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.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

From the California Dream to a cautionary tale - Financial Times

From the California Dream to a cautionary tale - Financial Times

June 10, 2012 8:03 pm


Theme parks battle with new rides -

Southern California is just one front in a raging battle between theme-park owners, in which the weapons are new rides and attractions -- and the target is summer vacationers' wallets.

Disney California Adventure in Anaheim will debut a revamped park this month. Its centerpiece is a ride based on Disney-Pixar's "Cars" movies. Meanwhile, to the north, Universal Studios Hollywood's new "Transformers" ride is opening.

Disney is also active in Florida, with the first phases of a reimagined Fantasyland at Walt Disney World.

And thrill-ride enthusiasts won't be disappointed, as at least 20 new roller coasters debut at parks from Maryland to California. The trade group International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions reports 135 new attractions opening this year, including water parks, rides and shows.

Here's the rundown of some of the top new attractions:

In June, Disneyland California Adventure is opening Cars Land, replicating the town of Radiator Springs on Route 66 from the movie, including a race-course ride and two other new kid-magnet attractions.

Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles debuted its new "Transformers" ride over Memorial Day weekend. It uses motion-sensor vehicles to take riders into the frantic, dark world of the science fiction film about robots that can assume shapes of cars, planes and other machines.

Also new: Manta at SeaWorld San Diego, which takes riders on an imaginary underwater voyage that incorporates a 10,000-gallon aquarium and features a 54-foot drop.

Superman-themed "launch" coasters will be rolled out at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, on Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles, and at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo in Northern California.

The year-old Scream Zone at venerable Coney Island in New York City is staying in the game with a new skycoaster that soars 100 feet over Brooklyn and swings riders out over the famous boardwalk. Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pushing a renaissance of the area with new restaurants and movie theaters to go along with the Brooklyn Cyclones minor-league baseball team.

Disney is doubling down on an expanded and revived Fantasyland in Orlando. The expansion is the biggest since Disneyworld opened in 1972. There's even a Fantasyland roller coaster, the Barnstormer. Coming soon are rides linked to "Beauty and the Beast," "Little Mermaid" and "Snow White." To see it all, you'll have to come back around Christmas or next summer when work should be completed. A top attraction is expected to be Princess Fairytale Hall, where all the favorite young women from the movies and stories will interact with visitors.

Amusement industry analyst Tom Staggs told the Associated Press that Disney needed the reported $500 million expansion to offset the draw of the hugely successful "Harry Potter" attraction at Universal Orlando.

Universal Orlando is keeping the pressure up with a new daily parade and nighttime fireworks, linked to Universal's 100th anniversary as a movie studio. The main new addition is a 3-D ride based on the movie "Despicable Me."

Nearby SeaWorld Orlando opened a new sea-turtle center, with a domed theater showing a 360-degree film. A new player in the Florida mix is Legoland, which opened in October and has incorporated a water park into its usual attractions based on the Danish toy building blocks. This will be its first summer competing against other attractions.

For those seeking a more sedate experience, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has an ice show called "Iceploration." A major draw is the icy indoor temperatures, which are an antidote to the 90-degree, 90-percent humidity that can swath central Florida in summer.

Six Flags is active in areas beyond California. Apocalypse at Six Flags America in Largo, Md., is a 100-foot-tall stand-up coaster. Its sister property, Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Ill., has a new coaster called X-Flight, in which two riders sit side by side with their feet dangling, going through a 12-story drop and turning upside-down five times.

Hersheypark in Hershey, Pa., unveils Skyrush, which takes riders 200 feet off the ground and reaches speeds of 75 mph, making riders essentially weightless five times.

Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., opened the 210-foot-tall Wild Eagle coaster in March. Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia has a half-mile-long indoor-outdoor coaster called Verbolten.

The Stinger at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pa., is a boomerang-style coaster. The scorpion-themed ride features face-to-face seating and uses its boomerang-style track to put riders through six inversions.

The Associated Press and McClatchy-Tribune News Service contributed to this report.

Contact the writer:


California deserves some presidential candidate face time - Daily Breeze

HAVING got through the California primary - such as it was - the state's voters now turn their attention to the general-election campaign. The candidates should return the favor and pay attention to the state's voters.

But this hasn't happened so far, despite many visits here by President Obama and Mitt Romney. You know how their visits to California tend to work.

Obama flies in, ties up city traffic with his motorcade, appears before an adoring crowd that paid thousands of dollars per chair, zooms over to a movie star's house for more fundraising, and leaves the state without rubbing elbows with a regular Joe or Jolene.

Romney flies in, avoids the big cities where his support is scarce, collects contributions in an appearance at a backer's mansion, and takes a few verbal shots at the state's tax code as he departs.

It has become a political cliche to say California is a giant ATM for presidential campaigns. In general terms, that's OK.

But would it hurt to mix it up a little bit with the 37.9 million California residents who aren't rich or famous?

The closest they come to rubbing an elbow with the hoi polloi is those bittersweet scenes along the motorcade routes during Obama's L.A. visits. Supporters line the sidewalks, excited about the chance to see the president. Unfortunately, if they see him at all, it's through the tinted window of a passing SUV limousine.

Obama drops in on California more than Romney does, because there's more Democratic than Republican money in the state.

But Romney is doing all right here. That doesn't stop him from using California as a rhetorical punching bag. Last month, he ripped the Democrat-controlled state, saying leaders here "raise taxes higher and higher and higher" and "scare away employers." Romney, who has a house in La Jolla, told voters in Jacksonville he and his wife Ann might move to Florida someday because that state doesn't have income tax.

As Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Morain pointed out, the California corporate tax rate of 8.84 percent is lower than it was under Gov. Ronald Reagan (9 percent) - and lower than Massachusetts' corporate tax rate was under Gov. Mitt Romney (9.5 percent).

It's shades of Romney's errant comment in a press conference in a forlorn shopping mall in North Hollywood last July. Romney called Valley Plaza an example of how Obama's "liberal agenda" has damaged the economy - only to have the mall's former owner say the company doesn't blame Obama for its loan default, and the current owner say it was developing a new project for the site.

Maybe it's best that, after these visits, Californians wind up talking more about the traffic jams and the celebrity dinners than what the candidates had to say.

It would be unrealistic to expect Romney and Obama to treat California the way candidates treat Iowa and New Hampshire, the small, pivotal early-primary states where they actually press the flesh and talk issues with real voters. But would it be too much to ask them to act as if they care about the opinions of the 12 percent of the U.S. population who live here?

-Opinion page staff


California officials want high-speed rail on track - Vacaville Reporter
Imagine your finances are down, and you need to cut back. You get rid of the premium cable channels, start shopping at the discount market, scrap date night at the movies, and ... buy a new house?

California politicians may decide to embark upon a similar strategy, on a far bigger scale. Even as they must ax crucial services by Friday to help close a $15.7 billion deficit, state lawmakers are weighing California's costliest project ever: a $69 billion high-speed rail line.

"You don't run your home like that," said Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, R-Dana Point, who's tried, unsuccessfully, to kill the bullet train. "We're bankrupt."

It looks so simple: Halt the train, save the budget. After all, $69 billion is three-fourths the amount of the entire state budget -- enough money in the upcoming year to give free tuition to every California State University and University of California student, wipe out the state sales tax, fund the state's health care services subsidy and still close the budget deficit.

Of course, it's not that simple. The high-speed line would be paid for over time, not in one lump sum, with the biggest payments coming in later years; plus, most of the funding would come from outside sources. The project would consume up to 0.04 percent of next year's state budget -- not even enough to fund the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.

"It is a sound investment in our future, as well as an immediate stimulus to our struggling economy,"

said state Senate budget chairman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, a project supporter. "It'll be a struggle to get there, but I think we need to face and surmount that struggle."

Gov. Jerry Brown is asking the Legislature to spend $3.7 billion in state bonds, matching $3.3 billion in federal grants, to start building high-speed rail track in the Central Valley, beef up local transit and conduct more planning. Supporters hope to approve the bullet train by July 1, but skeptics are aiming to delay the vote until mid-August.

The measure voters approved in 2008 called for the general fund to pay back nearly $10 billion in bonds, with interest, over about three decades to help build the 520-mile line to connect San Francisco and Los Angeles with the fastest train in the country. Still, the Brown administration is anxious to minimize the hit on the state's general fund and has already been tapping other accounts, including one that customarily uses truck weight fees to pay for highway repair and construction.

"The governor has tried very deliberately not to have to make that choice (between high-speed rail and) these general fund dollars that are so precious right now," said Dan Richard, who Brown appointed to lead the California High-Speed Rail Authority board.

Yet a majority of voters now oppose the project, and a main reason is the cost, recent polls show. So just how much will it cost California taxpayers? That depends.

Kill the project now, and the state is still on the hook for about $1.3 billion to pay back its debt from planning the bullet train, including interest. If lawmakers vote to start building tracks, only to see future funding dry up and construction halted after the first segment is built, then the state taxpayer burden will climb as high as $9.5 billion. Finally, if more funding comes through to extend the tracks, it would unlock all the available bonds, saddling California with up to $22.5 billion in bond and interest payments. If officials succeed in selling a portion of the bonds as tax-exempt, those debt figures would decrease slightly.

"People are incredulous that this is even being seriously considered, particularly in these financial times. We cannot afford it," said Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, of Gerber, the ranking GOP member of the budget committee and a project opponent. "Funding it in this particular budget is a very dangerous thing to do. You're going against the grain of public sentiment."

The train's biggest blow to the budget won't come just yet, however. Like a mortgage or car payment, the train bonds will be paid back in annual installments over several decades.

During the fiscal year that starts July 1, the bullet train's budget cost will be about $36 million even if lawmakers vote to start building, a drop in the bucket for a budget 2,500 times bigger than that. Over 30 years, though, full construction of the train could cost the budget an average of $750 million a year, or enough to pay the current salaries of 11,000 public school teachers.

Unlike the bond payments, the remaining two-thirds of the money envisioned to build high-speed rail cannot so easily be used to bolster the state budget.

The current federal grants and up to $42 billion in hoped-for future federal funds would be earmarked only for the bullet train. Same goes for $13 billion in envisioned private investments.

If that money doesn't surface, there's a backup plan to tap into new fees paid by big polluters as part of California's cap-and-trade program. There is some debate about whether this money legitimately can be spent to build high-speed rail, but no one is arguing that it can be used to solve the budget crisis. The fees are limited by law to funding environmental programs.

Finally, spending is only half of the budget equation. Though the exact revenue from the train is tricky to gauge, supporters estimate a 2-1 return on spending by putting thousands of people to work and stimulating business activity. They argue California's bullet train would have a net benefit for the budget over the long run.

"It's a legitimate question for people to ask when they're seeing budget deficits, and then here we are with this thing that to a lot of people looks like just a big luxury," Richard said. "The reason I can sleep at night and support this is that I also know we're planting the seeds for future growth."


California cities' public-worker pensions face cuts -

SAN DIEGO - For years, companies have been chipping away at workers' pensions. Now, two California cities may help pave the way for governments to follow suit.

Voters in San Diego and San Jose, the nation's eighth- and 10th-largest cities, overwhelmingly approved ballot measures last week to roll back municipal retirement benefits -- and not just for future hires but for current employees.

From coast to coast, the pensions of current public employees have long been generally considered untouchable. But now, some politicians are saying those obligations are trumped by the need to provide for the public's health and safety.

The two California cases could put that argument to the test in a legal battle that could resonate in cash-strapped state capitols and city halls across the country. Lawsuits have already been filed in both cities.

"Other states are going to have to pay attention," said Amy Monahan, a law professor at the University of Minnesota.

The court battles are playing out as lawmakers across the U.S. grapple with ballooning pension obligations that increasingly threaten schools, police, health clinics and other basic services.

State and local governments may have $3 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities, and seven states and six large cities will be unable to cover their obligations beyond 2020, Northwestern University finance professor Joshua Rauh estimated last year.

In San Jose, current employees face salary cuts of up to 16 percent to fund the city's pension plan. If they choose, they can instead accept a lower benefit and see the current retirement age of 55 raised to 57 for police officers and firefighters, and to 62 for other employees.

The voter-approved measure in San Diego imposes a six-year freeze on the pay levels used to determine pension benefits for current employees, a move that is expected to save nearly $1 billion over 30 years. Public employee unions have sued to block the measure, saying City Hall failed to negotiate the ballot's wording as required by state law.

Legal experts expect the cities to argue that their obligations to provide basic services such as police protection and garbage removal override promises made to employees.

In San Diego, the city's payments to its retirement fund soared from $43 million in 1999 to $231.2 million this year, equal to 20 percent of the operating budget. At the same time, the 1.3 million residents saw roads deteriorate and libraries cut hours. For a while, fire stations had to share engines and trucks. The city has cut its workforce 14 percent since 2005.

San Jose's pension payments jumped from $73 million in 2001 to $245 million this year, or 27 percent of its operating budget. Four libraries and a police station that were built over the past decade have never even opened because the city cannot afford to operate them. The city of 960,000 cut its workforce 27 percent over the past 10 years.

"It's a problem that threatens our ability to remain a city and provide services to our people," said Mayor Chuck Reed. "It's huge dollar amounts and has a huge impact on services."

Unions representing police officers and firefighters in San Jose claimed in lawsuits filed last week in state court that the measure violates their vested rights.

"What they've done in San Jose is patently unlawful under existing court precedent," said Steve Kreisberg, national collective-bargaining director for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. "We know of no other places where this has survived legal scrutiny. ... There is no justification for essentially seizing the property of employees."

Michael Lotito, a San Francisco labor lawyer who has represented governments, predicted that dire fiscal straits may carry weight with judges. "It's a horrible, horrible story for the taxpayer. But worse off the city is, the more they have to lay off, the stronger legal argument they have," he said.

The cities are expected to argue that they are not stripping workers of anything they already earned, only changing what they will earn in the future. "You don't have a vested right to keep having your salary increased," said San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith.

The University of Minnesota's Monahan said some state courts have recognized that distinction, but not in California, where she said the state courts have held since the 1940s that benefits granted on the first day of employment are protected.

Private companies, whose pensions are governed by federal law, have been whittling away at current employees' retirement benefits for years. Pensions for state and local government workers are covered by state laws, and those benefits have been left alone for the most part.

Rhode Island has gone further than any other state to cut pensions for current workers under legislation approved last year, and opponents have vowed to challenge it in court, said David Draine, senior researcher at the Pew Center on the States. Other states have fended off legal challenges to the relatively modest step of eliminating pension increases for inflation.

"This is an area that remains legally unsettled," Draine said.

City Councilman Carl DeMaio, a chief backer of the San Diego measure who is staking his mayoral bid on a pension overhaul, said he has fielded scores of calls from officials nationwide interested in copycat measures. He predicted the legal challenges in San Diego will fail. "We're showing the way," he said.


California filmmakers dominate Student Academy Awards - Signal

BEVERLY HILLS (AP) — Students from across Southern California dominated the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 39th annual Student Academy Awards.

Amanda Tasse of the University of Southern California and David Wolter of California Institute of the Arts were among the five students hailing from Southern California schools. Both received gold medals, the highest honor at the Saturday ceremony in Beverly Hills.

Other winners of the gold medal included Mark Raso of Columbia University in New York, David Winstone of the University of Westminster in London and Keiko Wright of New York University.

The Student Academy Awards were established in 1972 to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level. Past winners have gone on to receive 46 Oscar nominations and have won or shared eight trophies.


California Dreaming at the Viriginia Robinson 24th Annual Garden Tour - Examiner

On Friday, we attended one of the most elegant events in Los Angeles, the Friends of Virginia Robinson 24th Annual Garden Tour at the Virginia Robinson Estate and Gardens in Beverly Hills.  Each year the tour highlights select private homes and gardens culminating at the estate itself. The Virginia Robinson Estate and Gardens, famed for being Beverly Hills’ first estate and home to Hollywood’s ultimate Hostess, Mrs. Robinson, has hosted Hollywood stars and royalty, from Charlie Chaplin to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. 

From the moment we stepped into the 100-year old property, we were greeted with a spectacular display of flowers, which set the tone for the rest of the event-filled day of “California Dreaming”.
Top designers and Florists took great care in decorating each room of the manor house, garden kitchen and pool pavilion, the highlight of which was the Morning Room designed by Hal Swanson and Dan Ollis of Swanson-Ollis Interiors.  Swanson-Ollis’ design managed to capture the beauty and serenity of the entire estate in simple elegance, playing with light and the use of color, bringing the majesty of the grounds into the room with clever floral arrangements anchored with classic wooden antiques. Said Swanson of the honor of participating, “This has been our third consecutive year to participate in the Virginia Robinson Garden Tour which we find to be very enjoyable with an extraordinary organization and the delightful members of the group. Each year we have strived to create a sophisticated, and comfortable room settings with a blending of classic furnishings, art and accessories complimented with sumptuous floral arrangements giving the patrons pause to stop and image themselves sipping tea with the Royals as Virginia did frequently.” 
Other notables include Neiman Marcus’ whimsical display of MacKenzie-Childs outdoor furniture on the central lawn of the estate, and Anthropologie’s re-imagining of the Garden Kitchen, displaying their distinct brand of eclectic and inspired French-Provincial aesthetic to great effect.
An array of delectable luncheon salads were served under the central tent on the main lawn, overlooking the five gardens on the six acre property; sinfully delicious desserts, coffee and tea and finger sandwiches were served in the pool pavilion, and throughout the day guests could imbibe on specialty drinks made of fresh fruit and liqueur as well Pelogroso Tequila provided delectable Mango Margaritas.  After lunch, the tennis courts and rose garden were buzzing with activity, where an elaborate silent auction and bazaar were in full swing.  Shaved ice with fresh fruit syrup kept the crowd cool, while the wide selection of luxury goods for sale dazzled the eyes. 
The Annual Garden Tour is the primary fundraiser for the Friends of Virginia Robinson, who have to-date raised over $3 million for the care and maintenance of the historic estate and grounds.  The Estate occupies an illustrious place in history as the first luxury estate built in 1911 in Beverly Hills. Today, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open by appointment to the public. The six-acre property contains a breathtaking display garden, mansion and pool pavilion, Australian King Palm Forest, the bucolic Rose Garden and the tranquil Italian Terrace Garden.
In attendance, were some of Beverly Hills most familiar faces:  Colonial Dame Brenda Chandler Cooke, FVRG President Jeanne Anderson, Maud Adams, Maralee Beck, Robin Blake, Joni Smith, Sunday Taylor, Countess Michelle Czernin von Chudenitz, leading actress Siobhan Flynn, Colonial Dame Cristy Coors Beasley, Kerstin Royce, Ellen Lipson, Adrienne Horwitch and Tania Norris and many more.
For more information on the estate their website is at:

All in all, it was the most enjoyable of afternoons; and the gardens themselves are one of those hidden treasures in the city that one should experience.  Rather than having lunch at your usual place, pack a picnic and sit in the Palm or Rose Gardens, you will feel as though you have taken a little vacation.


California faces blackouts as nuclear plant sits idle - Herald Times Reporter

LOS ANGELES — Southern California utility officials are warning that blackouts in the region are possible this summer as a result of the sidelined San Onofre nuclear power plant.

The damaged plant is likely to remain shut down until at least the end of August while investigators probe excessive wear in tubing that carries radioactive water, the plants operator said Thursday.

The officials say if a heat wave hits while the twin-reactor plant is offline, rotating blackouts are a possibility. Utilities have been scrambling to find replacement power as a precaution, including restarting two retired natural gas-fired plants in Orange County.

Southern California Edison said the company intends to submit a plan by the end of July to federal regulators to restart the Unit 2 reactor, where damage to tubes in its steam generators has been less severe than in its twin, Unit 3.

A proposal to restart either reactor must be approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and that review could take weeks or longer. Edison spokeswoman Jennifer Manfre said its likely the plant between San Diego and Los Angeles will remain offline at least through August.

The trouble began in January, when the Unit 3 reactor was shut down as a precaution after a tube break. Traces of radiation escaped, but officials said there was no danger to workers or neighbors. Unit 2 had been taken offline earlier that month for maintenance, but investigators later found unexpected wear on hundreds of tubes in both units.

Gradual wear is common in such tubing, but the rate of erosion at San Onofre alarmed officials because the generators are relatively new. The company has said 1,300 tubes will be taken out of service, although the number is well within the margin to allow the generators to keep operating.

The company has found that the wear is being caused by vibration and friction with adjacent tubes and bracing, but investigators have yet to say why thats happening or how they will fix it.

The NRC has said there is no timetable to restart the reactors, which were replaced in 2009 and 2010 in a $670 million overhaul.

About 7.4 million Californians live within 50 miles of San Onofre, which can power 1.4 million homes.

Safety issues at the plant have attracted congressional scrutiny, and some officials in nearby communities have called for San Onofre to be shut down permanently. The Irvine City Council urged the NRC to review safety conditions at the plant before it is considered for relicensing in 2022.


Ex-Indian army officer kills family, self in Calif - The Guardian

SELMA, Calif. (AP) — A former Indian army officer wanted in the 1996 killing of a human rights lawyer shot and killed his own wife and two of their children in their California home before apparently committing suicide, authorities said.

A 17-year-old believed to be the man's son also was shot in the Saturday morning attack and was "barely alive," Fresno County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Curtice said.

The ex-officer, Avtar Singh, had been arrested in this central California city last year after his wife said he choked her, and the Indian government sought his extradition days after that in the 1996 death of Jalil Andrabi.

But he remained free, for reasons that were not immediately clear. Andrabi's brother and lawyer blamed New Delhi, saying Singh's family would still be alive if the government had tried harder to bring him to justice.

"These lives could have been saved if a trial of Maj. Avtar Singh was conducted on time," said Andrabi's brother, Arshad. "We have lost that chance now. He was a known murderer and we are appalled that he was even shielded in the United States. It's a failure of justice at all levels."

Singh, who owned a trucking company in Selma, called police around 6:15 a.m. Saturday and told them that he had just killed four people, Curtice said. He added that a sheriff's SWAT team was called in to assist because of Singh's military background and the India charges against him.

When the SWAT team entered the home they found the bodies of Singh, a woman believed to be his wife and two children, ages 3 and 15, Curtice said. All appeared to have died from gunshot wounds.

The 17-year-old suffered severe head trauma and underwent surgery at a hospital where he remained in intensive care Saturday evening, Curtice said.

Singh, 47, was arrested by Selma police in February 2011 when his wife reported that he had choked her, Selma Police Chief Myron Dyck said shortly after that arrest. Police then discovered that he was being sought in India, but Dyck said at the time that he could not keep Singh in custody on the murder charge without a warrant from international authorities.

Several days later, India requested that the United States arrest and extradite Singh. It wasn't clear on Saturday why Singh had remained free since the request. A request for comment from the Consulate General of India in San Francisco on Saturday was not immediately returned.

Dyck didn't immediately return a call seeking comment Saturday about the 2011 arrest, and Selma police referred questions about the apparent murder-suicide to Fresno County sheriff's officials.

Selma police last had contact with Singh about two months ago when he called to complain that reporters wouldn't leave him alone because of the murder warrant, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims told the Fresno Bee (

Jalil Andrabi was killed at the height of protests in Indian-controlled Kashmir, where nearly a dozen rebel groups have fought security forces for independence or merger with Pakistan since 1989. More than 68,000 people, mostly civilian, have been killed in the uprising and subsequent Indian crackdown.

Andrabi disappeared in March 1996 in Kashmir's main city, Srinagar. His body was recovered 19 days later in a local river. He had been shot in the head and his eyes were gouged out.

A police investigation said Andrabi had been picked up from his home by Indian troops and killed in their custody. The probe blamed Singh and his soldiers for that killing and also accused Singh of involvement in the killings of six other Kashmiri men.

Singh had been charged in Kashmir only with Andrabi's killing. Kashmir police had sought permission from the government of India for Singh's prosecution in the six other killings. Under India's armed forces special powers act, federal permission has to be obtained before police can prosecute any army or paramilitary soldier posted in Kashmir.

No soldier has been punished for Andrabi's killing, human rights lawyers say.

Singh fled India after he was accused of killing Andrabi. Hafizullah Mir, a human rights lawyer, said he was tracked to California in 2009 with the help of the Canadian Center for International Justice, a human rights advocacy group, but that New Delhi did not pursue extradition until after his 2011 arrest.

In Selma, Singh owned and operated Jay Truck Lines. Alli Adan, a driver for the company, said he had seen Singh the night before the killings, and that had appeared to be acting normally.

"He was a nice guy," Adan told the Fresno Bee. "I couldn't believe it because I didn't think he could do something like this."


Associated Press writer Aijaz Hussain in Srinagar, India, contributed to this report.


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