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.

Monday, June 4, 2012

California’s Everybody-Into-the-Pool Primary Faces Test - Bloomberg

California’s Everybody-Into-the-Pool Primary Faces Test - Bloomberg

When Californians go to the polls tomorrow for the state primary election, they won’t find three- term Senator Dianne Feinstein running against just fellow Democrats.

New rules that may alter the political landscape put Feinstein head-to-head with 23 challengers of all stripes -- Republican, Libertarian, American Independent, Peace and Freedom. The two who get the most votes, regardless of party, will move on to the general election in November.

The so-called top-two system is intended to fight partisan gridlock that has paralyzed lawmakers from Sacramento to Washington. In theory, politicians will no longer be forced to stick to party dogma to avoid being ousted in the primary, allowing voters more choices.

“The rules of the game have changed,” said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, a Sacramento-based nonpartisan group that has advocated for open democracy. “Democrats and Republicans no longer have a lock on the process.”

The new procedure, passed in 2009 by the California Legislature and approved by 54 percent of voters a year later, was backed by a strange-bedfellow coalition that included then- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, and Democrat Willie Brown, the former San Francisco mayor who was speaker of the Assembly for 15 years.

Similar systems are in place in Louisiana and the state of Washington, and there are efforts to make it law in Arizona. California’s new rules apply to the candidates for the Legislature, Congress and statewide elected offices.

Democrats Against Democrats

The top-two primary may mean that in heavily Democratic or Republican districts, two candidates from the same party could advance to the general election. That may be influenced by independent voters, who make up 20 percent of the electorate, and will be new to the system.

That may force Democrats and Republicans toward more moderate positions, Alexander said.

“Up until now, they have had no say in the primaries,” she said of the independents. “If some of those folks get elected we could see an impact in the power struggle in the Statehouse.”

With the primary looming, California lawmakers have withheld action on the state’s resurgent $15.7 billion budget deficit. Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, blamed legislators for making the deficit larger by failing to pass some budget cuts he sought in March.

‘Just Paralyzes Them’

“They won’t make a budget decision until after June 6,” the day after the election, California Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a Democrat, said in an interview. “This is a bad idea. The know they have to make cuts and the cuts are unpopular and if you are Democrats, who have to write the budget, this just paralyzes them.”

Voters will also be asked whether to add $1 to the tax on a pack of cigarettes, raising the levy to $1.87, and steer the extra revenue toward cancer research and stop-smoking programs.

Opponents led by Altria Group Inc. (MO) and Reynolds American Inc. (RAI), the parent of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, the two biggest sellers in the U.S., raised more than $40.7 million to fight the measure, compared with about $10 million from supporters including the American Cancer Society and cycling champion Lance Armstrong, a cancer survivor.

The cigarette-tax measure, known as Proposition 29, was supported by 50 percent to 42 percent, with 8 percent undecided, in a Field Poll released May 31. The telephone survey of 608 likely voters, conducted May 21-29, had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

Voters also will be asked to reduce the total number of years a lawmaker can serve, from 14 to 12, in either the Senate or the Assembly. Currently, a legislator can serve a maximum of six years in the Assembly and eight years in the Senate. The proposition would permit all 12 years to be served in either chamber.

The term-limit proposition was favored 50 percent to 28 percent, with 22 percent undecided, in the same Field Poll.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael B. Marois in Sacramento at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at

Enlarge image Senator Dianne Feinstein

Senator Dianne Feinstein

Senator Dianne Feinstein

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Select Committee on Intelegence Chair Dianne Feinsten (D-CA) talks with reporters before heading to the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol May 8, 2012 in Washington, DC.

Senate Select Committee on Intelegence Chair Dianne Feinsten (D-CA) talks with reporters before heading to the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol May 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


California's top political donors give way more to winning causes than losing ones - LA Observed

The 100 biggest spenders - individuals and special interest groups - have shelled out more than $1.25 billion to state campaigns over the last 12 years, about a third of the total contributed in that time, according to an analysis by California Watch. The biggest single donor is Hollywood producer Stephen Bing, who spent more than $52.5 million. Of that amount, $49.5 million was used to bankroll 2006's Proposition 87, which would have established a major government program for alternative energy - and which voters soundly defeated. (More often than not, however, the top donors have sided with the winners.) Spending the most among special interests is the California Teachers Association, which contributed more than $118 million during the past five election cycles and the first half of this one. From the California Watch report:

Given its size and wealth, California automatically sets national records for campaign donations - more money is spent here on politics than in any other state. Not surprisingly for California, the top 100 directed their money in large part toward the Democratic Party, which controls the governor's office and the state Legislature. Overall, these top donors - 50 wealthy individuals and 50 special interest groups analyzed by California Watch - gave twice as much to Democratic candidates as they did members of other political parties. But there was a split: Special interest donors favored Democrats, while individual donors favored Republicans by a slim margin.

Here are the top 10 individual donors:

Stephen L. Bing, Los Angeles, CA
Screenwriter and movie producer
56 donations: 23 to candidates, 19 to ballot measures and 14 to parties $52,500,782

Andrew Jerrold "Jerry" Perenchio, Los Angeles, CA
121 donations: 63 to candidates, 19 to ballot measures and 39 to parties

Charles T. Munger Jr., Palo Alto, CA
Physicist at Stanford University
60 donations: 25 to candidates, 25 to ballot measures and 10 to parties $14,093,488

L. John Doerr III, Woodside, CA
Venture capital
156 donations: 129 to candidates, 19 to ballot measures and 8 to parties

5 Peter V. Sperling, Phoenix, AZ
University of Phoenix
24 donations: 13 to candidates, 7 to ballot measures and 4 to parties

Alex G. Spanos, Stockton, CA
Real estate
83 donations: 58 to candidates, 5 to ballot measures and 20 to parties

Reed Hastings, Santa Cruz, CA
67 donations: 39 to candidates, 22 to ballot measures and 6 to parties

Henry T. Nicholas III, Newport Coast, CA
Broadcom semiconductor company
7 donations: 1 to candidates, 6 to ballot measures and 0 to parties

Lawrence K. Dodge, Monarch Beach, CA
Business executive, banker
25 donations: 14 to candidates, 3 to ballot measures and 8 to parties

Thomas Steyer, San Francisco, CA
Investment management
12 donations: 6 to candidates, 5 to ballot measures and 1 to parties

By the way, Charles T. Munger is not to be confused with Charlie Munger, who is vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett's business partner for many years..


Buyers' remorse for California's 'bullet train to nowhere' - Daily Telegraph

A new poll shows almost three fifths would oppose the bullet train and halt public borrowing if given another chance to vote.

Almost seven in 10 said that, if the train ever does run between Los Angeles and San Francisco, they would "never or hardly ever" use it.

Not a single person said they would use it more than once a week, and only 33 per cent said they would prefer the bullet train over a one hour plane journey or seven hour drive. The cost of a ticket, estimated at $123 each way, also put many off. Jerry Brown, California's Democrat governor, has championed the project as a way to create jobs and is backed by unions. The 74-year-old governor has been personally committed to a high speed rail link since the 1970s.

But he is trying to convince voters to spend billions on a train while at the same time proposing tax increases and austere public spending cuts, including a five per cent pay cut for state workers, to deal with a budget deficit that has ballooned to $16 billion.

California's politicians have until Aug 31 to give a final green light to an initial $6 billion, 130-mile section of track in the Central Valley, and they are expected to approve it. Only a simple majority vote is needed in the Democrat controlled legislature.

Jim Nielsen, the Republican vice chairman of the state's Assembly Budget Committee, who opposes the project, called it "an idea that gets worse the more information we get about it." In April the state's own Legislative Analyst's Office called the funding plan vague and speculative.

Supporters say the California economy, the world's ninth largest, will recover in the long run and the remaining money will be found from private investors, the federal government and fees from the state's cap-and-trade programme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

They say the rail line will prove crucial to the state's economic future, linking north and south as airports and freeways reach capacity. But critics suggest the money will dry up and the state will instead be left with an "orphan track" linked to neither major city.

Dan Schnur, Director of the Unruh Institute of Politics, who carried out the recent poll, said: "The growing budget deficit is making Californians hesitant about spending so much money on a project like this one when they're seeing cuts to public education and law enforcement."

There was also disillusion with the handling of the project so far. It was initially projected to cost $45 billion and deliver passengers between the two major cities in a few hours by 2020.

Last autumn the state-run California High-Speed Rail Authority, which is overseeing it, disclosed the cost had more than doubled to $98.5 billion with a finish date of 2033.

After an outcry $30 billion was shaved off that estimate, but only by reducing the speed of the trains and using sections of existing slow track.

The authority is also facing legal challenges from those whose land the track will have to cross.

Last week agricultural groups filed a major environmental lawsuit asking for a preliminary injunction to block construction.

Unless building begins shortly there is also a risk of losing federal funds. The federal government has set a deadline of September 2017 for finishing the first section of track.


Ill California inmate dies hours before release - The Guardian

VACAVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A terminally ill, convicted killer died in a California prison hours before he was to be freed to spend his final days with his family, his attorney said.

Carl Wade had been recommended for compassionate release under a state law for inmates whose death is imminent and who pose no danger to the public. He had heart and lung diseases and was classified as disabled in 2007, the San Francisco Chronicle ( ) reported.

Wade's attorney, L. Richard Braucher, said an appeals court ruling directing his client's release became final on May 29, and a judge was expected to issue a release order Wednesday. It may have been issued but didn't reach Wade before he died early Thursday at the state prison in Vacaville, Braucher said. He was 66.

"I last spoke to him on Monday, and he was very happy about coming home," Braucher told the Chronicle. "The system did not deliver justice to him."

Wade was serving a sentence of 32 years to life in the fatal 1986 shooting of John Karns, a fellow woodcutter, in Lake County. The two men shared a trailer home and had gotten into a drunken fistfight before the shooting.

Wade was convicted of first-degree murder in 1989.

A prison doctor last summer determined he was terminally ill, and prison and parole officials recommended his release.

Lake County Superior Court Judge Andrew Blum blocked Wade's release in November, noting he was in a wheelchair but still might be able to pose a danger.

The decision, however, was overruled in May by the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco, which called it a miscarriage of justice.

The appeals court ordered Wade to be released to live with his family in Chico. The state attorney general's office did not appeal the order.


Information from: San Francisco Chronicle,


California Gov. Jerry Brown Finds Environmental Regs Inconvenient For High Speed Rail -

California has lots and lots of environmental regulations that stifle business and its economy. Now, not all of them are bad, but, what’s a Democrat governor to do when these regulations get in the way of his high dollar boondogle?

(Oakland Tribune) Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing to fast-track California’s $69 billion high-speed rail project by easing legal scrutiny under the state’s landmark environmental law, this newspaper learned Friday.

The proposal, which the Legislature would have to approve this month as part of launching the state’s biggest-ever construction project, does not change the California Environmental Quality Act. But Brown’s plan, while angering environmentalists, would have two major consequences.

First, it virtually takes away the final bullet in the chamber that project opponents were hoping to use to kill high-speed rail: a court-ordered injunction halting construction.

Under Brown’s proposal, train foes would have to prove in court that the project causes major environmental problems, such as wiping out an endangered species or damaging extremely valuable land. In the past, opponents on the Peninsula have delayed planning for the project by convincing a judge of minor problems — for instance, that the state did not adequately study track vibrations. And Central Valley farmers Friday filed a lawsuit with a similar strategy in mind.

Second, the proposal adds to a growing number of large-scale projects that Brown and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger have tried to exempt from the most intense environmental legal scrutiny by arguing that California needs to create jobs quickly. In this case, court delays would void key federal high-speed rail grants needed to begin construction, which would prevent job creation and the development of a greener way to travel.

Environmentalists are not particularly happy with Brown’s change of tune in attempting to essentially bypass the environmental regulations he previously supported when it was Someone Else attempting some sort of business venture. And a new poll shows that

Fifty-five percent of voters want to see the high-speed rail bond issue that was approved in 2008 back on the ballot, and 59 percent say they would now vote against it, according to the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times survey ( published Saturday.

It’s not like California is $16 billion in the hole and seeing the tax-base streaming out of the state for greener pastures. Let’s spend tens of billions (final cost will most likely be above $100 billion) on a train that few will ride. And destroy the environment at the same time!

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

Post to Twitter Post to Plurk Post to Yahoo Buzz Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

Email This Email This

Posted by William Teach on June 4, 2012 8:33 am

» Filed Under Democrats, Governor, Hypocrisy/Situational Ethics, News, Politics As Usual, State Government, Taxes, environmentalism, government waste

Trackback URL:


Leave a Reply


No comments:

Post a Comment