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.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hertz Furniture Recognizes Achievements of Charter Schools - YAHOO!

Hertz Furniture Recognizes Achievements of Charter Schools - YAHOO!

Well-known Furniture Supplier Celebrates Movement’s Twenty Year Anniversary

Mahwah, NJ (PRWEB) June 06, 2012

Hertz Furniture, national reseller of educational furniture, has been supplying schools across the US for over 45 years. On the occasion of the impending twentieth anniversary of the US charter school movement, and the celebratory events at the National Charter Schools Conference later this month, Hertz takes a moment to reflect on the contribution of charters to the US educational landscape. From humble beginnings in Minneapolis in 1992, the charter school has grown to be a key component of the educational matrix. Catering to smaller groups and special interests, charters offer an otherwise unavailable option to students across the country. Hertz Furniture has been there watching the movement blossom and grow and achieve. As educational furniture has evolved and classrooms have changed, Hertz Furniturehas kept pace, offering innovative classroom furniture which adapts to the needs of today’s educators.

The noteworthy difference of charter schools exists in that those in charge of these schools have an increased amount of liberty to design specialized curriculums. They may lengthen school hours or even years and in general create a program tailor-made for the students who attend the particular school. The natural result of such freedom are teachers who feel valued and energized by the knowledge that their opinions and ideas count. Charter schools can take full advantage of the latest technology in order to develop an art or science-centered curriculum. These schools tend to have smaller class sizes, resulting in a deepening of educators’ ability to discover issues and opportunities earlier, sense what will work for their individual students, and adjust the program accordingly. Consequently, charter school teachers and students can revolutionize the learning process in a way that encourages students’ interests and meets their needs.

The charter school movement embodies the concept of changing with the times and moving with the current of students’ evolving needs and interests. Charter schools often outperform their regular public school counterparts and offer many of the advantages of private schools, proving that paying high tuition is not a prerequisite for success.

Hertz Furniture is thrilled to be working with charter schools across the country as the movement reaches this 20-year milestone,” says David Mocton, Vice President of Sales.  “Charters are breeding grounds for innovation in education, and Hertz is happy to have provide classroom furniture for the schools of today and those for tomorrow as well.  We’re looking forward to seeing many familiar faces at the conference later this month, and to the opportunity to meet new charter administrators as well.  We’re bringing a selection of products, including some new items, and look forward to sharing them with attendees in Minneapolis.”

Hertz Furniture is a Vendor member of many state-level charter school associations, offering pre-opening advice and planning services at no cost to new and expanding charters.  At the National Charter Schools Conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center (June 19-22), Hertz Furniture is excited to be featuring it’s new line of auditorium seating from GreyStone Seating as well as a first look of exclusive new lines of library furniture from Russwood.

For over 45 years Hertz Furniture has supplied schools, religious institutions, businesses and government offices with top quality commercial furniture and superior customer service. Speedy Quotes, Quick Ship products, a wide selection of Eco-Friendly furniture,a free Project Planning and Design service and the best warranties in the industry are just a few of the ways that Hertz Furniture provides added value to its customers. For additional information on Hertz Furniture and its extensive line of products, please visit Hertz Furniture, speak to a furniture specialist at 888-793-4999, or send an email to amyhoffmann(at)hertzfurniture(dot)com.

Amy Hoffmann
Hertz Furniture
Email Information


California cities' pension cuts may have ripple effect - Santa Rosa Press Democrat

The voter responses in San Diego and San Jose were stinging setbacks for public employee unions, which also came up short on Republican Gov. Scott Walker's recall victory in Wisconsin.

"The message is that if elected officials and public employee unions do not responsibly deal with this issue, voters will take things into their own hands," said Thom Reilly, former chief executive of Clark County, Nev., now a professor of social work at San Diego State University. "We could see more draconian measures from citizens."

In San Diego, two-thirds of voters favored the pension reduction plan. And the landslide was even greater in San Jose, where 70 percent were in favor.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, a chief backer, said he was surprised by the margin of victory and considered it a statement that voters won't tolerate benefits that are more generous than those they receive working at private companies.

"It just shows the frustration people have with pension benefits that are out of control and taking away from city services," he said in an interview Wednesday.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, a Democrat who called the overhaul his highest priority, said he expects other governments to follow their lead.

"Mayors across the country are very interested. We're at the leading edge but we're not alone," he said.

Opponents say the measures deprive workers of benefits they were counting on when they got hired. Some workers decided against potentially more lucrative jobs with private companies, figuring their retirement was relatively safe.

Henry Bayer, executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 in Illinois, said the California referendums reflect a "race to the bottom" to erode government benefits by putting them on par with the private sector.

"This is part of a national effort to reduce retirement security for public employees, and it's very unfortunate," said Bayer, who represents about 70,000 government workers in the Illinois.

The California votes came as legislators pursuing cuts to balance budgets have increasingly turned their attention to public pensions.

Rhode Island lawmakers last year backed away from promises to state and municipal workers, saying the move would save billions that the state could no longer afford to spend. And New York lawmakers in March approved less generous benefits for new hires.

California Republican leaders seized on this week's votes to try to revive Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown's attempt to reduce retirement benefits for new and current government workers.

Labor unions in San Diego and San Jose — the nation's eighth- and 10th-largest cities — have launched potentially lengthy court challenges. The San Jose Police Officers Association filed a lawsuit in state court Wednesday, saying the measure violates vested rights.

Mike Zucchet, general manager of the San Diego Municipal Employees Association, said the union decided long ago against mounting a vigorous campaign to sway public opinion, instead saving its resources for a court battle. The vote didn't surprise him.

"It seemed like something of a lost cause, electorally at least," he said.

The plans are unusual because they address pensions for current employees — not just new hires.

San Diego's imposes a six-year freeze on pay levels used to determine pension benefits unless a two-thirds majority of the City Council votes to override it. It also puts new hires, except for police officers, into 401(k)-style plans.

Under San Jose's measure, current workers have to pay up to 16 percent of their salaries to keep their retirement plan or accept more modest benefits. New hires would get less generous benefits.

San Diego's independent budget analyst estimated savings of nearly $1 billion over 30 years. Reed estimates San Jose's plan will save up to $180 million a year.

Supporters in both cities relied on a simple pitch: Benefits beyond what most voters receive working at private companies are draining city coffers.

San Diego's payments to the city's retirement fund soared from $43 million in 1999 to $231.2 million this year, equal to 20 percent of the city's general fund budget, which pays for day-to-day operations.

As the pension payments grew, San Diego's 1.3 million residents saw roads deteriorate and libraries cut hours. For a while, some 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, equal to 27 percent of its general fund budget. Voters there approved construction bonds at the beginning of the last decade, but four new libraries and a police station have never opened because the city cannot afford to operate them. The city of 960,000 cut its workforce 27 percent over the last 10 years.

San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio staked his mayoral bid on the pension measure, using fiery rhetoric to criticize public employee unions. He advanced to a November runoff in Tuesday's election.

"San Diego is showing the way," DeMaio said Wednesday. "The question is whether other jurisdictions have the political backbone to get the job done."


Associated Press writer Judy Lin in Sacramento, Calif., contributed to this report.


Foie-mageddon: California in one last foie gras binge before statewide ban - Daily Telegraph

One such chef, Chris Cosentino, has reportedly received death threats. In response he accused animal rights activists of having an "agenda for a vegan country."

With three weeks left to what has been dubbed "foie-mageddon" eateries are churning out dishes and customers are snapping them up.

At Melisse in Santa Monica, which has two Michelin stars, chef Josiah Citrin is offering a $185 (£120) "Foie for All" five-course tasting menu including truffled foie gras agnolotti, dover sole with poached foie gras, and foie gras with pudding. Around 30 per cent of customers are ordering the foie gras.

"It is definitely one of the most popular things we serve here," according to the chef. "The great thing about America is we have freedom of choice. I'm personally sad because foie gras is a foundation of haute gastronomy."

Protesters who picketed the restaurant last month disagreed. Madeline Bernstein, president of the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said: "People are allowed to eat food, not allowed to torture it first."

The recent statewide protests have driven some enthusiasts underground, with clandestine wakes being held for their favourite food.

One dining website, Dishcrawl, organised a series of events at secret locations, and they sold out. Spokesman Tracy Lee said: "I believe in the freedom to eat what you like and it's been nice for people to enjoy it without protesters. A lot of people coming to these events have been buying loads and freezing it. They're stocking up. The price has gone up, it's practically doubled."

California's only foie gras producer is Sonoma Artisan Foie Gras, which is going out of business, despite business booming with clients placing bumper orders at $60 a pound in the weeks before the ban starts.

Owner Guillermo Gonzalez told The Daily Telegraph: "Our farm is being forced to shut down at the end of June, and the most unfortunate fact is that science has not been given a chance to play a role in this debate.

"Ultimately, chefs' and consumers' freedom of choice is being taken away. Who knows what food product is next?"

The idea of force feeding birds to enlarge their livers stretches back to at least Roman times when the author Pliny the Elder recorded it in the 1st Century AD.

Today, the vast majority of foie gras is produced in France using a controversial process known as "gavage." Ducks are force fed by having a pipe placed down their throats several times a day for three weeks, and their livers can expand tenfold.

Annual consumption of foie gras in the US has been estimated at around 420 tons. Thousands of ducks a week are grown to make it and foie gras is also imported from France.

Gavage has been banned in around a dozen countries including Britain, although foie gras produced elsewhere can still be imported into the UK.

Opponents of the California ban, under which chefs would be fined up to $1,000 for each violation, argue that the birds do not have a gag reflex and are used to gorging on fish.

But the Animal Protection and Rescue League, which pushed for the prohibition, says that "after weeks of enduring this force feeding torture many ducks have difficulty standing, walking and breathing."

The ban was originally drawn up by John Burton who was State Senate president in 2004 and is now the chairman of the California Democratic Party.

"How would you like to have a tube crammed down your throat and corn forced down it? It's very inhumane," said Mr Burton.

"Any restaurant that serves foie gras is a high class restaurant so I don't think they'll be going broke because of this."

Around 100 chefs have formed the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards (CHEFS) in an attempt to repeal the ban. They are advocating improvements such as using cage-free birds, gentler hand feeding, and animal welfare inspections.

But that has been dismissed by the Humane Society of the United States. Jennifer Fearing, California director, described such measures as "like putting lipstick on a pig, or in this case lipstick on a pipe that's being shoved down a duck's throat."


California voters OK changes to term limits for state legislators - Los Angeles Times
Californians approved a change to term limits for state lawmakers, but a measure to raise tobacco taxes for the first time in nearly two decades was in trouble, voting returns showed late Tuesday.

In Southern California contests, the nonpartisan race for Los Angeles County district attorney was locked in a three-way contest among Chief Deputy Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey, Deputy Dist. Atty. Alan Jackson and L.A. City Atty. Carmen Trutanich. Lacey, who was leading the pack, would become the first African American or female D.A. in county history if elected in a November runoff to replace the retiring Steve Cooley.

Three incumbent Los Angeles County supervisors — Mark Ridley-Thomas, Don Knabe and Michael D. Antonovich — appeared to be breezing to new four-year terms, with only Antonovich facing a challenger.

With both Democratic President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney already having sewn up their party's nominations, California's presidential primary was anti-climactic, deflating voter enthusiasm and turnout at the polls.

Those who cast ballots made state history, however, with the first test of California's newly drawn political districts and the first comprehensive use of the top-two primary — which in races for the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and state Legislature sends the two candidates who collect the most votes to the November election, regardless of party affiliation.

Both changes were tailored to favor candidates with at least somewhat wide appeal, including those not hitched to any political party, and mute the hyper-partisan rancor consuming Washington and Sacramento. Among the offspring of these changes were some political oddities.

San Fernando Valley Democratic Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman, both shifted into the same district, were on pace to collect enough votes Tuesday to continue their intraparty grudge match through the November general election — sans a Republican challenger — and a party-backed Democrat was battling to survive until this fall's race for a Ventura County congressional seat that tilts slightly to the left.

"Candidates of both parties are being forced to talk to a much wider range of voters than ever before, instead of relying on the ideological bases of their parties, to get to the general election," said Dan Schnur, director of USC's Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. "We're going to see a greater number of competitive elections, and that'll lead to the election of more responsive candidates."

Bucking that trend was U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who finished far ahead of a pack of 23 mostly unknown, scantily funded challengers in her bid for a fourth full term. Danville autism activist Elizabeth Emken, endorsed by the state Republican leadership, collected enough votes to face the popular, well funded Feinstein in November — a task so daunting that the Senate race failed to attract even an adventurous GOP middleweight.

Many races remained too close to call as votes were being counted late Tuesday, especially in contests with crowded fields and candidates separated by mere percentage points. Low turnout only added to the volatility.

Katrina Eagilen, a dentist who was in charge of a precinct at the base of Mt. Washington on Tuesday morning, shook her head in dismay at the paucity of voters.

"I'm a little bit disappointed," she said, gesturing at the empty voting booths and the quiet room. "Something so important, we should have the place crowded."

Tobacco companies poured nearly $47 million into their campaign to defeat Proposition 29, a tax designed to raise an estimated $860 million a year for research on tobacco-related diseases and prevention programs.

The American Cancer Society and other proponents predicted that the increase in cigarette prices would stop 220,000 kids from starting to smoke and encourage 100,000 current smokers to quit. They raised more than $11 million, including $500,000 from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and $1.5 million from cycling champ Lance Armstrong's Livestrong Foundation.

Backed by the tobacco money, a coalition of anti-tax and business organizations mounted an aggressive campaign against the initiative, including a flood of television commercials and campaign mailers. The proposition, they argued, would create an unaccountable bureaucracy and allow the tax dollars to be siphoned out of California.

Voters were less conflicted about Proposition 28, which would limit lawmakers to 12 years in the Legislature, but allow them to serve the entire stretch in the Assembly or Senate. In 1990, Californians limited lawmakers to three two-year terms in the Assembly and two four-year stints in the Senate, for a total of 14 years in Sacramento.

The League of Women Voters of California and other supporters of the proposition said lawmakers spend too much time raising funds for the leap from one legislative house to the other and need to be allowed more time in one office to master complex issues and the lawmaking process.

Opponents, including term limits activist and former game show host Chuck Woolery, said the initiative was deceptively pitched as a toughening of term limits when, in fact, legislators could camp longer in one seat.

Holding onto one of California's 53 congressional seats also proved to be tougher than at any other time in a decade, thanks to political boundaries drawn by a panel of citizens instead of politicians or the courts. Longtime incumbents found themselves vying for votes in unfamiliar territory or in districts merged with those of other House members.


California Cities Pass Pension Reform -
Voters in San Jose and San Diego, two of California's biggest cities, have backed sweeping pension reform plans, passing both measures by two-to-one margins on Tuesday.

Voters in San Diego, second in population in the state to Los Angeles, agreed to move new employees to plans similar to private-sector 401(k) plans instead of pensions with guaranteed benefits.

Voters in San Jose, California's third-largest city, also passed changes. San Jose, considered the capital of Silicon Valley, will now force employees to choose between reduced benefits or sharply higher employee contributions to maintain current benefits, which now cost the city about a quarter of its budget.

San Diego's measure sailed to victory by a 66 percent to 34 percent margin. San Jose's measure won 70 percent to 30 percent.

"A big win here gives mayors across the country confidence that if they bring this to their voters, the voters will get it," said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, a Democrat.

Union representatives said the cities should have worked harder at the bargaining table with them. "These results will mean broken promises and less retirement security for working families and seniors," Dave Low, chairman of the union group Californians for Retirement Security, said in a statement.

California's budget gap, currently near $16 billion, pales in comparison to a state pension shortfall estimated as high as a half trillion dollars. That bill does not come due at once, but payments are approaching crisis levels for some local governments, such as San Jose.

Stanford economist Joe Nation estimates that the largest state pension plan, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, Calpers, and two plans for school and state university employees, are underfunded by a total of nearly $500 billion.

Major cities such as San Jose and San Diego, which are not part of the big state plans, are billions of dollars more in the hole.

Nation said huge victory margins would catch the eyes of politicians across the country, if not necessarily in the state capital Sacramento. Governor Jerry Brown has pushed for pension reform, but his efforts have stalled.

"Anyone in the political business understands what a two-to-one margin means. It means that voters get it and you better get it," Nation said.

California dramatically raised pension promises in the aftermath of a 1990s stock market boom, predicting that stock returns would pay for increases.

A 1999 law, adopted overwhelmingly by Democratic and Republican legislators, knocked five years off the retirement age for many workers, bumped up payments - or both. Every career government worker could quit at 50 or 55 with a solid, and sometimes generous, pension.

Cities eager to keep workers followed suit.

Unions are not likely to accept the changes without a fight. San Diego Municipal Employees Association General Manager Mike Zucchet said his group had already launched one court challenge and was ready with more.

© 2012 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


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