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.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

California Creates Thousands of Jobs by Going Green - Softpedia

California Creates Thousands of Jobs by Going Green - Softpedia
Recent developments in California's legislation include the decision to invest in making renewable energy sources more readily-available to the general public, with special emphasis placed on installing more rooftop solar panels.

Studies show that, at the present moment, California's economy is largely supported by investments made in the clean energy sector.

Should more funds go into this particular industry, it is expected that at least 12,000 new construction-related jobs will be made available for the people living here.

Seeing how solar plants and wind turbines require not only construction, but also regular maintenance, it is safe to assume that the jobs created by developing the clean energy sector will be long-term ones, and not just temporary opportunities to make some money.

Naturally, these thousands of new jobs are quite likely to lead to a more than beneficial economic turmoil.

Thus, well-paid employment opportunities in a country mean that a significant amount of money, which comes in the form of wages, salaries and revenues, is then reinvested in the national economy.

Preliminary reports speak about a potential economic output of about $7.5 billion (€about 6 billion).

California's Senate Bill 843 aims at helping local people generate their own green energy by the use of solar panels, wind turbines and the like.

Apparently, their decision to do this is based on the fact that, although quite a lot of people are more than willing to switch to renewable energy sources, only very few of them currently possess the means to generate their own on-site power. reports that the Senate Bill 843 is to deploy an extra 2-gigawatts of renewable energy capacity, roughly the equivalent of four standard fossil fuel power plants.

This means that most of the country's energy needs will be dealt with without any strain placed on the environment.

All in all, California's plans to go green are more than welcomed, both from an environmental and from an economic standpoint.


California's election reform flops - Los Angeles Times

Hollywood produced "Ishtar" and, more recently, Disney's "John Carter." But it has never made a bomb quite like Tuesday's California elections.

Expectations were high. California's political reformers told us that this would be the year everything changed. After a decade and a half of reform efforts, a new system of less partisan elections was finally in place, and fairly drawn legislative districts and a new top-two primary system would usher in a new era of democracy. Voters would be engaged, competition would be spurred, independents would get a boost and California would see the kind of big policy debates necessary to find solutions to the state's persistent governance crisis.

Oh, well.

But give the reformers credit; they did make change. In place of our old system, we got something that preserves many of our worst political traditions — while making things a little bit worse.

Turnout, never high in California, was even lower than the low-end predictions. About 18 million of the 23 million-plus Californians eligible to vote didn't participate, making "This Isn't Worth My Time" the only popular mandate to come out of this election.

Strong independents such as San Diego mayoral contender Nathan Fletcher and congressional candidates Linda Parks and Anthony Adams failed in campaigns against partisans who received far less positive publicity.

And instead of producing debates about how to solve California's big structural problems, the legislative campaigns under this new system kept to narrow talking points. Democrats of all varieties said they were for middle-class college scholarships (which require tax changes that Democrats can't enact because of the two-thirds supermajority requirement on revenue). Republicans talked about reducing the size of bloated government (even though state government is smaller on a per capita basis now than any time since Ronald Reagan was governor). Looking through campaign websites and fliers from around the state, I found only a handful of candidates who directly addressed the state's governability, and they were, with a couple of exceptions, Democrats in overwhelmingly Democratic places.

The combination of the top-two nonpartisan primary and newly drawn districts was a disappointment even on mechanics. The theory of the top-two primary is that it will produce more moderates because in heavily partisan districts, two candidates of the same party will advance to the general election. And those candidates will have to compete for the votes of independents and the other party. But in practice, few districts produced two of the same party: 14 of 80 in the Assembly, according to the latest returns, and just two of 20 state Senate races. Ironically, there might have been more top twos of the same party, but the new redistricting process made districts slightly less partisan than they were, making it harder for the top-two primary to work its magic.

Of course, a top-two race that produces two candidates of the same party is hardly an unalloyed good. In November, we'll get expensive reruns of races between similar characters, like Brad Sherman and Howard Berman.

But even if the mechanics had worked slightly better, the entire philosophy behind the California political reforms relies on two related assumptions. The first of these is that it's possible to — and that you'd want to — scrub politics and partisanship out of politics. The second is that there are legions of wiser, better, more moderate people than our current elected officials who would do a better job if we could somehow design a system to get them elected.

Those are both fantasies. I'm a proud moderate and an independent voter, and I can assure you that as a class we are smarter and better looking than you grubby partisans out there. But as the Pew Research Center has shown, we true centrists are shrinking in numbers (most unaffiliated voters in California, and elsewhere, vote just like partisans), and we do not participate in elections at the same rates as partisans.

We also are not magicians. Simply electing us to office won't do any good because California's governing system has robbed all its elected officials of discretion, especially on fiscal matters. The big decisions in state government are made not by people but by a giant algorithm, made up of funding formulas that come from ballot initiatives, the long and bizarre California Constitution, the courts, the federal government and decades of legislation. The hard truth is that we Californians over the decades have scrubbed the politics and people out of decision-making, and now we find that we can't use politics to make decisions.

Restoring democracy requires a redesign of California's entire system: elections, budgets, Legislature and the initiative process. That's constitutional convention stuff, of course, and exactly the sort of thing that California's good-government industry of think tanks and foundations and billionaire donors will tell you is terribly unrealistic. Sadly, the good government industry's own hold on reality is rather flimsy; after this disaster of an election, the goo-goos have already launched into their usual self-congratulation and happy talk about the progress they are making.

The folly of their thinking was apparent to anyone who turned on a TV in Los Angeles on election night. The most visible politician on L.A.'s local news broadcasts was not from California. It was the governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker.

This journalistic choice made all the sense in the world. Walker, unlike California legislators, governs a state where elections matter because Wisconsin doesn't have all the rules and the big algorithm that render our own elected officials so powerless.

As a result, the Wisconsin election produced what California's reformers say they want: deep civic engagement, big turnouts from every community around the state and major policy debates about the state's future. It was no accident that the Wisconsin election was a profoundly partisan race, with bitter differences in a real contest for real power.

Maybe we'll try that sort of thing here some day.

Joe Mathews, a contributing writer to Opinion, is California editor of Zócalo Public Square.


California Highway Patrol union tentatively accepts furloughs - Sacramento Bee

The California Highway Patrol officers union and Gov. Jerry Brown's administration have reached a furlough agreement to cut pay 5 percent for a year.

Under the deal, the CHP's roughly 6,300 officers will be furloughed eight hours per month starting July 1.

The union is the first to reach agreement with Brown, who wants pay reduction deals in place with all state worker unions to save an estimated $839 million to help close a budget gap estimated to be at least $15.7 billion.

The governor proposed putting most state workers on 9.5-hour shifts four days per week and closing departments on either Fridays or Mondays.

The agreement with the California Association of Highway Patrolmen signals that other unions representing workers in 24/7 jobs – prison officers, psychiatric technicians, firefighters and others – are under pressure to take similar deals.

It may also complicate talks scheduled with other unions, including today's scheduled negotiations with SEIU Local 1000, which represents 93,000 workers. Those talks center on Brown's plan instead of the arrangement worked out with the CHP union.

CHP officers will be able to bank the hours to take later, but their paychecks will reflect the 5 percent pay reduction regardless.

Jon Hamm, CEO of the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, said that the language of the agreement encourages officers to take their banked furlough time before taking paid vacation.

The Brown administration had said that it wanted to avoid a policy that allowed banking furlough hours because that leads to employees taking less paid leave, creating a deferred cost for the state when the leave credits with monetary value are cashed out at the end of an employee's career.

Until now, CAHP members had never been furloughed. Hamm said union members understand that they need to make a sacrifice, given the state's $15.7 billion budget crisis.

"Our members' reaction has been pretty positive (to the furlough)," Hamm said Friday. "I think this is sinking in. They're saying, 'I'm lucky to have a job.' "

The union plans to put the furlough agreement to a ratification vote next week.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Call Jon Ortiz, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1043.

Read more articles by Jon Ortiz


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