world’s largest company by market value and remains one of the most influential. Its $53 billion in net income last year was greater than the combined earnings of technology behemoths Facebook Inc., Google’s parent Alphabet Inc., Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Apple recently sold its billionth iPhone.

At the same time, though, Apple’s growth is slowing, its stock is stagnating and it is facing more concerns than ever about its future. Under- scoring all of this is one key question that Mr. Cook will likely never escape: Are Apple’s best days behind it?

Apple’s product lineup has expanded under Mr. Cook, but each category faces its own set of concerns. The iPhone, launched under Mr. Jobs, is even bigger in dollar terms now and contributes roughly two-thirds of the company’s overall revenue.

And yet its outrageous success is coming back to haunt Apple. With iPhone sales slowing, Apple has reported two consecutive quarterly drops in revenue, snapping a streak of 13 years of growth.

On Wall Street, Apple has made the improbable transition from a growth to a value stock thanks to the billions of dollars in dividends and share buybacks.

Apple’s stock has more than doubled over the past five years, outperforming the S& P 500 but slightly trailing the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite. Its valuation is cheap, but it has been cheap for years. The worry that Apple doesn’t have another revolutionary product up its sleeve is what weighs on the stock.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Halle Berry (50) Malibu, CA.; Warren Buffett (86) Omaha, NB.; Sean Connery (86) Glaskow, Scotland; David Crosby (85) Santa Fe, NM.; Elvis Costello (62) Chatham, Mass.;  Mark Harmon (65) Calabasas, CA.; Salma Hayek (50) Paris, France; Jessica Naccache …famous health care manager; Alan Simpson (85) Jackson Hole, WY.

SPORTS BLINK -- "Alabama keeps rolling: Tide is No. 1 in AP preseason Top 25," by AP's Ralph Russo: "In a way, the 2016 season will pick up where 2015 left off: Alabama is No. 1 and Clemson is 2. The defending national champion Crimson Tide is the No. 1 team in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 for the fifth time overall and third time under coach Nick Saban." 1. Alabama ... 2. Clemson ... 3. Oklahoma ... 4. Florida State ... 5. LSU ... 6. Ohio State ... 7. Michigan ... 8. Stanford ... 9. Tennessee ... 10. Notre Dame ... 11. Ole Miss ... 12. Michigan State ... 13. TCU ... 14. Washington ... 15. Houston ... 16. UCLA ... 17. Iowa ... 18. Georgia ... 19. Louisville ... 20. USC ... 21. Oklahoma State ... 22. North Carolina ... 23. Baylor ... 24. Oregon ... 25. Florida.

FINAL RIO ROUNDUP -- Final medal tally: 1. US: 121 ... 2. Great Britain: 67... 3. China: 70 ... 4. Russia: 56 ...5. Germany: 42. Full list


            1). Chapman University Panthers

            2). University Of La Verne Leopards (2015 Champs)

            3). Claremont McKenna-Mudd Republicans

            4). University of Redlands Bulldogs

            5). California Lutheran Kingsmen


            1). Oklahoma Sooners

            2). Clemson Tigers

            3). Alabama Crimson Tide

            4). Florida State Criminals

            5). Michigan Wolverines

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 9/3, 5:00 PM ET, ABC: #20 University of Southern California Trojans (0-0) vs. #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (0-0); at Arlington, Texas – Bama cruises 28 - 14  Season to date (0-0)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 9/3, 2:00 PM ET, HGTV: #18 John Carrol University Blue Streaks (0-0) visit #6 University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Titans (0-0), early season matchup between regional rivals: we like the Titans to prevail at Titan Stadium 24 – 21. Season to date (0-0)


(NCAA Football, Sept. 2) Morrisville State Mustangs (0-0) at St. Lawrence University Saints (0-0), first night game ever at Leckonby Stadium, Saints win 30 – 20. After the game to the University Inn for a few barley sandwiches.

(NCAA-SCIAC, Sept. 3) University of La Verne Leopards (0-0) at Puget Sound Loggers (0-0), The Leopards begin the pressure of meeting expectations after last season’s Championship season. They are off to a good start; ULV 24 the Loggers 20.

(MLB, Sept. 3) Detroit Tigers (72-61) at Kansas City Royals (69-64), playoff implications in this one; The Boys from Motown win 5 – 4.

Season to date (55 -40)

MARKET WEEK  - HO JOs THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES: The closing of one of the last two Howard Johnson restaurants in a couple of weeks will mark the end of its fried clam strips, Friday all you can eat fish fry, ice cream and other menu staples that nourished baby boomers and leave the once-proud restaurant chain teetering on the brink of extinction.

After fifty years the slice of roadside Americana will no longer be served up in Bangor, Maine after Sept. 6. The closing will leave only one Howard Johnson restaurant, in Lake George, New York.

Before falling on hard times, Howard Johnson took restaurant franchises to a new level. The orange-roofed eateries once numbered more than 800, with the New England-based restaurant chain predating the ubiquitous Howard Johnson hotels.

Howard Deering Johnson started the business in 1925, when he inherited a soda fountain outside Boston. That evolved into a chain of restaurants featuring comfort food and 28 flavors of ice cream. The orange roof with a blue spire represented a dependable place for travelers to park the family car, grab a meal and spend the night.

Owners David Patel and his wife, Sally Patel, kept their restaurant going for the past four years as business slowed and hours were scaled back to just breakfast and lunch. "It's not worth it to keep it open. We tried for four years," Sally Patel said Tuesday, noting the hotel side of their business remains healthy and will be unaffected by the restaurant closure. "We felt bad to close it."

Fortunately for HoJo fans, the Lake George restaurant appears to be on solid ground and is open year round.

Next week: NFL Season Picks and Tell Me About Michigan.

Until Next Time, Adios. Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend.

Claremont, CA

September 2, 2016


CARTOON OF THE WEEK – Freshman Orientation 2016 Style per Doonesbury

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