Posts Tagged ‘island’

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:

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Keep a look out.

At Long Last, a Map That Clearly Shows That Part of San Francisco is in the East Bay on Alameda Island

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

O you can say that this map is wrong, but you can’t say that you don’t get the point, which is that that left piece of Alameda you can see on the wrong side of the line is part of the City and County of San Francisco:

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I should go visit sometime…

Carry on.

Here’s What Happens to Your Mylar Helium Balloons: They Fly to Middle Farallon Island and Mess with the Sea Lions

Monday, December 30th, 2013

See?

Perhaps from a Raider’s game, or a black celebration:

Steller sea lion with Mylar balloons near Middle Farallon (photo by CS) – click to expand

Get all the deets on westernmost San Francisco from Notes from Smellephant IslandThe adventures of a wayward biologist living with seals on the Farallon Islands”

 

San Francisco’s Least Demanding Gym Chain: FITNESS SF – Where All You Need To Do Is Simply “BE YOU!”

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

I’ll put this billboard’s imperative on my bucket list:

BE ME!

Now I’ll scratch it off, job done:

BE ME!

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Next up:

FIGHT DINOSAURS ON AOGASHIMA ISLAND.

Island/ Blimp/ Boat – 2000/ 10/ 1000 Souls Aboard – Belvedere/ “Despicable Me 2″ Airship/ Pacific Princess

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Tony Belvedere is on your left, and there’s the DreamWorks “Despicable Me 2″ blimp, and then there’s Pacific Princess steaming away towards the Golden Gate Bridge.

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MS Pacific Princess is a cruise ship owned by Princess Cruises and operated by Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia. She was built in 1999 by the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. NazaireFrance as MS R Three for Renaissance Cruises.

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

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Right here:

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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

San Francisco’s Connection to the North Korean Crisis: Pier 80, USS Tripoli, and THAAD Ballistic Missile Defense

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

1. Here’s the news of the day:

Anti-missile systems sent to Guam to counter North Korean threat

2. Those systems are called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).

3. THAAD was developed using the former USS Tripoli (LPH-10), an Iwo Jima-class amphibious assault ship that’s basically a mini aircraft carrier.

4. The USS Tripoli was based at Pier 80 in Dogpatch as recently as last year and it’s still there right now, for all I know.

That’s the connection.

That’s San Francisco’s contribution to the war effort.

(And, just saying, THAAD could come in handy when dealing with NK’s big buddy China…)

All the deets:

“She was decommissioned in 1995 and as of 2004, she was on loan to the Army, but remained laid up at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. In December 2006, the ship was towed to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where it now has a high-tech role as a launch platform with the nation’s developing ballistic missile defense program. Three times the ship was towed some 100 miles off shore and used to launch small ballistic missiles, which are then intercepted by Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Missiles, test-fired from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The last test in the series was performed 26 October, when the ship fired a “Scud-like” missile, which was successfully intercepted. The ship will be towed back to the San Francisco Bay Area for the winter. Kaua’i lacks a suitable land-based launch site, and the costs of building one would far exceed the approximately $600,000 per year it costs to use the old warship, so the vessel returned to Pearl Harbor for a second series of tests in late spring 2008.[1] As of 16 June 2012 she berthed at Pier 80 in San Francisco, CA.”

From 2008:

Well, look what just got towed in from Hawaii. Fresh from testing of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, San Francisco’s favorite former helicopter carrier, the former U.S.S. Tripoli (LPH-10), had its ups and downs in the Aloha State.

Read all about the post-retirement adventures of the USS Tripoli at Telstar Logistics.

Under the Golden Gate Bridge:

Who knows what the future will be for this old ship. Probably more missile launching.

And from 2010:

Now I could tell you all about the supr sekrt USS Tripoli (LPH-10 (Landing Platform, Helicopter)) but that would be MUY PRO HI BI DA DO (I say that in Spanish because that’s how not allowed it would be).

Suffice to say the old girl has been chilling in the Dogpatch lately, right next to ridiculously hilly Potrero Hill. See?

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Where, oh where, will it get towed to next?

What, oh what, will it next launch into the Heav’ns Above?

Courage.

The Trip as seen off of Kauai in the 808 State (or somewhere else in the wide Pacific) during the sum, sum, summertime. Whoosh:

E komo mai. Nou ka hale, USS Tripoli

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.

If You See a Federal Judge Crying Today, It’s Because the 9th Circuit Might Cancel Its Big 2012 Maui Trip

Monday, July 16th, 2012

So, Kipahulu: The Seven Pools of O’heo might not be on the agenda. See below.

No judges here. See?

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Judges under fire for Maui conference have history of tropical getaways

All the deets, ROF (Released on a Friday):

“July 13, 2012 / Ninth Circuit Public Information Office – The Ninth Circuit will reschedule its 2013 Circuit Conference to 2014 in Monterey, California. The postponement responds to the current budget constraints facing the federal judiciary and the federal government in general. The decision was reached earlier this week after consultation with the host hotel in Monterey, the Hyatt Regency.

“We firmly believe in the importance of the Conference in educating the federal bench and bar and in advancing governance of the Circuit. But we also recognize the need to conserve financial resources during the present fiscal crisis,” said Cathy A. Catterson, Circuit and Court of Appeals Executive. “We think this approach will meet both goals.”

The Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference has been held annually since 1944. Conferees include federal judges, lawyers, court staff, academics and government officials. The event provides a rich educational program and the opportunity to hold numerous business meetings.”

And Zumba, always with the Zumba. No matter, all this might be canceled:

“Saturday, August 11
12:00 p.m. – Conference Registration desk opens

Sunday, August 12
5:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Sport Fishing
12:00 p.m. – Golf Tournament

Monday, August 13
9:00 a.m. – Yoga
9:00 a.m. – Surfing Lessons
9:00 a.m. – Stand-up Paddle Board Lessons
12:00 p.m. – Welcome Luncheon & Book Review for Spouses & Guests
2:00 p.m. – Zumba
4:30 p.m. – Opening Program
6:00 p.m. – No-host Cocktail Reception
7:00 p.m. – Maui Dine Around

Tuesday, August 14
9:00 a.m. – Yoga
9:00 a.m. – Surfing Lessons
9:00 a.m. – Stand-up Paddle Board Lessons
1:00 p.m. – Tennis Tournament
2:00 p.m. – Floral Design Workshop (includes flowers & supplies)
7:00 p.m. – District Dinners

Wednesday, August 15
9:00 a.m. – Yoga
9:00 a.m. – Surfing Lessons
9:00 a.m. – Stand-up Paddle Board Lessons
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Day Trip and Tour of Upcountry Maui
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Gemini Catamaran Snorkel Trip (includes gear & lunch)
2:45 p.m. – A special treat! Ice Cream Social
6:00 p.m. – The Aloha Experience

Thursday, August 16
9:00 a.m. – Yoga
9:00 a.m. – Stand-up Paddle Board Lessons”

OMG, TMI TMI!

Aloha.

OMG, Your Best Way to Spend $125: 2012 Farallon Island Whale Watching Season Starts May 26th!

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Check it, our very own Oceanic Society is kicking off annual Farallon Island whale watching season on May 26, 2012.

All the deets:

WHALE WATCH/NATURE CRUISES TO FARALLON ISLANDS BEGIN MAY 26 
 
San Francisco, California – Oceanic Society’s educational day long boat trips to the Farallon Islands, just 27 miles west of San Francisco, will operate May 26 through November 25, with departures available from San Francisco and Sausalito. 
 
Blue whales (the largest animal to have ever lived on earth), Humpback whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Harbor porpoises, Risso’s dolphins and Northern right whale dolphins all may be encountered during the whale-watch cruises to the islands and the nearby continental shelf. 
 
An exceptional wilderness area, the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge is the largest seabird rookery in the eastern Pacific south of Alaska – including nesting Tufted puffins, Pigeon guillemots, Rhinoceros auklets, Common murres, Black oystercatchers and cormorants. The Islands are also a breeding haven and home to California sea lions, northern elephant seals, Steller sea lions, Harbor seals and fur seals. 
 
Though only scientists are permitted on the islands, the abundance of wildlife may be closely observed and photographed from aboard the Salty Lady, Oceanic Society’s 56-foot, Coast Guard-certified vessel. The boat holds 48 passengers. 
 
Experienced naturalists lead each excursion to help identify seabirds and locate whales and interpret their behavior. The naturalists also provide informal discussions on marine wildlife and on the history of the islands. Passengers also benefit from the presence of whale researchers from the Cascadia Research Collective, scientists who have studied these whales since the early 1990’s. 
 
Oceanic Society trips to the Farallon Islands depart Saturdays, Sundays and select Fridays from the Marina Green in San Francisco. Trips begin at 8 a.m. and last about eight hours.  Passengers also have the option of departing at 7:15 a.m. from the Sausalito Clipper Yacht Harbor. The minimum age is 10, and an adult must accompany children under 15.  Participants supply their own food and beverages. 
 
The fee is $125 per person, with special group rates available. The fee includes a copy of “The Farallon Islands: Past, Present, and Future,” a 42-minute DVD produced by the Oceanic Society in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The DVD offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the natural and human history of the Farallon Islands and provides a virtual land tour of the islands. (Additional DVDs cost $15.)
 
Founded in 1969, the mission of the Oceanic Society is to protect marine wildlife and oceanic biodiversity through an integrated program of scientific research and environmental education. An official partner of the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge, Oceanic Society has offered educational whale-watch cruises since 1984 and is the only nonprofit organization that offers whale-watch trips year round in the Bay Area. 
 
Reservations for the Farallon Islands whale-watch trips are advised. Please call 415- 256-9941 or 800-326-7491 or register atwww.oceanicsociety.org. For recorded information on current wildlife sightings, call 415-258-8220.

Sea you there!