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Portal:San Francisco Bay Area

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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...)

Selected article

One Kaiser Plaza, Oakland (KP HQ)
Kaiser Permanente is an integrated managed care consortium, based in Oakland, California, United States, founded in 1945 by industrialist Henry J. Kaiser and physician Sidney Garfield. Kaiser Permanente is made up of three distinct groups of entities: the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and its regional operating subsidiaries; Kaiser Foundation Hospitals; and the autonomous regional Permanente Medical Groups. As of 2006, Kaiser Permanente operates in nine states and the District of Columbia, and is the largest managed care organization in the United States.

Kaiser Permanente has 9.3 million health plan members, 167,300 employees, 14,600 physicians, 37 medical centers, and 611 medical offices. For 2011, the non-profit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals entities reported a combined $1.6 billion in net income on $47.9 billion in operating revenues. Each independent Permanente Medical Group operates as a separate for-profit partnership or professional corporation in its individual territory, and while none publicly report their financial results, each is primarily funded by reimbursements from its respective regional Kaiser Foundation Health Plan entity. (more...)

Selected biography

Stratton's mirror experiment
George Malcolm Stratton (September 26, 1865 – October 8, 1957) was a psychologist who pioneered the study of perception in vision by wearing special glasses which inverted images up and down and left and right. He studied under one of the founders of modern psychology, Wilhelm Wundt, and started one of the first experimental psychology labs in America, at the University of California, Berkeley. Stratton's studies on binocular vision inspired many later studies on the subject. He was one of the initial members of the philosophy department at Berkeley, and the first chair of its psychology department. He also worked on sociology, focusing on international relations and peace. Stratton presided over the American Psychological Association in 1908, and was a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He wrote a book on experimental psychology and its methods and scope; published articles on the studies at his labs on perception, and on reviews of studies in the field; served on several psychological committees during and after World War I; and served as advisor to doctoral students who would go on to head psychology departments. (more...)

Selected city

Lacanadabuilding.jpg
The town of Los Gatos is an incorporated town in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population was 29,413 at the 2010 census. It is located in the San Francisco Bay Area at the southwest corner of San Jose in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Los Gatos is an established neighborhood in Silicon Valley. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Los Gatos ranks 33rd in affluence in the United States.

The name Los Gatos is Spanish, meaning the cats. The name derives from the 1839 Alta California land-grant that encompassed the area, which was called La Rinconada de Los Gatos, ("Cat's Corner"), where "the cats" refers to the mountain lions and bobcats that are indigenous to the foothills in which the town is located. The name has been anglicized to /lɔːs ˈɡætəs/ lawss-GAT-əs, although one also hears pronunciations truer to the original Spanish, /lsˈɡɑːts/ lohss-GAH-tohss. (more...)

Selected image


The Bay Area by year

1948
Doggie Diner head
San Francisco Boy's Chorus
Vesuvio Cafe

 • The Point Reyes Light weekly newspaper begins publishing in Marin County
 • The San Francisco Boys Chorus (pictured) is formed
 • Stanford University School of Humanities and Sciences is created from the merger of the Schools of Biological Sciences, Humanities, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences
 • Beat Generation hangout Vesuvio Cafe (pictured) opens in San Francisco
 • Westlake Shopping Center opens in Daly City
 • Richard Diebenkorn has his first art exhibit at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco
 • The Doggie Diner fast food restaurant opens in Oakland (later iconic doggie head pictured)

Selected historical image

Montgomery Block, 1862.jpg
Montgomery Block, San Francisco, 1862
image credit: unknown, collection of the UC Berkeley Bancroft Library

Did you know...

Emiko Omori and Victor Wong
Tim Stearns
The Oceanic, 1871
Ghost Ship warehouse interior

 • ... that filmmaker Emiko Omori (pictured, left, with Victor Wong) began her career in 1968 at KQED, becoming one of the first camerawomen to work in news documentaries?
 • ... that Fisher Creek is tributary to the largest freshwater wetland in Santa Clara County, Laguna Seca, a seasonal lake important to groundwater recharge and migratory birds?
 • ... that San Francisco based architect Jack Hillmer is known for his meticulously hand-crafted Modernist homes built from redwood, and was an exponent of what Lewis Mumford called the "Bay Region style"?
 • ... that Stanford University Department of Biology chairman Tim Stearns (pictured), together with his wife, medical researcher Susan Cleveland, tend a fruit tree orchard at their home in Redwood City?
 • ... that the Occidental and Oriental Steamship Company's flagship, the Oceanic (pictured), set a Pacific crossing record of 16 days and 10 hours, 8 days less than the ships of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company?
 • ... that the building consumed in the 2016 Oakland warehouse fire had at least ten complaints filed on it since 1998? (interior damage pictured)
 • ... that after Agnes Fay Morgan conducted a nutritional study with foxes, she presented her data wearing a stole made from the fur of her subjects?

Previous Did you know...

Peloton on GGB.jpg
View of Carneros Sonoma from Artesa.jpg

January 2009

Selected periodic event

Salt production in Newark

Newark Days is an annual four day celebration that takes place in Newark every September to celebrate the incorporation of the city on September 22, 1955. Annual attendance for the celebration is more than 100,000. (Production facilities at Morton Salt, part of the history of the Newark region, pictured)

Quote

Rudyard Kipling three quarter length portrait.jpg
~ Rudyard Kipling "In San Francisco", published in Allahabad, India, 1889
*more quotes about San Francisco from Wikiquote

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