Portal:San Francisco Bay Area
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Portal:San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area Portal

California Bay Area county map
SF Bay area USGS.jpg

The San Francisco Bay Area (referred to locally as the Bay Area) is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses the major cities and metropolitan areas of San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland, along with smaller urban and rural areas. The Bay Area's nine counties are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. Home to approximately 7.68 million people, the nine-county Bay Area contains many cities, towns, airports, and associated regional, state, and national parks, connected by a network of roads, highways, railroads, bridges, tunnels, and commuter rail. The combined statistical area of the region is the second-largest in California (after the Greater Los Angeles area), the fifth-largest in the United States, and the 43rd-largest urban area in the world with 8.80 million people.

The Bay Area has the second-most Fortune 500 companies in the United States, after the New York metropolitan area, and is known for its natural beauty, liberal politics, entrepreneurship, and diversity. The area ranks second in highest density of college graduates, after the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and performs above the state median household income in the 2010 census; it includes the five highest California counties by per capita income and two of the top 25 wealthiest counties in the United States. Based on a 2013 population report from the California Department of Finance, the Bay Area is the only region in California where the rate of people migrating in from other areas in the United States is greater than the rate of those leaving the region, led by Alameda and Contra Costa counties. (more...)

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IMG 9864MountHamilton fxwb.jpg
Mount Hamilton is a mountain in California's Diablo Range, in Santa Clara County, California. Mount Hamilton, at 4,216 feet (1,285 m) is mountain overlooking Silicon Valley, and is the site of Lick Observatory, the first permanently occupied mountain-top observatory. The other summits along its mile-long summit ridge are known by astronomy-related names.

The highest Copernicus Peak at 4363+ feet (1330+ m) is named for Nicolaus Copernicus. Kepler Peak, named for Johannes Kepler, and 4,213-foot (1,284 m) Observatory Peak follow. The latter was more than 30 feet (9.1 m) taller before it was leveled during the construction of the observatory in the 1880s. The asteroid 452 Hamiltonia, discovered in 1899, is named after the mountain. Golden Eagle nesting sites are found on the slopes of Mount Hamilton. On clear days, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Monterey Bay, and even the Monterey Peninsula are visible from the summit of the mountain. (more...)

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Letter to Ed Jew regarding residency information
Edmund "Ed" Jew (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Zhào Yuèmíng; Jyutping: ziu6 jyut6 ming4, born 1960 in San Francisco, California) is an incarcerated former Chinese American politician based in San Francisco. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in economics and later earned a masters degree in business administration at Golden Gate University. After spending several years as a businessman managing his family enterprises, he entered politics in 1980s and went on to serve in various community organizations. In 1996, he was the volunteer liaison for then District 4 supervisor Leland Yee. In 2002, Yee successfully ran for a seat in the California Assembly, and Jew ran for Yee's seat on the Board of Supervisors in the 2002 election, but was defeated. When Yee's successor Fiona Ma in 2006 ran for state assembly, Jew again ran for supervisor in District 4, which comprises most of the Sunset District. After winning a highly competitive election decided by instant-runoff voting, he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Six months after he took office, the FBI raided his office and homes for allegedly extorting money from small business owners in his district. Shortly after the raid, the city attorney began investigating Jew for violating residency requirements necessary to hold his supervisor position. In September 2007, he was suspended by Mayor Gavin Newsom and later resigned in the face of extortion and perjury charges. In late 2008, he pled guilty to both charges. He was sentenced to 64 months in federal prison for extortion, and a year in county jail for perjury. (more...)

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Old fire station, Livermore
Livermore (formerly Livermores, Livermore Ranch, and Nottingham) is a city in Alameda County. The estimated population as of 2011 was 82,039. Livermore is located on the eastern edge of California's San Francisco Bay Area.

Livermore was founded by William Mendenhall and named after Robert Livermore, his friend and a local rancher who settled in the area in the 1840s. Livermore is the home of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, for which the chemical element livermorium is named (and thus, placing the city's name in the periodic table). Livermore is also the California site of Sandia National Laboratories, which is headquartered in Alburquerque, NM. Its south side is home to local vineyards. The city has also redeveloped its downtown district. The city is considered part of the Tri-Valley area, including Amador, Livermore and San Ramon Valleys. (more...)

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Alice Waters at Viader Vinyards, Napa.jpg
Bay Area Chef Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse
image credit: David Sifry

The Bay Area by year

Commemorative coin

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San Francisco in 1851
image credit: Library of Congress

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San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds
San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds

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Crisis hotline sign at the Golden Gate Bridge
Robot assemblers at the Tesla Factory
Panama-Pacific commemorative coins

April 2015

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Muse at the 2011 festival

The Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival is a music festival held annually at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. It was first held in 2008, and included over 60 musical acts from around the world, as well as several art installations, and brought in 40,000 to 60,000 attendees a day. (Muse pictured)


Frank Norris.jpg
~ Frank Norris, McTeague (1899)

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Bay Area regions, geographic features and protected areas

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San Francisco from Pier 7 September 2013 panorama edit.jpg
San Francisco from Pier 7. San Francisco Belle docked at Pier 3, Financial District skyscrapers in the background. At the left is the Bay Bridge
image credit: King of Hearts

San Francisco Bay Area categories

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Music Scenes