Bay Trail – Berkeley to Emeryville

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Bay Trail running beneath Berkeley Bike and Ped Bridge

This bridge was made to allow bicycles, pedestrians, and wheelchair users access to the Berkeley Marina, Eastshore State Park, and the city. In the records of the city, the bridge is referred to as the “City of Berkeley Eastshore Pedestrian Overcrossing”. The bridge has two lanes for bikes, and a raised sidewalk and is wide enough to carry emergency vehicles. Crossing 14 lanes of traffic, the main span is 85 metres (279 ft) long and the elevated approaches total 100 metres (330 ft) in length

Opened on February 27, 2002, the bridge was built at a cost of $6.4 million. The bridge created an ADA compliant route between Berkeley and its Marina/waterfront park region. Prior to its construction, the only wheelchair accessible route was via an undercrossing one mile  to the north. Bicycles and pedestrians could use a dark, hidden, and seldom-used path and stairwell that ran under and along the University Avenue freeway overpass.

Since opening, the bridge has seen a much higher use than the previous path and stairwell.

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Everyone loves Snoopy!

Berkeley artist Tyler Hoare first put up wooden replicas of the famous Peanuts characters in their airplanes, battling World War One flying aces, back in 1975 and continues to get support from creator Charles Schultz’ family.   Hoare, now 74, builds the sculptures, which last five years at the most, before being washed away by the wind and waves is now installing the new sculpture at the end of a pier near Chevy’s.

At times he’s had to replace the characters as frequent as every few weeks, depending on the waves and the weather and he’s made more than 30 versions.

Hoare said he first got the idea when he himself was stuck in traffic on I-80, gazing out at the Bay.

Berkeley to Emeryville Bay Trail

Bicycle Routes

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Ashby Beach

Ashby Beach

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Beach at Point Emery Point

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Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel

These landmarks were missing for twenty years and were reinstated in 2012.    Hoare said “I saw that post and I thought [it] really needs something. I thought for a long time a big banana or a dragon and finally the airplane thing. We went away for a holiday, came back and it was a roaring success.”

They’ve been an East Bay icon ever since. Hoare said the long-running project has been the best use of his artwork   Hoare said he still shows the sculptures in museum galleries, but that this is something he does strictly for the public

vs. the Red Baron

vs. the Red Baron

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Emeryville City Marina

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San Francisco Dreamin’ from Emeryville Marina Park

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Bay Bridge Bike Trail

For the first time in history, pedestrians and cyclists have the chance to travel across the new East Span of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge.

Emeryville Entrance to Bay Bridge Bike and Ped Trail

Emeryville Entrance to Bay Bridge Bike and Ped Trail

Three access points provide a direct route to the bicycle and pedestrian path: One at Shellmound Street in Emeryville, just outside the IKEA store;  another at the corner of Maritime Street and Burma Road in Oakland; and a third, which is an AC Transit stop, at the Bay Bridge toll plaza

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Limited five-hour parking is available on the north side of Burma Rd., at the intersection of Burma Rd. and Maritime St.

The West Oakland entrance is located off of Maritime Street, a two-lane road without a designated bike lane. The Bay Trail path to this site is still somewhat under construction, so the roads are a bit dicey at times. But if you’ve ever ridden through West Oakland toward Shoreline Park, this shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s an industrial and empty landscape, which is at times interesting and others a bit terrifying (this is also a truck route for the port). The roads are not in great condition and there are numerous gaping potholes to watch out for. That said, the road was pretty quiet.

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To ensure user safety, the 15.5-foot-wide path has one lane in each direction for bicyclists and an outside lane designated for walkers. The bike and pedestrian path is named after the late East Bay Bicycle Coalition founder and Bay Bridge Trail advocate, Alex Zuckermann. A plaque bearing his name is located on the trail.

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From October 1, 2014 until March 15, 2015, the pathway where the Shellmound St. and Burma Rd. trailheads converge and travel along the bridge  will be open from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. The trail from Shellmound St. to Maritime St. will remain open 24/7.

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Two-thirds of the Bay Bridge Trail opened to the public on September 3, 2013, allowing visitors to traverse just past the span’s 525-foot signature tower. Before the pathway can be extended the 2.2 miles between Oakland and Yerba Buena Island, contractors must dismantle a portion of the original bridge that sits in the way.

The island connector isn’t due to be completed until summer 2015.

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With the east span finally open, planners are already at work on the next mega-Bay Bridge project – a $1 billion-plus makeover of the western span that would include a $500 million hanging bike path.

The idea would be to create a hanging lane that would not only accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians, but bridge maintenance vehicles as well.

The project, however, has significant engineering challenges.  For starters, an MTC feasibility study found bike lanes would be needed on both sides to keep the bridge’s weight balanced.  Adding the extra lanes, however, would make the span too heavy. To offset that, planners propose to replace the roadway with a lighter material.

Another big challenge: dealing with the steep grades getting on and off the bridge, while still complying with federal disability-access laws.

But the biggest challenge of all could be selling toll-paying commuters on the idea.  Drivers are already paying up to $6 at peak hours to cross the Bay Bridge. Redoing the western side to include the bike path would probably mean “putting something in front of the voters,” – like a “temporary” $1 hike in bridge tolls

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Art of Albany Bulb

Mother Earth Catching the Moon

Mother Earth Catching the Moon

The Albany Bulb is a former landfill, jutting west from the east shore of San Francisco Bay, largely owned by the City of Albany.   The Bulb is home to a vast array of urban art including mural, stencil, graffiti, sculpture, and installation art.

Lady

Lady

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In the midst of a complicated stew of people and competing interests, a multi-authored creative vision united in spirit has arisen from this mound of detritus. The art that stands and dangles and juts all over the Bulb, just like the art that used to grace the Emeryville Mud Flats, is a monument to the free-wheeling, nature-centered, found-object California art aesthetic.

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There’s a section of the San Francisco Bay shore called the Emeryville mudflats. Decades ago, local artists wandered out to the mudflats, gathered driftwood and other detritus, and built odd sculptures. The works, which were featured in the movie Harold and Maude, were charming and popular. The only problem was, the mudflats were a fragile environment ill-suited to repeated trampling. Eventually, environmentalists persuaded the arts community that the sculptures weren’t worth the damage to migratory birds, but it took some time, and there was loud whining from aggrieved artists. They looked out over the rich pickleweed flats, the mud with its millions of microorganisms at the mouth of Temescal Creek, the sanderlings and clapper rails and egrets, and said “but there’s nothing out there!”

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For More

http://www.acme.com/jef/photos/bulb.html – Many of these are gone, especially the paintings on plywood

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Havey Canyon Loop

3pm – 6pm  Sunday, October 19
Meet at the End of Rifle Range Road

Come enjoy the fall afternoon light in Wildcat Canyon.  This five mile hike descends into the Canyon on the Rifle Range Road trail and then goes up the other side on the beautiful Havey Canyon trail which is shaded and full of native trees and shrubs.  The route connects with Nimitz Way at the top for stunning Bay views and a short side trip to a look out and old Nike Missile site.  Then back down Menzes trail in cattle country, back across Wildcat Creek Bridge and back up Rifle Range Road Trail.

Havey Canyon Loop

Havey Canyon Loop

I counted an 1100 foot elevation gain so this is a moderately strenuous hike.  We go down one side of Wildcat canyon, up the other and back again.   Google counts the hike as 1 hour 45 minutes,  but that is a brisk pace.  I did it in two hours with time for pictures. We’ll plan on a leisurely three hours with plenty of time for pictures, snacks and a scenic detour.

Meet at the end of Rifle Range Road

Meet at the end of Rifle Range Road

Large coast live oaks, bay laurels, and a scattering of bigleaf maples and madrones grow on the park’s east-facing slopes. North-facing hillsides support some beautiful, nearly pure stands of bay laurel, fringed with coast live oak. Moist chaparral of coyote brush, poison oak, elderberry, snowberry, bracken fern, and blackberry grow in thickets high on the north-facing slopes.

Havey Canyon from across the way

Havey Canyon from across the way

The Havey Canyon  trail is shaded and full of native trees and shrubs.  If wet, it will be a very muddy walk with a steep creek to cross so heavy rain or mud cancels.    If in doubt look for an announcement on the Trekker website.

Rifle Range Trail

Rifle Range Trail

October 19  Sunset – 6:27 pm
Civil Twilight Ends – 6:53 pm

Dogs are allowed off leash under voice command in Wildcat Canyon, but we would prefer only leashed dogs for this hike.

Havey Canyon

Havey Canyon

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Havey Canyon Trail

Rifle Range Trail

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Havey Canyon Trail

Havey Canyon Trail

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Madrone Limb Over Havey Canyon Trail

Madrone Limb Over Havey Canyon Trail

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Havey Creek Trail Crossing

Havey Creek Trail Crossing

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Havey Canyon Trail

Havey Canyon Trail

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About 2

I think I’ve found every ancestral family that can be found, so it will be hard to make new ancestor posts.  You can click on the “Missing Parents” category to see the possible candidates.  I’ll continue to make updates and revisions based on your comments.

I’ve finished adding cousins/grandchildren, through about 8 generations, but there are hundreds more to find in older generations, so I may go back some day and flesh out earlier families.
My new posts are more likely to cover neighborhood history.   Recents ones include Murrieta Rock – El Cerrito,  Fred Korematsu and El Cerrito Architecture

In urban planning circles, El Cerrito is known as a “first suburb”;  mostly residential; not super fancy.     It shares liberal values with neighboring Berkeley, but with perhaps a little less histrionics and righteousness.  At one point, El Cerrito had the most Nobel Prize winners per capita.  (helps to have a smaller denominator for these kind of rankings – lol)  and the second most Priuses per capita in the state after Santa Monica.

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Murrieta Rock – El Cerrito

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Murietta Rock

Murieta Rock

 

From Dave Weinstein

  • Which leaves us with El Cerrito’s top rock, a pile of blueschist that was so legendary in the years before the Gold Rush it was said to have attracted none other than the bandit Joaquin Murieta. Murieta, it is supposed, hid among the rock’s gray matter, soaked up power from the heated stones, and then descended with his gang on the coaches that traversed Contra Costa Road so far below.
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  • Today this former power spot, privately owned but much visited by the public, squats beneath brush and poison oak, smeared with graffiti and decorated with broken glass for beer bottles. Stand beneath Murieta Rock, at the corner of Arlington and Cutting boulevards, and you won’t see a thing. Head north a bit on Arlington, though, and look back. Astounding!
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Joaquin Murrieta Carrillo (sometimes spelled Murieta or Murietta) (c. 1829 – c. July 25, 1853), also called the Mexican Robin Hood or the Robin Hood of El Dorado, was a famous figure in California during the California Gold Rush of the 1850s. Depending on the point of view, he was considered as either an infamous bandit or a Mexican patriot.

Joaquin The Mountain Robber

Joaquin The Mountain Robber

Controversy surrounds the figure of Joaquin Murrieta: who he was, what he did, and many of his life’s events. This is summarized by the words of historian Susan Lee Johnson:

“So many tales have grown up around Murrieta that it is hard to disentangle the fabulous from the factual. There seems to be a consensus that Anglos drove him from a rich mining claim, and that, in rapid succession, his wife was raped, his half-brother lynched, and Murrieta himself horse-whipped. He may have worked as a monte dealer for a time; then, according to whichever version one accepts, he became either a horse trader and occasional horse thief, or a bandit.”

John Rollin Ridge, grandson of the Cherokee leader Major Ridge, wrote a dime novel about Murrieta; the fictional biography contributed to his legend, especially as it was translated into various European languages. A portion of Ridge’s novel was reprinted in 1858 in the California Police Gazette. This story was picked up and subsequently translated into French. The French version, featuring a fictional Chile-born Joaquín Murrieta, was translated into Spanish by Roberto Hyenne. He claimed to have been in California during the Gold Rush and to have learned of Murrieta there.

 

 

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Murrieta reportedly went to California in 1849 to seek his fortune in the California Gold Rush. He encounteredracism in the extreme competition of the rough mining camps. While mining for gold, he and his wife supposedly were attacked by American miners jealous of his success.  They allegedly beat him and raped his wife. However, the source for these events is not considered reliable, as it was a dime novel, The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta, written by John Rollin Ridge and published in 1854.[2]

The historian Frank Latta, in his twentieth-century book, Joaquín Murrieta and His Horse Gangs (1980), wrote that Murrieta was from Hermosillo in the northern Mexican state of Sonora and that he had a paramilitary band made up of relatives and friends. Latta documented that they regularly engaged in illegal horse trade with Mexico, and had helped Murrieta kill at least six of the Americans who had attacked him and his wife.

He and his band attacked settlers and wagon trains in California. The gang is believed to have killed up to 28 Chinese and 13 White-Americans.  By 1853, the California state legislature considered Murrieta enough of a criminal to list him as one of the so-called “Five Joaquins” on a bill passed in May 1853. The legislature authorized hiring for three months a company of 20 California Rangers, veterans of the Mexican-American War, to hunt down “Joaquin Botellier, Joaquin Carrillo, Joaquin Muriata [sic], Joaquin Ocomorenia, and Joaquin Valenzuela,” and their banded associates. On May 11, 1853, the governor John Bigler signed an act to create the “California State Rangers“, to be led by Captain Harry Love (a former Texas Ranger and Mexican War veteran).

Joaquin Murrieta Carrillo

Joaquin Murrieta Carrillo

The state paid the California Rangers $150 a month, and promised them a $1,000 governor’s reward if they captured the wanted men. On July 25, 1853, a group of Rangers encountered a band of armed Mexican men near Arroyo de Cantua near the Coast Range Mountains of Coalinga. In the confrontation, three of the Mexicans were killed. They claimed one was Murrieta, and another Manuel Garcia, also known as Three-Fingered Jack, one of his most notorious associates. Two others were captured.   A plaque (California Historical Landmark #344) near Coalinga at the intersection of State Routes 33 and 198 now marks the approximate site of the incident.

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Fred Korematsu

Portola Middle School in El Cerrito has been renamed after Fred T. Korematsu, the Japanese American who famously defied an order to be placed in internment camps during World War II. He was from San Leandro and Oakland, but there were a lot of Japanese-American who were also flower growers in El Cerrito at that time.

Fred Korematsu Middle School Under Construction - Aug 26, 2014

Fred Korematsu Middle School Under Construction – Aug 26, 2014

It was a bit of a controversial pick because Korematsu wasn’t popular in the Japanese American community who didn’t want him making waves. Maybe he just wanted to be an American, not a Japanese-American. Even the ACLU wasn’t too supportive because they were friends with Roosevelt. In my mind, he was a special hero because he stood alone.

Fred Korematsu Middle School Under Construction - Aug 26, 2014

Fred Korematsu Middle School Under Construction – Aug 26, 2014

I put this report into my familiar genealogy format. Much of the content is from his standard biographies.

Fred Toyosaburo KOREMATSU was born Jan 30 1919 in Oakland, California. He was the third of four sons to Japanese immigrant parents who ran a floral nursery business in Oakland, California.  He married Frances “Kathryn” Pearson  October 12, 1946, in Detroit, Mich., where they met.. Fred died Mar 30, 2005 (aged 86) in Marin County, California.

Fred Korematsu - Colored Gelatin Print.  This picture was included in a special exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery

Fred Korematsu – 1944 – Colored Gelatin Print. This picture was included in a special exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery

Frances “Kathryn” (Pearson) Korematsu was born was born on March 14, 1921, in Greenville, S.C..  Kathryn passed away in her sleep on October 28, 2013, in Oakland, Calif., at age 92.

Kathryn Korematsu (Source: Korematsu Institute)

Kathryn Korematsu (Source: Korematsu Institute)

Children:

  Name Born Married  
1. Karen Koremastsu      
2. Ken Koremastsu      

Early Life

Several Korematsu family members in their nursery, circa 1939.  (Source: Korematsu Institute)

Several Korematsu family members in their nursery, circa 1939. (Source: Korematsu Institute)

World War II

After the U.S. entered World War II, Korematsu tried to enlist in the U.S. National Guard and U.S. Coast Guard, but was turned away by military officers who discriminated against him due to his Japanese ancestry. Korematsu then trained to become a welder, eventually working at the docks in Oakland as a shipyard welder and quickly rising through the ranks to foreman. One day, when he arrived to punch in his time card, Korematsu found a notice to report to the union office, where he was suddenly fired from his job due to his Japanese ancestry.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii by Japan on December 7, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, authorizing the U.S.  military to remove over 120,000 people of Japanese descent, the majority of whom were American citizens, from their homes and forced them into American prison camps throughout the United States.

Fred Korematsu chose to defy the order and carry on his life as an American citizen. He underwent minor plastic surgery to alter his eyes in an attempt to look less Japanese. He also changed his name to Clyde Sarah and claimed to be of Spanish and Hawaiian descent. On May 30, 1942, he was arrested on a street corner in San Leandro, California, and taken to San Francisco county jail. While in jail, he was visited by Ernest Besig, the director of the San Francisco office of the American Civil Liberties Union, who asked Korematsu if he was willing to become the test case to challenge the constitutionality of the government’s imprisonment of Japanese Americans. On September 8, 1942, Korematsu was convicted in federal court for violating the military orders issued under Executive Order 9066. He was placed on a five-year probation. For several months, he lived at the Tanforan “Assembly Center” in San Bruno, CA, one of the former horseracing tracks where Japanese Americans were first held before being sent to the more permanent American concentration camps. Korematsu and his family were transferred from Tanforan to Topaz, Utah, where the government had set up one of 10 incarceration camps for Japanese Americans.

Post War

Following World War II and the release of Japanese Americans from the concentration camps, Korematsu attempted to resume life as an American citizen. He moved to Detroit, Michigan where his youngest brother resided. There, he met his soon-to-be wife, Kathryn, a student at Wayne State University who was originally from South Carolina. At the time, anti-miscegenation laws prohibited interracial marriage in states including California and South Carolina, but mixed-race marriage was legal in Michigan. Fred and Kathryn Korematsu married in Detroit before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1949, where they raised two children, Karen and Ken.

Vindication

Korematsu maintained his innocence through the years, but his U.S. Supreme Court conviction had a lasting impact on his basic rights, affecting his ability to obtain employment.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed a special commission to instigate a federal review of the facts and circumstances around the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. In June 1983, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) concluded that the decisions to remove those people of Japanese ancestry to U.S. prison camps occurred because of “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.”

During this time, University of California San Diego political science professor Peter Irons, together with researcher Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga, stumbled upon secret Justice Department documents while researching government archives. Among the documents were memos written in 1943 and 1944 by Edward Ennis, the U.S. Justice Department attorney responsible for supervising the drafting of the government’s brief. As Ennis began searching for evidence to support the Army’s claim that the incarceration was of military necessity and justified, he found precisely the opposite — that J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI, the FCC, the Office of Naval Intelligence and other authoritative intelligence agencies categorically denied that Japanese Americans had committed any wrongdoing. These official reports were never presented to the U.S. Supreme Court, having been intentionally suppressed and, in one case, destroyed by setting the report afire.

It was on this basis — governmental misconduct — that a legal team of pro-bono (voluntary and free-of-charge) attorneys, including the Asian Law Caucus, successfully reopened Korematsu’s case in 1983, resulting in the overturning of his criminal conviction for defying the incarceration. During the litigation, U.S. Justice Department lawyers offered a pardon to Korematsu if he would agree to drop his lawsuit. In rejecting the offer, Kathryn Korematsu remarked, “Fred was not interested in a pardon from the government; instead, he always felt that it was the government who should seek a pardon from him and from Japanese Americans for the wrong that was committed.”

On November 10, 1983, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the U.S. District Court of Northern California in San Francisco formally overturned Korematsu’s conviction. It was a pivotal moment in U.S. civil rights history. Mr. Korematsu stood in front of Judge Patel and stated, “According to the Supreme Court decision regarding my case, being an American citizen was not enough. They say you have to look like one, otherwise they say you can’t tell a difference between a loyal and a disloyal American. I thought that this decision was wrong and I still feel that way. As long as my record stands in federal court, any American citizen can be held in prison or concentration camps without a trial or a hearing. That is if they look like the enemy of our country. Therefore, I would like to see the government admit that they were wrong and do something about it so this will never happen again to any American citizen of any race, creed or color. ” Although Judge Patel’s ruling cleared Korematsu’s conviction, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1944 ruling still stands. It would require a similar test case, involving a mass banishment of a single ethnic group, to challenge the original Supreme Court decision.

Korematsu remained an activist throughout his life. After his conviction was overturned, Korematsu became an active member of the National Coalition for Redress and Reparations. He traveled to Washington DC and helped lobby for the passage of the bill which would grant an official apology from the U.S. government and a token compensation of $20,000 for each surviving Japanese American that was incarcerated. Although President Ronald Reagan had initially opposed the redress and reparations legislation, he soon reversed his position due to political pressure and an increasing effort on behalf of Japanese Americans to seek economic, legal and political redress. On August 10, 1988, President Reagan signed the redress and reparations legislation into law.

Post 9/11

After 9/11, Korematsu continued to speak out. In 2003, he filed a “Friend of the Court” amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court for two cases appealed before the Supreme Court of the United States, on behalf of Muslim inmates being held at Guantanamo Bay: Shafiq Rasul, v. George W. Bush and Khaled A.F. Al Odah v. United States of America. In the brief, he warned that the government’s extreme national security measures were reminiscent of the past. In 2004, he filed a similar brief on behalf of an American Muslim man being held in solitary confinement in a U.S. military prison without a trial.

Similarly, in his second amicus brief, written in April 2004 with the Bar Association of San Francisco, the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco, the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, and the Japanese American Citizens League, Korematsu responded to Donald Rumsfeld v. Jose Padilla. The amicus brief’s statement of interest emphasized the similarity of the unlawful detainment of Fred Korematsu during WWII and that of Jose Padilla following the events of 9/11 and warned the American government of repeating their mistakes of the past. He believed that “full vindication for the Japanese Americans will arrive only when we learn that, even in times of crisis; we must guard against prejudice and keep uppermost our commitment to law and justice.”

Awards and Recognition

In 1998, Fred received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Bill Clinton. He was invited to speak at numerous events and university campuses all over the United States about his experience, including the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, Georgetown University, University of Michigan, Harvard and Yale.

Fred Korematsu receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton

Fred Korematsu receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton

On Sep 23,  2010, the state of California passed the Fred Korematsu Day bill, making January 30 the first day in the US named after an Asian American.

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On Sept. 24, 2010, San Leandro High School’s Fred T. Korematsu Campus, a new 9th grade state-of-the art building, was dedicated and opened in San Leandro, CA.

San-Leandro-campus

On September 6, 2011, Fred Korematsu’s sculpture was unveiled in Oakland, CA as part of the “Remember Them: Champions for Humanity” sculpture. The 30-ton, 1000 square-foot monument includes 25 international humanitarians such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Dr. Martin Luther King. Fred Korematsu is featured in section 3, which honors Bay Area humanitarians, including Marcus Foster, Oleta Abramhs, and Carmen Flores

Close up of Fred Korematsu in the Remember Them - Champions for Humanity

Close up of Fred Korematsu in the Remember Them – Champions for Humanity

On February 2, 2012, Fred Korematsu’s became the first Asian American featured in The Struggle for Justice, the permanent civil rights exhibition in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

Karen and Ken Korematsu, children of Fred Korematsu at the National Portrait Gallery

Karen and Ken Korematsu, children of Fred Korematsu at the National Portrait Gallery

Children

1. Karen Korematsu

Karen Korematsu

Karen Korematsu

2. Ken Korematsu

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Notes

i. http://korematsuinstitute.org/institute/aboutfred/

2. http://korematsuinstitute.org/institute/aboutfred/korematsus-growing-legacy/

3. http://ckjh.cksd.wednet.edu/dig_deep/version2/korematsu_biography.pdf

4. http://richmondstandard.com/2014/07/portola-middle-school-renamed-fred-t-korematsu/

5. http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/renaming-el-cerrito-school-center-controversy/nfw9z/

6. http://encyclopedia.densho.org/Fred_Korematsu/

7. http://korematsuinstitute.org/institute/staff/

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El Cerrito Architecture

These pictures come from an El Cerrito Trail Trekker hike “Storybook Houses” led by Dave Weinstein on Saturday,  July 19, 2014.  This two hour tour of the northern border of El Cerrito took us past some of the most charming houses in town, Poinsett and Tassajara parks, hidden creeks and more. We saw some of the city’s loveliest Storybook, mid-century modern and ranch-style houses. We walked on the city’s public paths, saw beautiful gardens, stone walls showing a wide variety of styles and technique, and natural stone outcrops of blue schist and greywacke.

El Cerrito Storybook House

El Cerrito Storybook House

The Storybook style is a nod toward Hollywood design technically called Provincial Revivalism and more commonly called Fairy Tale or Hansel and Gretel. While there is no specific definition of what makes a house Storybook style, the main factor may be a sense of playfulness and whimsy. Most seemed snapped out of a craggy old-world village with intentionally uneven roofs, lots of cobblestone, doors and windows which may look mismatched and odd-shaped. It took a foothold in California during the 1920s-1930’s.

El Cerrito Storybook House

El Cerrito Storybook House

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Period Revival

Period Revival

Revivalism in architecture is the use of visual styles that consciously echo the style of a previous architectural era.

During this period the homes were designed to look like buildings from another place or eras. Spanish or Mediterranean Revival homes were designed to look like Mediterranean villas. The Tudor Revival architecture was designed to look like English Tudor mansions. Colonial Revivals were designed to look like American and Dutch Colonial homes from the East Coast.

 

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More Period Revival

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Mediterranean Revival,

Mediterranean Revival,

The Mediterranean Revival, sometimes known also as Spanish Revival, were designed to look like Mediterranean villas. It has been said that American soldiers returning from WWI found the Period Revival homes appealing because they were reminded of the architecture they had seen in Europe.

Streamline Moderne

Streamline Moderne

Streamline Moderne, or Art Moderne, was a late type of the Art Deco architecture and design that emerged in the 1930s. Its architectural style emphasized curving forms, long horizontal lines, and sometimes nautical elements.

As the Great Depression of the 1930s progressed, Americans saw a new aspect of Art Deco—i.e., streamlining, a concept first conceived by industrial designers who stripped Art Deco design of its ornament in favor of the aerodynamic pure-line concept of motion and speed developed from scientific thinking. Cylindrical forms and long horizontal windowing also may be influenced byconstructivism. As a result an array of designers quickly ultra-modernized and streamlined the designs of everyday objects. Manufacturers of clocks, radios, telephones, cars, furniture, and many other household appliances embraced the concept.

he Streamline Moderne was both a reaction to Art Deco and a reflection of austere economic times; Sharp angles were replaced with simple, aerodynamic curves. Exotic woods and stone were replaced with cement and glass.

A style all its own

Follow Your Own Style

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Mid Century

Mid Century xxx

Though the American component was slightly more organic in form and less formal than the International Style, it is more firmly related to it than any other. Brazilian and Scandinavian architects were very influential at this time, with a style characterized by clean simplicity and integration with nature. Like many of Wright’s designs, Mid-Century architecture was frequently employed in residential structures with the goal of bringing modernism into America’s post-war suburbs. This style emphasized creating structures with ample windows and open floor plans, with the intention of opening up interior spaces and bringing the outdoors in. Many Mid-century houses utilized then-groundbreaking post and beam architectural design that eliminated bulky support walls in favor of walls seemingly made of glass. Function was as important as form in Mid-Century designs, with an emphasis placed specifically on targeting the needs of the average American family.

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Three part roof

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Point Molate Beach

Overview

In close proximity to the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, Point Molate Beach was closed in 2001 and only reopened last month.  The Richmond city council allocated a portion of the settlement received from the 2007 Cosco Busan oil spill to fund the park improvements. While this park is just north of the San Rafael bridge where tens of thousands of commuters drive every day, it is hidden and in some ways unspoiled.

Point Molate Beach

Point Molate Beach

Point Molate Map

.Point San Pablo along with Point San Pedro in Marin County, defines the San Pablo Straits separating San Francisco and San Pablo Bays.

The majority of land on the San Pablo Peninsula is owned by Chevron, with their refinery operations on the east side of the San Pablo Peninsula ridge.

Ferry cruises up San Pablo Bay towards Vallejo.  Beats 35 miles of traffic jams!

Ferry cruises up San Pablo Bay  from San Francisco towards Vallejo. Beats 35 miles of traffic jams!

Waves from the ferry have helped create a five foot bank behind the beach.

Nesting Osprey P1040873a In late April, the guard at the Chevron gate said that moma osprey had just started sitting on her nest.  She originally starting building her nest in an unsafe spot near some power wires.  A nest was built for her here, but she dismantled it piece by piece and rebuilt according to her own specifications.

Point Molate Osprey Nest

Point Molate Osprey Nest

Osprey first began nesting in the San Francisco Bay Area in the year 2000, having moved their nesting range further south.   >Ospreys go south for the winter and spend the breeding season in higher latitudes. In the past, they would pass up the San Francisco Bay to nest farther north.

Since 2008 they have been nesting at Pt. Molate and this year there are 6 active nests along Richmond’s shoreline. Osprey nests are currently active atop the Whirley Crane and near the Red Oak Victory at Terminal 3 in Richmond, and at Pt. Orient just north of Pt. Molate. There are two nests at Pt. Molate – one out on Pt. Molate pier, and one just north of Pt. Molate Beach.

Moma Osprey, I could only see a flash of white, but upon enlargement, she was clearly checking me out

Moma Osprey, I could only see a flash of white, but upon enlargement,  it became clear she was checking me out

The parents begin arriving and building nests in late February, with incubation starting in late March. The first young hatch at the beginning of May, and in late July they begin fledging, or flying for the first time.

The ospreys are usually  on top of dead, open-topped trees or on manmade structures like cranes and lampposts, which they find convenient platforms for their extensive nests. That makes this species one of the few that can adapt well to densely urbanized habitats.

Experts don’t know why ospreys have started nesting on the bay, but have seveal theories:

  • The Bay has grown clearer in recent years, the turbidity from the upriver placer mining of more than a century ago having finally settled, leaving the waters clearer and – likely – easier for ospreys to fish in.
  • Ospreys may be spreading down from the Kent Lake colony in Marin, which was first noted in the 1960s and has since grown substantially. There are two parts to that particular theory; it may be that the ospreys are simply moving due to space constraints, but it is also possible that the recent appearance of nesting bald eagles at the lake may have upset the osprey population, inspiring its bay-ward move.
  • The recent ecological restoration of the Napa River may be playing a role.
  • Osprey populations from farther north may have grown to such an extent following the ban of DDT that as they migrate over the San Francisco Bay they are choosing to stay.

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Fishing duties will be up to dad for the duration

Fishing duties will be up to dad for the duration

Grasses

Point Molate has some of the last undisturbed grasslands along the east shore of San Francisco Bay.  Some of the areas on the Chevron property have been ravaged by goats, but the goats are gone now and were never a presence by the shore.

Point Molate Grasslands

Point Molate Grasslands

Herbs and Vines

Dichondra donelliana – Also called California Ponysfoot.  An uncommon native Dichondra.  it has great potential as a ground cover.  We had a dichondra lawn growing up.  Bet you didn’t know there was a California native species.  Also found on the eastern slopes of Mt. Tam.

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Dichondra donelliana. It is an uncommon native Dichondra, I think it has great potential as a ground cover.

Dudleya farinosa  – Also known as powdery liveforever, north coast dudleya, Sea Lettuce, or Bluff Lettuce.  A now rare succulent of the coastal bluffs. Most most of this has be taken over the years by succulent addicts.   Mostly along the coast Mendocino to Monterrey counties.

Dudleya farinosa

Flowers

Wyethia angustifolia

Wyethia angustifolia  narrow leafed mule ears

Wyethia angustifolia narrow leafed mule ears

Lupinus albifrons

Lupine

Lupine

History

Built in 1908, the Winehaven winery was the largest in the US and maybe the world before it was closed down by prohibition. After the 1906 earthquake left San Francisco in ruins, the California Wine Association moved to Point Molate.   At the peak of the season as many as 400 workers lived here, as all of the California Wine Association’s shipments to foreign, coastal and New York markets sailed from the Winehaven dock–shipment capacity was 500,000 gallons a month, and 40 ships sailed annually for New York alone.

Winery

WInehaven Winery

Prior to WWII, visitors to Winehaven; which had become a tourist destination after its closing, enjoyed afternoons picnicking and swimming at Point Molate beach.

During both WWII and the Korean War, when the Navy Fuel Depot was in full swing, there was no recreating in the waters off Pt. Molate. Floating on the shallow waters was a permanent oil slick deterring bathers and swimmers. The Navy developed a system of sump ponds at Pt. Molate to collect oil and fuel to prevent runoff into the Bay. By the early 1960’s the waters off Pt. Molate had been successfully cleaned up, opening the area to recreation again.

Links

  1. http://www.pointrichmond.com/pointsanpablo/pointmolate.htm
  2. Citizens for a Sustainable Point Molate
  3. Claire Mathieson “Ospreys taking a liking to San Francisco Bay” Bay Nature, Sep 11, 2013
  4. Point Molate Beach Restoration Project (PDF)
  5. Point Molate Community Advisory Committee – works with the City Council, staff and other citizen advisory boards and commissions to provide advice and input on all Point Molate matters; that reviews proposed Point Molate development budgets with City staff; and that makes Point Molate development expenditure recommendations, in conjunction with staff, to the City Council.
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El Cerrito Madera Hillside Property

El Cerrito’s Hillside Natural Area is a rare open space gem amid our crowded East Bay communities. With 90 acres of oak forest and grasslands cut by hillside creeks, the natural area is much loved by hikers, mountain bikers, dog walkers, nature lovers, and bird watchers seeking sweeping views of the bay and refuge from the busy-ness of urban life.

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But for all its beauty, the Hillside Natural Area is a place divided, split into northern and southern portions by roads and development.

Between the two portions, there is only one undeveloped piece of land where that division can be healed and the natural area made whole. For years, residents have used the parcel as informal open space linking the two natural areas, despite its being privately owned.

Now the City of El Cerrito has a plan to purchase the Madera Hillside property and unite the Hillside Natural Area forever.
Some public money is available, but private funds are also needed. Please donate to the El Cerrito Open Space Campaign and help us create an unbroken 90-acre natural open space in the El Cerrito hills.

The Madera Hillside Property This valuable property below the Madera Elementary School and bordering Potrero Avenue was slated for development when open space advocates and the city learned that it might be for sale and asked The Trust for Public Land to acquire it on their behalf. In addition to linking the two portions of El Cerrito’s largest open space, the conservation effort will:

    • Make public an area already widely used as an informal open space
    • Protect water quality in local creeks
    • Extend and enhance existing hiking trails
    • Preserve habitat for birds, other wildlife, and native plants

 

Grasses

Purple Needle GrassNassella pulchra, basionym,  Stipa pulchra,

Purple Needle Grass in Madera Open Space

Purple Needle Grass in Madera Open Space

A perennial bunch grass producing tufts of erect, unbranched stems up to 3.3 feet tall. The extensive root system can reach 20 feet deep into the soil, making the grass more tolerant of drought.

Purple Needle Grass

Purple Needle Grass

The open, nodding inflorescence is up to 60 centimeters long and has many branches bearing spikelets.

The plant produces copious seed, up to 227 pounds per acre in dense stands.  The pointed fruit is purple-tinged when young and has an awn up to 10 centimeters long which is twisted and bent twice.  The shape of the seed helps it self-bury.

Purple needlegrass (Nassella pulchra) was designated the official state grass of California in 2004. A widespread, native perennial bunchgrass that can live for 150 years, purple needlegrass ranges from the Oregon border into northern Baja California.

It is considered a symbol of the state because it is the most widespread native California grass, it supported Native American groups as well as Mexican ranchers, and it helps suppress invasive plant species and support native oaksIt also helps prevent soil erosion by establishing a large, fibrous root system which holds the soil in pla

 

Purple Needle Grass in Madera Open Space

Purple Needle Grass in Madera Open Space (Ignore the Pampas Grass in the background – lol)

Tolerant of summer drought and heat once established, the seeds of purple needlegrass were one of several grass species used by California Native Americans as a food source. Today purple needlegrass is used for habitat restoration, erosion and levee control (and continues to provide forage for California’s cattle and wildlife).

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An isolated purple needlegrass bunch amid naturalized Mediterranean annual grass species in Solano County, California: photo courtesy Range types of North America

An isolated purple needlegrass bunch amid naturalized Mediterranean annual grass species in Solano County, California: photo courtesy Range types of North America

Prior to the import of Mediterranean annual grasses (which now dominate California grasslands), purple needlegrass was the major grassland cover type of California.

 

Flowers

Layia chrysanthemoides -Tidy-tips

Layia chrysanthemoides -Tidy-tips

Layia chrysanthemoides -Tidy-tips

 

Hemizonia luzulafolia-  xx

Hemizonia luzulafolia

Hemizonia luzulafolia

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California Poppies

California Poppy Madera Open Space

California Poppy Madera Open Space

Poppies endemic to the East Bay Hills have a darker center, while introduced varieties are more mono-colored.

 

Shrubs

Coffeeberry – Frangula californica (syn Rhamnus californica)

Coffeeberry

Coffeeberry – Frangula californica

In favorable conditions the plant can develop into a small tree over 6 meters tall. More commonly it is a shrub between 1 and 2 meters tall. The branches may have a reddish tinge and the new twigs are often red in color. The alternately arranged evergreen leaves are dark green above and paler on the undersides. The leaves have thin blades in moist habitat, and smaller, thicker blades in dry areas. The small greenish flowers occur in clusters in the leaf axils. The fruit is a juicy drupe which may be green, red, or black. It is just under a centimeter long and contains two seeds that resemble coffee beans. This plant can live an estimated 100 to 200 years.

Jim McKissock shows off one of the largest coffeeberry plants in the El Cerrito hills.

Jim McKissock shows off one of the largest coffeeberry plants in the El Cerrito hills.

Coyote Bush  –  Baccharis pilularis

Coyote Bush

Coyote Bush

Coyote brush is known as a secondary pioneer plant in communities such as coastal sage scrub and chaparral. It does not regenerate under a closed shrub canopy because seedling growth is poor in the shade. Coast live oak, California bay, Rhus integrifolia, and other shade producing species replace coastal sage scrub and other coyote bush-dominated areas, particularly when there hasn’t been a wildfire or heavy grazing.

In California grasslands, it comes in late and invades and increases in the absence of fire or grazing. Coyote bush invasion of grasslands is important because it helps the establishment of other coastal sage species.

Baccharis pilularis is cultivated as an ornamental plant, and used frequently in drought tolerant, native plant, and wildlife gardens; and in natural landscaping and habitat restoration projects. The cultivar ground cover selections have various qualities of height and spread, leaf colors, and textures. The upright forms are useful for hedges and fence lines, and year round foliage.

Coyote brush is usually deer-resistant. The plants are also drought tolerant after maturity, requiring watering once a week until established, and then about once per month during the first summer. They can mature in one to two years. The plants prefer good drainage.

Only male plants of Baccharis pilularis are cultivated for landscaping use. If these are substituted for Baccharis pilularis subsp. consanguinea in ecological restoration, there will not be as much seed set, nor recruitment of new individuals.

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