Thursday, April 15, 2010

Yerba Buena Island

Media Credit: Wikipedia
(Excerpt) "It lies like a jewel in the setting of San Francisco Bay, Yerba Buena Island, the hub spot of a wheel whose rim is punctuated by the thriving cities of a mainland fringing that bay. As it is geographically centralized, so too, have been directed, like the spokes of the wheel from every direction, casual interests in the earlier years, and the heightened interest and appreciation of accomplishments of the later years, the climax of which is the building of the great San Francisco Bay bridge, tieing in the mainland with San Francisco by way of the island. Its completion is the raison d'etre for the San Francisco Exposition of 1939.

Since before the days of the Mission padres, the island has had its strata of historical interest. Recently exhumed bones in connection with the bridge building project have told the mute story in scientists' language that Indians, centuries ago, wended their way from the mainland, probably in the tule barges, their known mode of transportation, and held conference or pow-wow on this prominence."
Transition from Military Uses
Adjoining Yerba Buena Island by a short isthmus is the relatively flat manmade former Naval Air Facility, Treasure Island.
(Excerpt) "... many 'native sons' of San Francisco ... [have] never stepped foot on the island. Treasure Island, created from bay mud ... was the home of the Pacific Fleet during World War II. The [Navy] base was decommissioned in 1993 by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The Pentagon then gave [The City of] San Francisco and the Treasure Island Development Authority [TIDA] responsibility for converting Treasure Island to civilian use ...

[TIDA] has pushed to bring in a slew of sports leagues, including Gaelic football and rugby. In addition, the Treasure Island Music Festival has brought 10,000 alternative rock fans the last two Septembers, and Oracle has held its employee appreciation day there, bringing more than 30,000 people to the island [for concerts] ... The island’s new marketing slogan is 'recreation destination'."
Source: San Francisco Business Times
Sailing Interests
At the 'Silicon Valley Watcher' blog (link below) is a video clip of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison (also of America's Cup sailing competition fame) receiving a key to The City. The short clip (5:42) also includes a presser type interview with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Larry Ellison, and others. In the clip Mr. Ellison mentions the possible future use for a small olympic village type of sailboat racing center and marina, generally in the Bay Area Region. Yerba Buena, Treasure Island, or the TIDA does not seem to be directly mentioned.
Source and video clip: Silicon Valley Watcher

Watercraft Facility Planning
It might be interesting to see a report that would highlight proposals for how marina, ferry services, and other watercraft components would fit and function in an eventual master plan for Treasure Island's transition to civilian land uses. Perhaps an overview of possible designs for the island's water/land interfaces, to use a word.

Opportunity for Problem Solving
As might be expected, particularly to those groups and individuals with interests and responsibilities to make it happen safely and successfully, the change in character of these connected islands from primarily military uses to include other public and for profit land uses appears to be a somewhat complicated and challenging task politically and even technically.

Link I Found Today (LIFT)
The following is not intended as a continuation of the above subject. It is simply the last segment to read at the end of this post. This "LIFT" bonus feature may not be in any way appropriate or relevant to anything. And if it is -- it's probably a conscience ...