The San Francisco Bay Area Portal
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...)
The University of California, San Francisco
), is a center of health sciences research, patient care, and education; located in San Francisco
. UCSF is widely regarded as one of the world's leading universities in health sciences. Though one of the 10 campuses of the University of California
, it is unique for being the only University of California campus dedicated solely to graduate education, and in health and biomedical sciences
. Some of UCSF's treatment centers include kidney transplants
and liver transplantation
, gene therapy
, women's health
, fetal surgery
, and internal medicine
Founded in 1873, the mission of UCSF is to serve as a "public university dedicated to saving lives and improving health." The UCSF Medical Center is consistently ranked among the top 10 hospitals in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, who also ranked UCSF's medical school as one of the top 10 in a number of specialties, including a specialty program in AIDS medical care ranked first in the country.
UCSF is administered separately from Hastings College of Law, another UC institution located in San Francisco. In recent years, UCSF and UC Hastings have increased their collaboration, including the formation of the UCSF/Hastings Consortium on Law, Science, and Health Policy. (more...)
Barbara Levy Boxer
(born November 11, 1940) is the junior United States Senator
from California (since 1993). A member of the Democratic Party
, she previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Boxer graduated from Brooklyn College. She worked as a stockbroker for several years before moving to California with her husband. During the 1970s, she worked as a journalist for the Pacific Sun and as an aide to U.S. Representative John L. Burton. She served on the Marin County Board of Supervisors for six years and became the board's first female president. With the slogan "Barbara Boxer Gives a Damn", she was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1982, representing California District 6. She sat on the House Armed Services Committee, and was involved in government oversight, passing several procurement reforms.
Boxer won the 1992 election for the U.S. Senate. She previously held the record for the most popular votes in any U.S. Senate election in history, having received 6.96 million votes in her 2004 re-election, until her colleague, Dianne Feinstein, the senior Senator from California, surpassed that number in her 2012 re-election. Boxer is the chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee and the chair of the Select Committee on Ethics, making her the only senator to preside over two committees simultaneously. She is also the Democratic Chief Deputy Whip. She resides in Marin County. (more...)
is a city and the county seat
of Contra Costa County, California
, United States. The population was 35,824 at the 2010 census. The downtown is notable for its large number of preserved old buildings. Martinez is located on the south side of the Carquinez Strait
in the San Francisco Bay Area
, directly facing the city of Benicia
In 1824 the Alhambra Valley was included in the Rancho El Pinole Mexican land grant to Ygnacio Martínez. In 1847, Dr. Robert Semple contracted to provide ferry service from Martinez to Benicia, which for many years was the only crossing on the Carquinez Strait. By 1849, Martínez served as a way station for the California Gold Rush. The town was laid out in 1849 by Col. William M. Smith and named for Martinez. It became the county seat in 1850, but could not incorporate at the time because it lacked the 200 registered voters required, and only became a city in 1876. Martinez was the home of John Muir from 1880 until his death in 1914. He was buried about a mile south of the building that is now the John Muir National Historic Site. Also nearby is the Vicente Martinez Adobe, built in 1849 by the son of Ygnacio Martinez. (more...)
Recently in the Bay Area
- The Berkeley City Council declares Berkeley a "sanctuary city" for recreational cannabis sales, prohibiting the use of city resources to assist in enforcing federal marijuana laws or providing information on legal cannabis sales, the first city in California to do so 
- Marin County is ranked worst among all California counties in racial disparity, according to Race Counts and Advancement Project California, with a spokesperson for the groups stating, "We were surprised, and were not expecting Marin to be the number-one county in terms of disparity...It’s not that progressive counties have it all figured out" 
- Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley announces that her office will review thousands of marijuana convictions, dating back to 1974, for possible dismissal under Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, guidelines, following closely after San Francisco announced a similar plan (above) 
- Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf alerts city residents to imminent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, earning criticism from some federal authorities. She responds, "I was sharing information in a way that was legal and was not obstructing justice, and it was an opportunity to ensure that people were aware of their rights." 
- Two studies conclude that the housing crisis in the Bay Area and California is reaching emergency proportions, with one study estimating that two counties alone, Santa Clara and Alameda, will need more than 50,000 new homes to meet the demand for affordable housing for lower-income residents, while homelessness increased by 36% in Alameda County from 2016-2017
- The father of some of the ten children that were removed from a home in Fairfield, where they were living in conditions of severe neglect and abuse, is arrested and booked on seven counts of torture and nine counts of felony child abuse 
- A nine-story electronic sculpture, "Day for Night", created by artist Jim Campbell, that features low resolution, abstract videos of San Francisco, debuts at the top of Salesforce Tower 
- San Francisco voters pass an ordinance banning the sale of flavored tobacco products, due in part to concerns that candy-flavored products may lure teenagers into nicotine addiction 
- Santa Clara County voters remove Santa Clara County Superior Court judge Aaron Persky, who came to national attention in 2016 when he sentenced a Stanford University student to just six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman 
- London Breed (pictured) is elected Mayor of San Francisco in a special election, defeating close rival Mark Leno 
- Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes, and former president and COO Ramesh Balwani are indicted on charges of wire fraud, accused of carrying out a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud investors, doctors and patients. Theranos announced that Holmes would resign as CEO, but retain her position as chairwoman of the board 
- Hanabiko "Koko", a female western lowland gorilla born at the San Francisco Zoo, who was known for having learned a large number of hand signs from a modified version of American Sign Language. dies at her home in Woodside, California 
The Bay Area by year
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Did you know...
• ... 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...
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Bay Area regions, geographic features and protected areas
Things you can do
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