Posts Tagged ‘island’

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?

Click to expand

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!

“Moonset Over San Francisco” by Famous San Francisco Photographer David Yu

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Easter Moon, 2012, San Francisco:

Via David Yu. Used with Permission. Click to expand

“Until next time, May 5 2012, to chase the full moon….”

The Unbearable Lightness of Being CW Nevius: Chronicle Writer Changes His Position on the America’s Cup Once Again

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Let’s see here, remember back when when it took three months for San Francisco Chronicle writer CW Nevius to pull a 180 on the original America’s Cup deal? Leave us review:

CW Nevius, the bleating sheep of San Francisco’s Animal Farm, seems to have had a change of heart about Larry Ellison’s one and only offer for us to pay for his little boat party in a few years.

You see, back in the day, a way back in September 2010, Chuckles thought the idea of San Francisco losing nine figures for the right to host the next America’s Cup, the concept called the “Southern Waterfront” proposal, was:

“…a wonderful opportunity without a downside.”

But now, less than three months later, the very same exact proposal has become:

“…an irresponsible giveaway and bad for San Francisco.”

Remember that? (You see, at the time The Neve was trying to frame in high relief the differences between two different proposals so that was his technique. Either he’s stupid or he thinks his readers are stupid. Or both.)

Anyway, since then, the AC13 people took Chuckie on a boat ride for him to witness a staged catamaran crash near the Marina so then he became fully “on board” with this venture. Let’s call him cheerleader number one for this aquatic boondoggle.

Here’s his latest position. I don’t know. The Chuckinator is starting to sound conflicted, once again.

Oh, I know, why don’t we just call the whole thing off, why not? It would teach certain people a lesson and we wouldn’t be mortgaging San Francisco’s future to Larry fucking Ellison. Sounds like a win-win to me.

And hey, do you think that CW benefits personally from SF hosting the America’s Cup? I think he does, just as he’s personally benefited from eight(!) Olympiads.

Here we go:

“I would just add this. I covered eight Olympic Games. In nearly every case, there were huge problems with the host cities – bitter feelings, angry denunciations and threats of revenge. But on the day of the Opening Ceremony, all was forgiven.”

Really, all was forgiven? Really? Aren’t the people of Greece, for example, still suffering from the effects of the 1996 Olympics? I think so. Don’t you know that Chuckles?

The Olympics are corruption, simply stated. And America’s Cup is corruption. Same deal.

But at least people actually seem to be interested in the Olympics.

Oh well.

“The animals who inhabit the Manor Farm are mistreated and abused. The animals rebel and take over. Soon, however, the pigs (who represent the party bosses) begin to take special privileges for themselves, e.g. extra food. They enlist the farm’s dogs as enforcers to put down any dissent, and they teach the sheep to speak the party line on demand. At first, this is, “Four legs good, two legs bad”- animals (four legs) are good, humans (exploiters) are bad. As time passes, the Seven Commandments (Animal Farm’s Constitution) undergo subtle changes as the pigs rewrite it to suit their own agenda. When Boxer the horse (symbolizing blue-collar labor, the “workers,”) becomes too old to work, the pigs sell him to the horse butcher, whom they tell the other animals is really the veterinarian. The pigs eventually learn to walk on two legs, thus imitating the animals’ original exploiters, and they teach the sheep to bleat, “Four legs good, two legs better!”

Don’t Miss Today’s Big Meeting About Adding a Bike Path to the Western Span of the Bay Bridge – 5:30 PM, 100 Van Ness

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Via LivaSOMA comes news of today’s big meeting about putting a bike lane on the western span of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge.

It’ll look like this:

Click to expand

All the deets:

“Open House to Unveil Design Alternatives for Bay Bridge West Span Bike/Ped Path Project - December 13 Meeting to Highlight Concepts, Challenges, Opportunities

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m

SFCTA Board Room
100 Van Ness Avenue, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA

The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA), in partnership with Caltrans and the City and County of San Francisco, has developed several design alternatives for a bicycle/pedestrian/maintenance path project on the West Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and will present these alternatives for public review and consideration at an informational open house on Tuesday, December 13, 2011, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m in the San Francisco County Transportation Authority Board Room, 100 Van Ness Avenue, 26th Floor, in San Francisco.

The open house will advance development of a Project Initiation Document (PID) for what is formally known as the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Bicycle Pedestrian Maintenance Path Project. The PID is intended to update the feasibility study performed in 2001. In addition to featuring design alternatives, the open house will outline key challenges and constraints, project costs, and the development process for the project. The public is invited to view project exhibits and talk with project team members. A presentation will be made at 6 p.m. and at 6:45 p.m.  Please note the same presentation will be given at both times.

The proposed pathway project would extend the bicycle/pedestrian path already being constructed on the Bay Bridge’s new East Span by taking it around Yerba Buena Island and across the bridge’s West Span into San Francisco. In addition to providing a continuous bike/ped route from Oakland to San Francisco, the path project also would provide improved bridge access for Caltrans maintenance crews, thereby reducing maintenance closures on the bridge. Please note that these are preliminary designs and that funding for this project has not yet been identified.

Project materials will be posted to mtc.ca.gov/westspanbikepath after the meeting. Meeting facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for special accommodations should be directed to Meghan Daniels at m.daniels@circlepoint.com or 415.227.1100 x118.”

What It’s Like to Commute From Treasure Island to the Financial District – If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Here’s a great shot by Mike Behnken taken* from Yerba Buena Island:

Click to expand

If you move to that new city they’re building on sinking Treasure Island, your commute will take you from camera right onto the western span of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge and then right into SoMA.

On a good day, that would take like four minutes…

*Wow, a 30-second exposure, but there’s no good place to put a tripod except for the roadway. I’ve seen people hanging out taking photos close to here but they looked none too comfortable owing to the slope.

A 2.5-Minute Exposure – “Waiting for the Sun” – Marin Headlands, Diablo, Yerba Buena, Bridges, Skyline

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Not a cloud in the sky:

Via Jazure - click to expand

Better Know Your Local, Historic, U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers: “Rum, Vodka, Wiskey” Aboard Alameda’s USS Hornet (CV-12)

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

The previous U.S.S Hornet (CV-8) made it about a year before being sunk in WWII, so the Navy recycled the name for CV-12, the museum ship we have berthed in Alameda these days.

That’s your Lesson of the Day.

Now, pour yourself a drink:

Via Monica’s Dad – click to expand

Tough Times for Pribot: Google Employee’s Robotic Toyota Prius Hybrid Gets in Fender Bender, Gets Ticketed

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Remember happier times back in aught-eight, when “Pribot,” the famous autonomous Prius, was roving the Streets of San Francisco with a huge SFPD escort and teams of camerapeople in tow?

Well, those halcyon days are over, so now Pribot has been relegated to getting ticketed by DPT, just like regular nonrobotic cars.

See?

Click to expand

You can’t see the the damage from when Pribot scraped its left side exiting the Bay Bridge, but these days there’s evidence he/she/it has had more driving trouble.

See?

Did Pribot crash into something? Or maybe a careless San Francisco driver backed up too far? Or maybe a human master made a mistake?

(Of course, when you’re making an omelet, as Google is doing in full force in 2011, you’re going to break a few eggs. Anyway…)

Poor Pribot!

All I could do was put a spare Kraftwerk mixtape under one of its windshield wiper arms and then turn to walk away.

Pribot, you were the first, you are the ur-robotic Prius, you are the Jetfire of the autonomous car universe.

Bon courage, Pribot!