Into Antiques?

On ebay you'll find over 100 categories covering the Medieval and Renaissance periods, through Georgian, Regency and Victorian, to Edwardian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

Antique Dealers in California

Linda Stamberger

Linda Stamberger, author of "Antiquing In Florida", is a Florida expert and freelance writer of many genres. Visit this site to read her articles - some of which are available for purchase - as is her book.

Brooks Novelty Antiques and Records

Brooks Novelty is an all-vinyl record store. We specialize in: jukeboxes, vintage soda machines, antique slot machines, pin balls, arcade games, neon clocks and signs, rare concert posters, old advertising signs and much more!

The Antique Company

Established in the late 1900's, we occupy a huge corner building with a small garden area that leads to another 1000 sq foot store (called TAC) that contains our Mid Century collection.

Vintage Westclox

Westclox photo identification gallery and history and information of clocks, watches and other timepieces. This site primarily displays American clocks made by Westclox that were made from the early 1900's up to about the 1960's.

Antique Appraisals On-Line

We are one of the country's largest, oldest, most qualified and respected appraisal services. The majority of our appraisals are estate and personal property evaluations for valuation documentation purposes. However, we have evaluated goods and personal property for natural disaster losses (hurricanes), theft, fire, freight and shipping damage after the loss has occurred.

Connoisseur Antiques

Featuring fine antique furniture, Connoisseur Antiques is a Los Angeles Antique Furniture Showroom specializing in antique clocks and mirrors, European and French antiques, Antique Lighting, Chandeliers, Sconces, Armoires and much more.

Liz's Antique Hardware

Antique Hardware is the backbone of our business. We offer a complete selection of door, window and furniture hardware, lighting and accessories circa 1890 to 1970.

San Francisco Antique and Design Mall

San Francisco Antique and Design Mall is the largest antique mall in northern California. We opened our doors in October 1997 with 75 dealers and today we have over 200 of San Francisco's most professional antique specialists.

Ambiance Antiques

Importer of 18th and 19th Century French Antiques

C'est La Vie Antiques

European Antique and Accessories in San Diego, CA.

Lang Antiques

We carry a large selection of fine antique jewelry, antique rings & antique engagement rings. We also have vintage estate jewelry, vintage estate rings & vintage estate engagement rings from the Victorian, Art Nouveau, Edwardian & Art Deco style periods.

Once in a Blue Moon Online Thrift Store

We are an online thrift store featuring new, used, and unusual items.

Friday, June 1, 2012

California banks on Facebook stock recovery - CBS News

California banks on Facebook stock recovery - CBS News

(MoneyWatch) The state of California has a $2.1 billion bet on Facebook stock - and an even bigger bet on the market as a whole.

The economically beleaguered state, which is attempting to hike tax rates in order to close a yawning budget deficit, estimates that 155 million restricted stock units that will be given to Facebook (FB) insiders over the next six months will net the Golden State a $2.1 billion tax payday. But that's predicated on the now seemingly optimistic notion that Facebook shares would pop after the offering and sell for $45 by November.

With Facebook shares down roughly 25% from the $38 IPO price, that projection is looking tenuous. Jason Sisney, deputy legislative analyst, says that if the shares remain depressed the state will take a hit amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.

In fact, that hit may be even greater over time, considering that Facebook has granted nearly 2 billion stock options and restricted stock units to a group of insiders at a paltry $1 exercise price. Generally speaking the difference between the going market price - now around $29 - and the exercise price is a taxable gain. These insiders will be able to exercise those options and sell their shares after 3-to-6-month "lock-up" periods expire in August and November. However, no one knows how many of those shares will be exercised, triggering taxation, and not all the holders live in California. Thus state tax officials are not yet banking on that windfall.

However, the state is attempting to hike rates on the rich, partly to capitalize on all the newfound Facebook millionaires. Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget would hike income tax rates on those earning more than $250,000 annually to 10.3% from the current 9.71% rate; and he'd impose an 11.3% tax on those earning more than $350,000.

Indeed, California's government believes Menlo Park-based Facebook will be so pivotal to the state's well-being that the legislative analyst estimates that one-fifth of personal income growth in the state over the next few years could be directly or indirectly attributed to the social network's initial public offering.

Thus the slump in Facebook's share price is a significant concern. But an even bigger concern is the overall market decline that has hit virtually every investor - and is thus likely to create a broad-based decline in state tax revenues, if it doesn't reverse soon.

 "It's unusual that a small, but noticeable, portion of California's revenue will come from the stock-related activity of a single company. That is an extraordinary thing," says Sisney. "But one cannot ignore the stock market when it produces - or reduces - revenues significantly. A continuation of the recent slump in the broader stock market, or failure of the market to reverse course, could affect state revenues by billions of dollars in the next year."


J. Robert Scott Celebrates 40 Years Creating American Made “Furniture as an Art Form” - Digital Journal
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City Furniture opens green store - WSVN-TV

PINECREST, Fla. (WSVN) -- The green scene now can be found at a well-known South Florida furniture store.

We aren't talking about the big color for this season but an environmental reason. For the average customer, this renovated location of City Furniture, off US 1, near Dadeland, might look like your average furniture store, but it's anything but. The company went out of its way to install the latest and greatest green products from the ground up. "It's a green building, and it's fabulous," said Keith Koenig, City Furniture's President.

The building underwent a $3.5 million extreme green makeover. Some of the green features include: "Our track lighting here is all LED," said Koenig, "and the Light Emitting Diode technology saves about two-thirds on the electricity, and it saves on the air conditioning, too."

All around, the near-30,000-square-foot showroom, you will find recycled material almost everywhere. From the wood floors and walls to the paint used, the materials used were a top priority. "Flooring, paint, all the materials are local, so it's sustainable in South Florida," said Koenig.

The company's green approach has not gone unrecognized. City Furniture Dadeland is now only the second lead furniture store in the country because of this renovation. The lead certification has only been granted to those buildings who go the extra mile to go eco-friendly. "Lead certification, green buildings are more sustainable on the long haul," said Koenig, "so there is a cost on the upfront, which many companies don't want to do. We see the pay off."

The building renovation adds a second floor to the building, and a 27-foot high central atrium. The new design is not only good for the environment but also eye-appealing for the customer.

City Furniture plans to open four more stores with this green platform in mind. The new store also gives a boost to the local economy, as it has produced 25 more jobs in the area.

(Copyright 2012 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Tailored living with SB Furniture - Philippine Star Online

MANILA, Philippines - If you’ve seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sex and the City, and Amélie, you’ve probably daydreamed about someday owning your own unique space like Holly’s lush pad, Carrie’s iconic studio apartment, or Amélie’s quirky bright bedroom. A pen, a piece of paper, and your imagination would send you randomly creating sketches. But how do you let this dream space come into fruition?

SB Furniture, Asia’s chicest and greenest furniture brand, does the job, as it brings you home solutions through its newly official service—the Furniture Layout Consultancy. With the steady hand of one of SB Furniture’s in-house design specialists, the service brings your ideas to life by turning your rough sketches into actual blueprints.

Consulting with a design specialist to carefully lay out your space and pick key furniture pieces allow all factors to be taken into consideration — including aesthetics, safety, functionality, and practicality — which is what the Furniture Layout Consultancy puts forward.

“Urbanites go through that tough point of adorning their homes — tailoring them the way they envision them to be, but also needing to work within their budgets,” says Ma Ann de Jesus, marketing manager of Abenson-SB Furniture. “This is why we want to help our clients weigh in these factors by giving them a clear vision of what would work for their homes through the Furniture Layout Consultancy, which we offer free of charge.”

The process starts with a bare floor plan. “A client needs to hand in a basic floor plan to allow our in-house design specialist to properly study and take accurate measurements of the place,” explains de Jesus. “A customized plan can easily exceed a budget if a client lets his fancies run amok. But with the guidance of our in-house design specialists, the whole process of choosing and laying out the right furniture pieces can run smoothly, as all needs and likings are integrated into one master plan.”

Meanwhile, the end product of the service is a presentation of a full 3D furniture layout, which will be given to them and executed once the client decides to proceed with the purchase. Nonetheless, the Furniture Layout Consultancy, which De Jesus reiterates as a “free-of-charge” service, is just the icing on the cake of SB Furniture’s home solutions.

“All the brand’s pieces in its lines are modular, meaning they can be moved around, and shuffled to suit your taste,” says De Jesus. To add to this, SB Furniture utilizes advanced technology, high-grade fittings imported from Europe, and non-toxic particleboards or MDF from recycled wood chips that ensure high-quality craftsmanship in its pieces to simulate exquisite and healthy breathing spaces for the family.

The E1 (European Standard Class) Seal on each of its modular and knock-down furniture signifies three very important things—that SB Furniture: Is guaranteed safe for you and your family; does not cause irritations and allergies brought about by harmful chemicals present in substandard brands, and has no foul odors, such as those caused by high concentrations of formaldehyde, which is commonly found in low-cost wood panels. “Each piece is also crafted using RSS (Reinforced Structure System) and FSS (Firm Structure System), which are innovations that guarantee strength and durability to last for years,” de Jesus adds.

As the brand successfully infuses all these characteristics into its exquisite collections, let the steady hand of an experienced designer guide you through the process of choosing the right pieces and putting the puzzle pieces of your breathing space together. With SB Furniture, whether you are downsizing, restructuring, or completely moving to a new area, putting together your home has never been this effortless.

S.B. Furniture is available at Bonifacio Global City, 552-3913; Makati, 889-4223; Ortigas, 632-9101; San Fernando, Pampanga, 045-435-0015; and Quezon City, 724-2591.


California spelling prodigy wins 2012 Spelling Bee - Japan Times

NATIONAL, Harbor Maryland — Tears were shed, high-fives exchanged and victory poses struck at the dramatic conclusion to the 2012 Spelling Bee finals Thursday evening, with Snigdha Nandipati, a 14-year-old California native, crowned the winner after effortlessly spelling "guetapens," a French-derived term for "ambush."

"I knew it, I'd seen it before," Snigdha, still in a visible state of disbelief after her victory, said of the word that ultimately won her first place at the contest in Maryland — and nearly $40,000 (¥3.1 million) in combined prize money.

Haruka Masuda, 12, an avid reader and future U.N.-aspirant, was Japan's sole representative at the event, after winning The Japan Times Spelling Bee in March to advance to the global stage. She was unable to reach the semifinals.

Surrounded by family, including her grandparents who crossed the Pacific to cheer her on, Snigdha, the daughter of Indian immigrants, described her 6- to 12-hour per day study regimen — longer hours at weekends, fewer on weekdays — to the audience, and admitted that although she was familiar with all the words fired at her, she was less certain about some posed to her cofinalists.

This year's Spelling Bee pitted 278 contestants, ranging in age from elementary to junior high school students, against each other in a do-or-die battle. After a computer test and two vocal rounds, the spellers were whittled down to 50 semifinalists who clashed swords in two rounds earlier Thursday. Those left standing then engaged in a titanic struggle for the ultimate prize.

The international event this week showcased spelling prodigies from across the globe, ranging from Jamaicans to Chinese and Ghanaians, and included the youngest contestant in Spelling Bee history — 6-year-old Virginian Lori Anne C. Madison, who bowled over the audience but didn't make it to the final 50.

The contestants were judged using Webster's Third New International Dictionary as gospel, necessitating long hours of study to memorize both the spelling and meaning of words.

The spellers were allowed to ask four questions about the words presented: etymology, definition, usage of the word in a sentence and an alternative pronunciation. When faced with a particularly difficult word, some contestants lightheartedly asked to hear the spelling.

Masuda, Japan's entrant, was born in the Philippines and attends the Makuhari International School in Chiba Prefecture. She failed to make the semifinals, but was able to strut her stuff by correctly spelling "kibitzer," a term derived from Yiddish that describes someone who interferes or offers unwanted advice.


California's Prop 29 is Big Tobacco vs. Lance Armstrong - USA Today

The tobacco industry wants to keep it that way.

It has amassed nearly $50 million to kill an initiative before California voters that has been championed by cycling star Lance Armstrong and supported by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has donated $500,000 to its campaign.

Marlboro-maker Altria Group Inc., RJ Reynolds and other tobacco heavyweights have spent their millions on a media blitz to snuff out Proposition 29, which would slap an additional $1-per-pack tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products to fund cancer research.

If the tax passes, California would still have only the 16th highest tax rate in the nation, at $1.87 per pack. But tobacco companies and their allies say that voter approval of an extra tax in the nation's largest cigarette market would crush owners of small businesses and spark anti-smoking measures elsewhere.

They say the measure on Tuesday's primary ballot is flawed and would create a giant, unaccountable bureaucracy.

"We all know that Big Tobacco has poured tens of millions in this campaign saying, 'Don't tax us any more,'" said Armstrong, who beat testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs more than a decade ago. "But the fact of the matter is the product they sell leads to about $9 billion a year in health care costs for California. I think if this passes, other states will follow."

Its passage is uncertain.

The Public Policy Institute of California found that support for the initiative dropped from 67% in March to 53% by late May, reflecting the blizzard of radio and TV ads from the tobacco industry.

A statewide Field Poll released Thursday found that 50% of likely voters said they will vote yes on the measure, with 42% voting no and 8% undecided.

As the primary approaches, Armstrong and other smoking foes, including Bloomberg and Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, are pouring in their own money to counter the industry.

Bloomberg has banned smoking in New York City bars and parks during his decade in office.

"California is a particularly important state, and it's very visible on this issue," he said in a telephone interview. "A lot of people there will die unless we do something to stop Big Tobacco."

The $12.3 million anti-smoking groups have raised comes to about one-fourth of the $46.8 million war chest built by the major tobacco companies. The anti-tax contributions exceed those of any other federal independent expenditure committee except the "Restore Our Future" super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to recent campaign finance figures.

Smoking is not as common in California, the nation's most populous state, as it is in other pockets of the country. Smoking rates are among the nation's lowest in California, at 12.1%, and highest in Kentucky, at 24.8% , the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in 2010.

Still, California represents a huge market for the tobacco industry. Smokers in the state bought about 970 million packs of cigarettes — spending approximately $5.2 billion — in fiscal year 2010, the most recent year for which national figures are available. Some of that money went to an existing tobacco tax, which sends 25 cents from each pack purchased to fund anti-smoking programs, provide health care services to the poor and fund tobacco-related research.

That helped reduce tobacco sales. In the 15 years after it went into effect in 1988, the industry lost $9.2 billion in pre-tax sales, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco's Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.

Then, in 2006, tobacco companies spent $66 million to defeat a previous measure that would have created an extra $2.60-per-pack tax.

So far, the opposition campaign has centered its messaging on the state's budget mess, calling the California Cancer Research Act a folly that will force taxpayers to support a group of political appointees who will send research money out of state. Opponents also have said it could end up raising millions of dollars yet produce little research that develops new cancer treatments, charges the measure's supporters say are baseless.

"The tobacco companies realize that we have a like mind in opposing both tax burdens and policies that create a business-unfriendly environment," said Joel Fox, president of the Los Angeles-based Small Business Action Committee, which he said has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from tobacco companies to support anti-tax policies in the last decade. "It's the first domino of potentially taxing all kinds of products."

The nonpartisan California Legislative Analyst's Office says Proposition 29 would generate about $735 million a year in revenue if approved.

The anti-tax campaign has been quick on the ground, launching radio and TV commercials a month and a half ago.

Armstrong and his coalition, including the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, American Heart Association and California Medical Association, were too poor to mount an early advertising campaign, he said.

Aside from Armstrong, who visited with young patients during an event at a Los Angeles children's hospital earlier this month, the measure has not attracted much celebrity support. Laura Ziskin, a Hollywood producer celebrated for the "Spider-Man" movie franchise, was on the initiative's campaign board until she died last year of breast cancer.

Even so, in the final days before the primary, the battle over Proposition 29 is arguably the most high-profile campaign in an election season that has failed to generate much enthusiasm.

"The supporters and opponents wouldn't spend these millions of dollars if these commercials weren't persuading voters," said Daniel Newman, president of MapLight, a nonpartisan group that analyzes money's role in politics. "When one side has a specific financial interest, they are going to spend much more because they get such a high return on investment."


California awards tax credits to 28 pics - Variety

© Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. Variety and the Flying V logos are trademarks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under license.


California sets stronger energy efficiency rules for buildings - Los Angeles Times

SACRAMENTO — Construction costs may go up, but new and remodeled homes and buildings will consume much less conventional power starting in a year and a half when the state's newest energy efficiency standards take effect.

The California Energy Commission voted 4 to 0 on Thursday to tighten regulations that govern lighting controls, hot-water pipes, windows, insulation and other systems in new buildings and building additions.

The rules, which kick in Jan. 1, 2014, would reduce wasted energy in heating, cooling and lighting 25% over current standards for new homes and about 30% for commercial structures, state experts estimated.

Over the next 30 years, the new standards would save energy equal to the output of six modern natural-gas-fired power plants, saving enough electricity to run 1.7 million homes or 40 million iPads, commission staff reported.

The new rules are the latest in the triennial revisions under the 34-year-old law that has made California structures and appliances the nation's most efficient.

Energy efficiency — using less electricity and natural gas to run buildings without sacrificing productivity or comfort — is the priority in California's official plan to save money, fight pollution and global warming and avoid construction of expensive power plants and transmission lines.

"The update for building standards is the biggest incremental improvement in efficiency that we've ever made in California," Energy Commissioner Karen Douglas said.

The new regulations require that home builders put insulation on hot-water pipes, make rooftops more ready for eventual solar power systems and hire independent inspectors to verify correct air conditioner installation. They also recommend the use of, and set efficiency levels for, whole house fans, upgraded windows and improved wall insulation.

Proposed changes for commercial buildings include solar-ready roofs, automatic controls that adjust lighting levels to sunlight, better refrigeration equipment, reflective roofing and heat-filtering windows.

Tighter energy efficiency rules would affect all new construction and additions and major retrofits to existing structures. The upgrades by law must be cost-efficient, and the Energy Commission estimated that the new standards would add $2,290 to the cost of a 2,200-square-foot home but would yield $6,200 in energy-related savings over 30 years.

Since 1978, tightened efficiency for buildings, air conditioners, furnaces, refrigerators, televisions and other products has saved Californians $66 billion on their electricity and natural gas bills, the commission said. Pollution has been reduced by the equivalent of taking 37 million cars off the road.

The new energy efficiency standards enjoyed broad support from investor-owned utilities such asSouthern California Edison Co., environmental groups, local government building inspection officials and high-tech businesses developing environmentally friendly building products.

They also won grudging approval from two significant stakeholders: the California Building Industry Assn., which represents 90% of home builders, and the California Business Properties Assn., which lobbies for commercial building owners.

"Given the [weak] economy, we would have preferred that the California Energy Commission not make any changes this time around, but they've got some ambitious goals to meet by 2020," said Robert Raymer, senior engineer for the builders group. "We recognize that doing nothing was not in the cards."

The new regulations are not "unobtainable or economically infeasible," said Matthew Hargrove, senior vice president for the business properties group.

But the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Assn. and the American Heating and Refrigeration Institute opposed the revisions.

The roofing manufacturers argued that the changes — particularly the installation of reflective roofs on commercial buildings — were based on insufficient financial data and would unnecessarily raise construction costs.

"The CEC has repeatedly failed to adequately quantify the real-world cost savings to the building owner for applying a cool roof," said Reed Hitchcock, executive vice president of the roofing group.

Bob Wiseman, president of the Institute of Heating and Air Conditioning Industries, said his organization supported the spirit of the new efficiency rules. But he said he feared that increased costs would lead contractors not to get building permits in order to avoid inspections.

Douglas countered that the energy efficiency measures involve "off the shelf" technology that "is capable of being deployed at scale in the market."


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