Posts Tagged ‘alcatraz’

Exotic Bird Sightings: Northern Gannet on Alcatraz! Northern Gannet on Alcatraz! Northern Gannet on Alcatraz!

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The SF Chronicle sent over an expedition, but couldn’t find it.

Here’s a recent capture, looks like:

Rare sighting of a Northern Gannet on Alcatraz, usually only seen in the North Atlantic, http://ow.ly/i/5g4uH

Taken with a Samsung Galaxy S III cell phone:

Click to expand

Keep a look out.

An Arresting “Snapshot” from Photographer David Yu: Shifting Shafts of Shining Above Alcatraz

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Right here:

Click to expand

All at once the clouds are parted 
Light streams down in bright unbroken beams 
Follow men’s eyes as they look to the skies 
The shifting shafts of shining weave the fabric of their dreams

If You Want to Walk Across the Bay Bridge on September 1st FOR FREE, Then You’ll Need to Sign Up Now

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

‘Cause by the time you hear about this opportunity from the MSM or a blog, it’ll be too late.

Now some people wanted to charge you for the chance to walk the bridge, but they ended up deciding to just require registration with no payment required.

C’mon, this thing is only two decades-plus late.

All the deets:

“We are excited to announce that registration for the Bay Bridge Walk will be FREE! Our next email will include more details on each event and registration dates.

Registration is required for all on-bridge activities and there will be limited capacity so sign up early!

Please tell your friends and family who wish to participate to visit baybridgecelebration.com and sign up for e-mail updates. You will be the first to hear when registration is open.

More details on the Bay Bridge Bike, Run & Walk coming soon!

-The Bay Bridge Celebration Team”

There’ll be plenty of space to roam:

See you there!

OMG, It’s “Zeppelin Flight Timelapse: San Francisco, California!” – Video of Cruising Low and Slow Over the 415

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Here’s what the Bay Area’s big Zeppelin looks like from San Francisco…

…and here’s what San Francisco looks like from the Bay Area’s big Zeppelin:

Ah, mem’ries:

Passing by Coit Tower:

A close up view, click to enlarge. Can you see pilot Fritz Guenther and his Peltor brand headphones? Sure you can.

And an adorable piggly tail in the back:

There we go, back to normal:

Marina District Gratified by All the White People Who Showed Up for America’s Cup – But Says No to Regular Tourists

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Work with me here. The recent America’s Cup scrimmage event up in San Francisco’s Great White North got this kind of reaction in the pages of the Marina Times:

“This event brought exactly the right kind of crowd to the Marina.”

Uh, white people with some extra folding money to spend – that kind of crowd?

Mmmm…

Anyway, you’d think that the friendly Marinites would similarly welcome the Feds landing Alcatraz tour boats at Fort Mason, right?

No.

Let’s hear from socially awkward, born-into-the-one-percent District Two Supervisor Mark Farrell in the very same pages of the Marina Times:

“The National Park Service’s (NPS) intention to study Fort Mason as a possible location for its Alcatraz tour ferry service is one of those ideas with serious and long-lasting impacts that must immediately be put to rest.”

(Yeah, it’s one of those ideas, huh? So like, Alex, I want “Ideas with serious and long-lasting impacts that must immediately be put to rest” for $1600?”)

Apparently, one set of aquatic tourists is the best thing in the world and another set of aquatic tourists is the worst thing in the world?

OK fine.

Hey Marina, look at this! You think the future can’t cross a bridge ride through a tunnel?

Now here’s the kicker. The reason why the white people of the Marina are worried about the Fort Mason proposal is that it’s a lead pipe cinch, owing to the lack of NIMBY laws on federal land:

“What makes the idea even more distressing to residents and establishments in the Marina is the lack of local environmental review and input that would be available. The NPS stated that environmental review of the Fort Mason site would be conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and not under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), because Fort Mason is federal property. Without a CEQA process in place for Fort Mason, the enormous changes contemplated in the Marina will never be considered by our local government, and any NEPA appeal would have to take place in Washington through the federal courts. In my letter to the NPS, I asked that since they are prepared to undergo a CEQA analysis for the sites located at the Port of San Francisco piers, they should do the same for the NPS-owned piers at Fort Mason…”

So, don’t come here, Feds. Don’t come here where it’s super easy to do business, you know, without dealing with millionaire NIMBYs for decades, oh no, don’t even think about it! Feds, you must immediately put the idea “to rest.”

Well, we’ll just have to wait and see how that works…

Do You Think the Rich White People of the Marina District Want a Ferry Landing at Fort Mason? Hells No!

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Our National Park Service is thinking about moving the Alcatraz ferry landing from Fisherman’s Wharf to Fort Mason. And maybe they’d go to other places like the Marin Headlands or Sausalito.

Sounds all right to me, but the Marina Community Association is not pleased with the idea of all those non-white people messing things up in the Great White North of San Francisco.

Now, let’s hear from the King of the NIMBYs, District Two Supervisor Mark Farrell:

Check it:

“Adding the potential of 5,000 visitors per day or 35,000 visitors per week will more than double the population of the Marina…”

Except that adding the potential of 5,000 visitors per day or 35,000 visitors per week would not more than double the population of the Marina.

So there’s that.

Anyway, go for it, Feds, go for Fort Mason, why not?

All the deets:

Notice Of Intent To Prepare An Environmental Impact Statement For Alcatraz Ferry Embarkation Site.

In accordance with § 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, and pursuant to the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-08), the National Park Service (NPS) is initiating the conservation planning and environmental impact analysis process for the proposed establishment of a long-term ferry embarkation site for passenger ferry service between the northern San Francisco waterfront and Alcatraz Island. In addition to considering the Alcatraz Ferry Embarkation site, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will also evaluate potential for a secondary ferry transit service offering a cross-bay connection from the San Francisco embarkation site to Sausalito and/or Fort Baker. NPS is the lead federal agency for the environmental review under NEPA, and is developing the project in coordination with the Port of San Francisco (Port) and City and County of San Francisco (City) planning and transportation agencies.Show citation box

As set forth in 36 CFR 800.8(c), the NPS is also using the NEPA process to fulfill certain provisions of § 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act related to consultation and public involvement. In addition, the NPS has requested that the Port and the City be cooperating agencies for the EIS. In the event that a site on Port property is identified as the preferred alternative, environmental review of the project pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) would be required, and would be initiated at a later date.Show citation box

All scoping comments must be postmarked or transmitted not later than July 31, 2012.Show citation box

Background: Alcatraz Island, the site of pre-Civil War fortifications, was the nation’s first military prison. It later became the most notorious maximum security penitentiary in the United States, and subsequently was the site of the occupation that helped ignite the movement for American Indian self-determination. Over 1.4 million people visit Alcatraz Island annually from the existing ferry embarkation site at Pier 311/2in San Francisco, managed by Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). The Alcatraz Ferry Embarkation EIS will build upon several studies completed by NPS, the Port, the City, the State of California, and the California Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA; formerly the Water Transit Authority).Show citation box

A 2011 draft feasibility study identified potential sites for consideration located among GGNRA, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the northern Embarcadero. The sites studied included Port piers 191/2, 291/2, 311/2, 41, and 45, and GGNRA piers 1, 2, 3, and 4 at Fort Mason. If suggested during scoping, other sites that meet the project purpose and need could also be considered. The draft feasibility study and subsequent investigations also analyzed the surrounding area, identified the programs and facilities needed to operate the sites, existing conditions at the sites, and criteria to evaluate the sites.Show citation box

The NPS seeks to secure a site on the northern San Francisco waterfront that provides for a long-term (50 years or more) orientation and ferry embarkation facility for visitors to Alcatraz Island. NPS desires an identifiable, adequate, and quality visitor welcome and support area that begins to connect visitors to Alcatraz history, GGNRA, and the national park system. The NPS also seeks to establish ferry connections between the embarkation site and existing piers at Sausalito and/or at Fort Baker, which is managed by GGNRA.Show citation box

The need for the project is driven by the following factors:Show citation box

  • Alcatraz ferry service is currently subject to location changes every 10 years which has led to visitor confusion, community concerns, and inconsistency in visitor support services.Show citation box
  • Ability to make improvements at the existing site is constrained by lease provisions between the Port and the concessioner, with substantial amounts of revenue spent on rent, reducing the amount available to invest on Alcatraz and other GGNRA sites.Show citation box
  • The condition of existing facilities constrains and negatively affects NPS and the concessioners’ abilities to create a recognizable identity and quality visitor experience.Show citation box
  • The current facility has insufficient space to appropriately orient visitors to Alcatraz or provide information to the many visitors who are unable to visit Alcatraz.Show citation box
  • There is very limited opportunity to provide cross-bay ferry service to other GGNRA areas.Show citation box

The objectives for this project include creating a ferry embarkation site that:Show citation box

  • Establishes a long-term (50 years or more) primary location for visitor access to Alcatraz Island.Show citation box
  • Is economically feasible and sustainable, and generates revenue for investment on Alcatraz and other park facilities and visitor programs.Show citation box
  • Accommodates critical visitor and operational programs and facilities, and provides for efficient land and vessel operations.Show citation box
  • Provides an identifiable area for quality welcome, orientation, and interpretation of the natural, cultural, scenic and recreational resources of Alcatraz, the larger GGNRA, and the national park system.Show citation box
  • Provides facilities for cross-bay ferry service to accommodate existing and future visitor demand for travel to Alcatraz Island, Muir Woods, and the Marin Headlands.Show citation box

Public Scoping Comments and Further Information: This notice serves to formally open the agency and public scoping comment phase for this EIS. Key impact topics which are expected to be addressed in the EIS include transportation, visitor experience, aesthetics, economics, cultural resources, natural resources, and air quality—however, agencies, members of the public, and interested organizations are encouraged to provide any comments on the spectrum of issues and concerns that should be addressed. Respondents will also assist with defining a suitable range of alternatives; advise on the nature and extent of potential environmental impacts, including natural, cultural, socioeconomic and other topics; and suggest possible mitigation strategies that would reduce potential impacts from project development.Show citation box

Several public scoping meetings will be scheduled in San Francisco and Marin Counties. Meeting dates, times, and locations will be publicized through local and regional news media, by email to the park mailing list (to be included on the EIS email list, please visit: www.nps.gov/goga and click the “Join the Mailing List” link), and via the project Web site http://parkplanning.nps.gov/ALCAembarkation. This Web site will also provide relevant information, including the project description, planning process updates, meeting notices, reports and documents, and useful links associated with the project. You may also contact theGGNRA Planning Division at goga_planning@nps.gov or (415) 561-4700 for further information.Show citation box

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be mailed to the following address: Superintendent, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Attn: Alcatraz Ferry Embarkation EIS, Fort Mason, Bldg. 201, San Francisco, CA 94123. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.Show citation box

Decision Process: At this time, it is anticipated that the Draft EIS will be available for public review in mid-2013. Availability of the document for review will be announced by the publication of a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register, through local and regional news media, via the project Web site, and by email to project email recipients. Additional public meetings will be held after the Draft EIS is distributed to provide further opportunities to comment on the proposed project. Following due consideration of all comments received on the Draft EIS, preparation of the Final EIS is anticipated to be completed in 2014. As a delegated EIS, the official responsible for the final decision regarding the proposed ferry embarkation site is the NPS Regional Director, Pacific West Region. Subsequently, the official responsible for implementation will be the GGNRA Superintendent.Show citation box

Dated: April 6, 2012.

Patricia L. Neubacher,

Acting Regional Director, Pacific West Region.

OMG, It’s Time for Another Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon – Sunday Sunday Sunday, June 5th, 2011!

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

It’s going to be on this Sunday.

Deets below.

Via Sonic Fitness

See you there!

2011 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon to Invade San Francisco on Sunday, June 5 — 2,000 Athletes to Compete in One of World’s Toughest Sporting Events

SAN FRANCISCO, June 1, 2011 — The world’s top athletes will take over the streets and waters of San Francisco to compete in one of the most prestigious triathlons in the world, the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon. Featuring a 1.5 mile swim from Alcatraz Island to the shore, an 18-mile bike race and an 8-mile run through San Francisco, this race is considered one of the oldest and most difficult triathlons in the world. More than 2,000 competitors from more than 34 countries will compete.

Several professional triathletes are returning to participate in this year’s Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon including: Three-time Winner Andy Potts from Colorado Springs, Colo.; Three-time Winner Leanda Cave from Tucson, AZ; 2006 Champion Becky Lavelle from Los Gatos, Calif.; Eight-time Champion Michellie Jones, from Carlsbad, Calif., and Two-time Ironman Champion Craig Alexander.

A handful of physically challenged athletes will join the abled-body competitors including Middle East War Survivor Mike Johnston – a single leg amputee and part of Operation Rebound which helps injured veterans “get back in the game,” single arm amputee Creighton Wong; and “One Armed Willie” Stewart from Boise, Idaho. These amputees will compete in this difficult race to demonstrate to other challenged athletes and injured soldiers that sports can be a powerful force for recovery. The youngest competitors include 15-year-old San Francisco resident Elsabet Jones and 15-year-old Dallas resident Steven Emerson. West Bloomfield, MI resident Paul Groffsky will be the oldest competitor at 78 years old.

The race will take place on Sunday, June 5, at 7:30 a.m. on the Marina Green, in San Francisco. The public is invited to watch the race and attend the free all day Fitness Festival & Expo which will feature more than 40 booths exhibiting the health and fitness industries’ latest products and services, food and more. The Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon is produced by IMG with race direction provided in part by World Triathlon Corporation. For more information please visit www.escapefromalcatraztriathlon.com.


Spend a Minute to Watch the Sun Set Behind the Golden Gate Bridge – HD Video from the Berkeley Pier

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Starting….now!

Boy, it looks warm, huh?

Just another joint from famous Bay Area Photographer David Yu

Hamlet on Alcatraz! Performance from We Players Runs October 2 to November 21

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Get your tickets now for the We Players‘ performances of Hamlet on The Rock.

The shows run from October 2nd to November 21st.

This production should be mega.

Red Bull King of the Rock One-on-One Basketball Battle Coming to Alcatraz, Starring Rajon Rondo

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

This was the scene this AM in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle where Red Bull took over the courts to have qualifying for its King of the Rock one-on-one basketball tourney

64 will make it to the finals to vie for $10,000 on Alcatraz the evening of September 18th, 2010.

Looks as if Oakland will be the last place you’ll have to qualify:

  • OAKLAND – September 11

    Mosswood Park
    3612 Webster St. (W MacArthur Boulevard between Webster Street and Broadway)
    Oakland, CA 94609

    9:00 AM – Registration Opens
    10:00 AM – Competition Begins

  • Click to expand

    All the deets:

    “For 29 long years, more than 1,500 men dreamed of nothing but getting off of Alcatraz. But beginning on July 17, hundreds will try their hardest to make it onto the island, with the goal of being crowned King of the Rock. Red Bull King of the Rock will be the first sporting event held on Alcatraz since the inmates left the island over 50 years ago. This one-on-one basketball tournament will kick off with six qualifiers on the West Coast, with participating cities including: Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Seattle, San Francisco and Oakland. Sixty-Four contestants will emerge from these six qualifiers and make their way to Alcatraz, one of the world’s most iconic and recognizable locations, for the final showdown hosted by All-Star guard Rajon Rondo on September 18.”

    Ever more deets, after the jump

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