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 2, 2012

Federal bill would give nation's hens bigger cages - The Guardian

Federal bill would give nation's hens bigger cages - The Guardian


Associated Press= FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — The animal welfare advocates that gave egg-laying hens more room in California are trying to expand chicken coops across the nation with an unlikely ally — a group that previously had been its biggest opponent.

The effort to increase cage sizes for the 270 million laying hens in the U.S. is a compromise bill working its way through Congress supported by the Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers, the industry's largest advocacy group.

The improbable alliance has formed amid a nationwide push by some consumers, grocers and restaurants to improve living conditions for farm animals that provide food for the table.

The Humane Society championed efforts to pass Proposition 2 in California in 2008 to get egg-laying hens out of cramped cages and put them in larger enclosures that give them room to stretch, perch, scratch and flap their wings.

The United Egg Producers fought that effort vigorously, opposing the changes as needless and expensive. But now the industry group is working with its former foe to head off more voter initiatives in other states that would cause a confusing array of regulations for producers who ship across state borders.

The Humane Society prefers doing away with cages altogether but sees this compromise bill as a way to improve the standard of living for hens across the country.

"We believe it's good for California hens, and for hens in the other 49 states as well," said Paul Shapiro, director of the Humane Society factory farming campaign. "In other many other states, there is little hope for change."

Opposition to the proposal also has brought together a surprising pairing of adversaries — the Humane Farming Association, a farm animal protection group, and most of the nation's leading beef and pork producers, who fear they will be the next target of legislation.

The Humane Farming Association says that the 63 percent of Californians who thought they voted to free chickens from cages will feel betrayed by the proposed nationwide rules.

"They're condemning them to generation after generation of lifetimes of misery," said Bradley Miller, the association's executive director. "Their basic argument is since they can't outlaw cages everywhere, let's not outlaw them anywhere, and that's absurd."

The federal legislation was introduced in the Senate on May 24 by California Democrat Dianne Feinstein and in the House earlier this year by Oregon Democrat Kurt Schrader, California Republican Jeff Denham and others.

It would amend the Egg Products Inspection Act to require producers to improve conditions for hens now housed in bare wire cages that give each bird the space equivalent to a standard sheet of paper.

If passed, it would end the ongoing debate over California's Proposition 2, which said chickens should be able to stand up and spread their wings without touching cage walls, something many interpret to mean "cage-free" since no such system exists.

But egg industry officials say cages are possible under the proposition's wording, and they've offered to transition to the so-called enriched colony systems that offer chickens much more room to move around and engage in natural behaviors such as perching. Such systems now required in the European Union.

"It's not a settled issue, and that's the real problem," Shapiro said. "It was a matter of debate then and is still debated today."

The federal legislation would give chickens 125 square inches of space within 15 years, a period that would allow farmers gradually to upgrade their housing systems. Proposition 2 did not set specific cage sizes, but one UC Davis expert said 93 square inches each would meet the requirements.

Within a year of enactment, consumers would easily be able to tell how their eggs are produced by one of four labels mandated on cartons: eggs from caged hens; eggs from enriched systems; cage-free hens; free-range hens.

Research in Europe shows that offered these explanations, more and more consumers choose eggs from hens treated better.

In a recent talk explaining the proposed law, United Egg Producers president Gene Gregory worked to convince his members that the caged chicken battle was an emotional issue they would never win.

Four states besides California are phasing in new laws that give chickens more room in cages. Nineteen more states allow voters to make new laws through the initiative process, which the Humane Society vowed to pursue and the egg industry group sought to avoid.

The Humane Society said it compromised in part because the states with the most chickens — Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Texas — don't allow ballot initiatives.

"We've had this battle for a long time, and it's costing a lot of money," Gregory told the Associated Press. "But we have to do something for our customers and consumers other than an unsustainable cage-free industry."

Gregory said his group reached out to the Humane Society and proposed the national enriched colony plan.

"They were receptive to that," he said.

It turns out there is a benefit for egg farmers to the new system. According to preliminary data collected at JS West in Modesto, so far California's only egg producer with an enriched colony system, chickens in in the larger European-style cages produce more eggs in a year, have lower mortality rates and have better feather cover — a sign of good health.

"They're producing well, if not better," said Jill Benson of JS West, which sells the eggs under the Comfort Coop label. "You can see them engaging in all of these natural behaviors that they didn't have the opportunity to do before."

None of this satisfies Miller at the Humane Farming Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation, or a coalition of beef, pork and lamb producers that organized as unlikely bedfellows.

In a letter to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat who is chairwoman of the agriculture committee, the coalition urged the defeat of the bill so they would not become the next target.

"Our gravest concern," the letter stated, "is that this could leach into all corners of animal farming, irreparably damaging the lives of family farmers across the country."


To view the Comfort Coop chickens live go to:




California's minor parties facing extinction under new voting system - San Jose Mercury News

They've been a colorful part of California's political landscape for decades -- Greens, Libertarians, American Independents and members of the Peace and Freedom Party.

But after Tuesday's election, most of them will be all but invisible -- and perhaps on their way to extinction.

In past years, minor parties held their own primary elections to choose nominees who would go on to compete with Democratic and Republican nominees in general elections. But that's no longer the case under California's new "top two" primary system, in which all voters choose from among all candidates of all parties -- and only the two candidates who get the most votes advance to November, regardless of party.

Because minor party

candidates rarely finish in the top two, and it's now harder for their candidates to get on the primary ballot in the first place, the parties will have little or no presence on the general-election ballot. And in politics, invisibility means oblivion.

"It could spell the end of the Peace and Freedom Party," said party chairman C.T. Weber, 71, of Sacramento. "It's a shame that democracy is being undermined by this, but that's the reality if we're not able to overturn the law."

The law was set in place with Proposition 14 in June 2010, approved by 54 percent of voters after then-state Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, forced the Legislature's Democratic majority to put it on the ballot in exchange for his budget vote. Though minor parties complained from the get-go that they would be marginalized if not obliterated by the measure, voters liked the measure's stated purpose: increasing primary voters' choices in an effort to moderate the harsh political partisanship plaguing Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

Maldonado argued recently that minor parties will get more exposure in the new top-two primary and "if they represent the views of a significant number of voters in a district, they'll be in the top two. ... I don't care what party you're from, if you have a message that resonates with the people, they're going to vote for you."

But minor-party officials contend that giving voters only two choices in November -- with no write-in votes allowed -- denies parties an opportunity to spread their messages and hobbles their ability to field candidates in the future.

"It's not a good situation," in part because it's a lot harder to recruit candidates, said Kevin Takenaga, chairman of the Libertarian Party of California.

"The final outcome is going to be the opposite of what people expect because it's going to force people to these established candidates -- the ones who have more money and more major-party support," he predicted.


is the United States of America, where we have more choices in what type of soft drink you want to drink or restaurant you want to go to than political parties and candidates," added Takenaga, 39, of Sunnyvale. "Why do we insist on having fewer choices?"

Minor parties have had three ways of staying qualified for the ballot. First, they can poll 2 percent of the vote for any statewide race in a nonpresidential general election. With little or no presence on general-election ballots anymore, though, this will be almost impossible.

The second way is to have at least as many registered members as 1 percent of the previous total gubernatorial vote.

About 10.3 million people voted in the November 2010 gubernatorial matchup, so a party would need about 103,000 registered voters to qualify this way. The American Independent and Green parties meet this threshold now, but the Libertarian and Peace and Freedom parties don't. And the less visible all of them become, the harder the threshold will be to reach.

The third route -- gathering petition signatures from 10 percent of the state's 17 million registered voters -- always has been impossible for the cash-strapped parties.

American Independent Party chairman Mark Seidenberg, 65, of Aliso Viejo, said his party's registration is robust enough that he's not worried about staying on the ballot, but he agreed it would be "a shame" for voters to be denied the choices afforded by other parties.

Richard Winger, who edits the Ballot Access News blog, is still optimistic courts will overturn Proposition 14's obstacles to third-party access. But California already is seeing the effects, said Winger, 68, of San Francisco: About a quarter as many minor-party candidates filed for state legislative and congressional offices this year than in 2010.

That's because the Secretary of State's Office interpreted Proposition 14 to void the old system by which minor-party candidates could gather 150 signatures in lieu of paying the primary-election filing fee. Now, he said, they must gather the same number of signatures as a major-party candidate: 1,500 for an Assembly seat, 3,000 for a state Senate or House of Representatives seat.

Washington state's voters OK'd a top-two system in 2004, but it was declared unconstitutional by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2005 before being reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008.

Unlike in California, Washington voters don't declare party affiliation when they register, so maintaining party strength that way isn't an issue. But Jody Grage, chairwoman of that state's Green Party, said it has been a tough row to hoe nonetheless.

"Because the primary gets a lot less publicity and fewer voters, that makes a big difference in our visibility," she said, adding no third-party candidate has advanced to a November election if two major-party candidates already were on the primary ballot.

Election-reform advocate Steven Hill, co-founder of the nonprofit FairVote, said losing minor parties would result in an ever-narrowing political discourse.

"Minor parties tend to be the laboratories for new ideas. They bring issues and ideas into the political discussion that the major parties often ignore," he said. "That's the first thing you're going to lose, and it's a fairly big loss."

He said most Democrat-vs.-Republican races end up with candidates battling for a relatively small population in the middle. So with no minor parties to widen the debate, he said, "they're going to be talking only to that narrow group of swing voters."

Laura Wells, a 64-year-old Oakland resident who was the California Green Party's 2010 gubernatorial nominee, hopes the new primary system leads to a backlash that wrecks the two-party system once and for all.

"I think we're due," Wells said. "Goodness, how bad does it have to get?"

Josh Richman covers politics. Follow him at Read the Political Blotter at


California lawmakers expand workplace religious protections - Columbia Daily Tribune


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Assembly has approved a bill that would add more protections for religious freedom in the workplace, specifying that California discrimination laws also should apply to religious clothing, hairstyles and the right to carry religious objects.

The bill's author, Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, said she was upset to learn that Sikh and Muslim workers continue to face discrimination at work despite laws prohibiting it. The bill, which passed Tuesday on a 59-3 vote, also clarifies that segregating an employee from other workers or the public because of his or her appearance is not an acceptable accommodation under the law.

"This bill is a little bit like the Rosa Parks issue of the 21st century for me," Yamada said. "To know that there are Sikhs and Muslims relegated to the back of the store in order to continue their employment is particularly heinous."

Some lawmakers noted that the law could save the state from costly legal cases, such as a lawsuit the Department of Corrections settled last year with a Sikh man who was barred from becoming a prison guard because he refused to shave the beard required by his Sikh religion so he could be fitted for a gas mask. The state agreed to pay the man $295,000 in damages and give him a managerial job.

Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, said she was concerned the changes could endanger employees and their co-workers, such as if oilfield workers were unable to effectively don respirators.

The legislation now moves to the state Senate.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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 girl wins National Spelling Bee - Vacaville Reporter
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) -- The story of this spelling bee champion begins in the car, on the daily commute to kindergarten with father at the wheel.

"He'd ask me words that he saw on the signs, on billboards, and he'd ask me to spell them," Snigdha Nandipati said. "I remember my favorite word to spell was 'design' because it had the silent 'g.' "

It didn't take long for Krishnarao Nandipati to realize his daughter had a special talent. He began entering her in bees in the third grade. Soon she was winning them, and Thursday night the 14-year-old girl from San Diego captured the biggest prize of them all: the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

A coin collector and Sherlock Holmes fan, Snigdha aced the word "guetapens," a French-derived word that means an ambush or a trap, to outlast eight other finalists and claim the trophy along with more than $40,000 in cash and prizes.

"I knew it. I'd seen it before," Snigdha, a semifinalist last year, said of the winning word. "I just wanted to ask everything I could before I started spelling."

There was no jumping for joy, at least not right away. The announcer didn't proclaim Snigdha the champion, so she stood awkwardly near the microphone for a few seconds before confetti started to fly. One person who knew for certain she had won was her 10-year-old brother, Sujan, who ran full-speed onto the stage and enveloped his sister in a hug.

In that respect, it was a familiar bee sight -- a Indian-American family celebrating

and soaking up the ovation in the 85th edition of the annual contest held in the Washington area. Americans of Indian descent have won the bee five times in a row and in 10 of the last 14 years, a phenomenon that began in 1999 with champion Nupur Lala, who was later featured in the documentary "Spellbound."

Snigdha, like many winners before her, cited Lala as an inspiration. And, like several other recent Indian-American champions, she wants to be a doctor -- either a psychiatrist or a neurosurgeon.

"She says this is harder than being a neurosurgeon -- maybe," her mother, Madhavi, said.

Snigdha's grandparents traveled from Hyderabad in southeastern India for the competition, but it was the little brother who stole the show as he played with the confetti and then helped his sister hoist the huge trophy. Might he be a future champion?

"He's not that interested," the father said. "He's more into tennis."

Second place went to Stuti Mishra of West Melbourne, Fla., who misspelled "schwarmerei" -- which means excessive, unbridled enthusiasm. While many spellers pretend to write words with their fingers, 14-year-old Stuti had an unusual routine -- she mimed typing them on a keyboard.

The week began with 278 spellers, including the youngest in the history of the competition -- 6-year-old Lori Anne Madison of Lake Ridge, Va. The field was cut to 50 semifinalists after a computer test and two preliminary rounds, and Lori Anne was two misspelled words away from a semifinal berth. The tiny, blue-eyed prodigy said she'd be back next year.

Gifton Wright of Spanish Town, Jamaica, was hoping to be the first winner from outside the United States since 1998, but he could not correctly spell "ericeticolous." Twelve-year-old Arvind Mahankali of New York aspired to be the first non-teen to win since 2000, but he couldn't spell "schwannoma" and finished third for the second straight year.

"I got eliminated both times by German words," said Arvind, who has one year of eligibility remaining. "I know what I have to study."


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