Monday, September 29, 2008

the hype about small business

You've got to wonder that with the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street and "too big to fail" mentality that the talk for decades about small businesses being the big "jobs generator" and backbone of the American economy is just propaganda to get votes and bring money to the credit card companies.

Want to help the economy? Enforce anti-trust laws, let the financiers fail, lower taxes on small businesses, give small business employers help with health insurance – or seriously consider single-payer universal coverage — and extend loans to small businesses.

Small business owners and the American taxpayer are justified in denouncing this bailout.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Press release on Ralph Kovel's death

Ralph M. Kovel, nationally known antiques author and expert, died Thursday, August 28, 2008, in Cleveland.

CLEVELAND – September 2, 2008 - Ralph M. Kovel, nationally known antiques author and expert, died Thursday, August 28, 2008, in Cleveland.

In the early 1950s, Kovel came up with the idea of publishing a book that indexed antiques by the factory-specific marks found on the bottom of the pottery. He and his wife, Terry, became nationally known with the publication of their first book, Dictionary of Marks: Pottery & Porcelain, published in 1953. The book led to a weekly question-and-answer column, "Kovels: Antiques & Collecting," syndicated in 1954, which still runs in more than 150 newspapers. It was also the first of 97 books that the couple would co-author.

Ralph Kovel was born in Milwaukee. He moved with his family to Cleveland Heights, Ohio in the 1930s. A Cleveland Heights High School graduate, he attended the Ohio State University, and later taught courses in antiques at Case Western Reserve and John Carroll universities.

Kovel was a food broker at the same time he found success with antiques. In the late 1970s, he purchased a small Cleveland company called Sar-A-Lee. The company was sold in 1989 to Sara Lee Corporation, where he continued as Senior Vice-President of Sara Lee Coffee and Tea's Foods Division until 2000. He never retired. He was president of U.S. Brands, Inc., a Beachwood-based direct marketing firm, and president of Lucayan Aquaculture, a shrimp farm in the Bahamas.

Ralph and Terry Kovel were featured in their own television series on public television, the Discovery Channel and, most recently, on HGTV (Home and Garden Television Network). They wrote columns for Forbes Magazine and House Beautiful. Their articles have appeared in Family Circle, Woman's Day, Redbook, Town and Country, Giftware News and many antiques-related publications. They contributed the "Art, Antiques and Collections: Collectibles" section for Encyclopedia Britannica Book of the Year and were once the prize for a Publishers' Clearing House contest.

Their best-known book, Kovels' Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide, has been published annually since 1968. The 2009 edition was just released. In 1974 the couple began to publish a monthly newsletter, Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles. Their subscription-based newsletter has over 50,000 subscribers and is available in a digital version on the website,, which is visited by over a quarter of a million readers each month.

Ralph Kovel served on the boards of trustees of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Western Reserve Historical Society, and Public Broadcasting stations WVIZ-TV and WCPN-NPR. He won numerous awards for his public service and two Cleveland Emmys for his television work.

Friday, September 5, 2008

WorthPoint to buy GoAntiques

Atlanta-based WorthPoint, a social networking site for researching the worth of antiques and collectibles, has signed a letter of intent to buy Ohio-based GoAntiques, founded in 1994. eBay's decision to close its Live Auctions platform helped drive the sale. GoAntiques was a major user of the eBay's live-auction platform.

GoAntiques plans on launching its own auction site this month. The site has 350,000 registered users; WorthPoint reports over 50,000 registered users.