Portal:San Francisco Bay Area

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The San Francisco Bay Area Portal

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The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California, United States. The region encompasses the major cities and metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, 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 7.44 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 urban area of San Francisco and San Jose is the second largest in California (after the Greater Los Angeles area), the fifth largest in the United States, and the 56th largest urban area in the world.

The United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) does not use the nine-county definition of the San Francisco Bay Area. The OMB has designated a more extensive 12-county Combined Statistical Area (CSA) titled the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area which also includes the three counties of San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, and San Benito that do not border San Francisco Bay, but are economically tied to the nine counties that do.

The San Francisco Bay Area is known for its natural beauty, liberal politics, entrepreneurship, and diversity. The area has high incomes, performing 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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The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait, the mile-wide, three-mile-long channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the U.S. city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to Marin County, bridging both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait. The bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and the United States. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge "possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world". It opened in 1937 and had, until 1964, the longest suspension bridge main span in the world, at 4,200 feet (1,300 m). (more...)

Selected biography

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Edward Teller (Hungarian: Teller Ede; January 15, 1908 – September 9, 2003) was a Hungarian-born American theoretical physicist who, although he claimed he did not care for the title, is known colloquially as "the father of the hydrogen bomb". He made numerous contributions to nuclear and molecular physics, spectroscopy (in particular, the Jahn–Teller and Renner–Teller effects) and surface physics. His extension of Enrico Fermi's theory of beta decay, in the form of the so-called Gamow–Teller transitions, provided an important stepping stone in its application, while the Jahn–Teller effect and the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) theory have retained their original formulation and are still mainstays in physics and chemistry. Teller also made contributions to Thomas–Fermi theory, the precursor of density functional theory, a standard modern tool in the quantum mechanical treatment of complex molecules. In 1953, along with Nicholas Metropolis and Marshall Rosenbluth, Teller co-authored a paper which is a standard starting point for the applications of the Monte Carlo method to statistical mechanics.

Teller emigrated to the United States in the 1930s, and was an early member of the Manhattan Project charged with developing the first atomic bombs. During this time he made a serious push to develop the first fusion-based weapons as well, but these were deferred until after World War II. After his controversial testimony in the security clearance hearing of his former Los Alamos colleague J. Robert Oppenheimer, Teller was ostracized by much of the scientific community. He continued to find support from the U.S. government and military research establishment, particularly for his advocacy for nuclear energy development, a strong nuclear arsenal, and a vigorous nuclear testing program. He was a co-founder of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and was both its director and associate director for many years. (more...)

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Los Altos Listeni/lɔːs ˈælts/ is a city at the southern end of the San Francisco Peninsula, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The city is in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population was 28,976 according to the 2010 census.

Most of the city's growth occurred between 1950 and 1980. Originally an agricultural town with many summer cottages and apricot orchards, Los Altos is now an affluent bedroom community. Los Altos has several distinctive features. Commercial zones are strictly limited to the downtown area and small shopping and office parks lining Foothill Expressway and El Camino Real.

Forbes places Los Altos (area code 94022 and 94024) as the 63rd and 66th most expensive ZIP codes in the United States, behind such cities as Alpine, NJ, Atherton, CA, and Beverly Hills. This lists median home price around $2,000,000. (more...)

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Recently in the Bay Area

Levi's Stadium, from Great America
Robin Williams
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Larry Ellison in Oracle OpenWorld 2010.JPG

The Bay Area by year

Wong Kim Ark
Early Ferry building stereoscope, prior to the 1906 earthquake
Neptune Society Columbarium
Baldwin Hotel

 • United States v. Wong Kim Ark is decided in favor of Wong Kim Ark (pictured, left), who is thus considered a U.S. citizen
 • The San Francisco Ferry Building (pictured, right), designed by A. Page Brown, opens
 • A columbarium (pictured, right) is built at Odd Fellows Cemetery in San Francisco by Bernard J. S. Cahill, to complement an earlier columbarium built by him
 • The Baldwin Hotel (pictured, right) in San Francisco, built in 1876, burns down
 • Francis K. Shattuck dies after being knocked down by a man exiting from a train that Shattuck was attempting to board on the eponymous Shattuck Avenue

Selected historical image

Did you know...

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Miss Major at San Francisco Pride Celebration in 2014
Lou Grant in Milwaukee
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 • ... that the trans woman activist Miss Major (pictured, right, in San Francisco) was meeting with her girlfriend at the Stonewall Inn during the police raid that precipitated the Stonewall riot?
 • ... that the 2000 Yountville earthquake caused an interruption of power to approximately 10,000 Pacific Gas and Electric Company customers?
 • ... that African American artist Claude Clark helped curate the first national African American exhibition at the Oakland Museum in 1967?
 • ... that the TV character Lou Grant was named after Oakland Tribune cartoonist Lou Grant (pictured, right)?
 • ... that the Hall of Records (pictured, right) at the Napa County Courthouse Plaza was an early use, in 1916, of reinforced concrete as a building material?
 • ... that explorer and travelogue writer Albert S. Evans (pictured, left) famously feuded with Mark Twain when both were in San Francisco?

Previous Did you know...

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September 2009

Selected periodic event

Arturo Sandoval at the White House

The Festival del Sole is an annual ten-day jazz and classical music, food, wine, and art festival held in Napa Valley. Founded in 2006 by Richard Walker and Barrett Wissman, the festival attracts over 8,000 attendees annually. Performers at the festival have included Monica Mancini, Pinchas Zukerman, Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Arturo Sandoval (pictured, at a White House performance).


~ Jerry Brown, from the 1999 KPFA radio show "We The People", broadcast from Oakland

Selected multimedia file

Radical Faeries event, San Francisco, 2012
credit: MrThistleFlower

Bay Area regions, geographic features and protected areas

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GoldenGateBridge-001.jpg You are invited to participate in the San Francisco Bay Area task force, a task force dedicated to developing and improving articles about the San Francisco Bay Area.

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