Half Dome was originally called “Tis-sa-ack,” meaning “Cleft Rock” in the language of the Ahwahnechee People, one of the seven tribes that lived in Yosemite. John Muir referred to the iconic monolith by its native name and Half Dome interchangeably. The mountain is prominently visible from Highway 120, a road leading up to the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.

John Muir, Racial Politics and the Restoration of Indigenous Lands in Yosemite

John Muir has been honored extensively, with his name on many sites and institutions, including 28 schools, a college, a number of mountains, several trails, a glacier, a forest, a beach, a medical center, a highway and Muir Woods National Monument, one of the most visited destinations in the Bay Area. But in the time since the Sierra Club issued a nuanced statement in 2020 acknowledging some racist language in his early writings, some have come to believe that Muir’s legacy should be diminished, despite his contributions to the preservation of wilderness and later writings praising native tribes. 

During the coronavirus pandemic, CalTrans was able to take advantage of the lull in traffic to completely close part of Interstate 101 in San Francisco in April 2020 to complete work on the Alemany circle in just nine days instead of the original 18 days scheduled for the project.

Bay Area Traffic Congestion Returns

Sean Nozzari, deputy director of traffic operations for the California Department of Transportation in the Bay Area told “Civic” that when the spring 2020 lockdown began, “the amount of travel initially dropped maybe 80%. But it started building up, and around December of 2020 it started going up steadily to a point that the amount of travel that takes place on our freeways is pretty much about what we had before.”

View of Alcatraz, approaching by ferry

Return to Alcatraz: 50 Years After Native American Occupation, National Park Service Considers Permanent Cultural Center

As California reopens to tourism, Alcatraz is once again drawing visitors from around the world and featuring an exhibit celebrating the 19-month-long Native American occupation of the island 50 years ago. And in a dramatic, if delayed, response to the occupation, the National Park Service is contemplating the installation of a permanent Native American cultural center on Alcatraz in collaboration with a group that formed with that as one of its key objectives more than 50 years ago.

BART Emerges From Pandemic Slowdown

Ridership on BART is slowly returning at about 20% of pre-pandemic levels. Starting next week the transit agency will begin adding trains with a return to a near normal train schedule by August 30. “Civic” learns more about BART’s plans, ongoing budget problems, new trains, the homeless and how BART is prepared for a mass shooting like the one at a light rail yard in San Jose last month.

The First Draft of 50 Years of LGBTQ History

The Bay Area Reporter distributed its first edition on April 1, 1971. While publisher Bob Aaron Ross may have chosen April Fool’s Day as a light-hearted start for the gay community’s latest bar “rag,” the newspaper would go on to do serious journalism, covering the major events of the post-Stonewall era.

Grocery store workers are among San Franciscans now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

Vaccinations and Hazard Pay Remain Concerns of Grocery Store Union

Grocery store workers are the latest to be eligible for vaccination. As part of our “Essential Worker” series we spoke with Jim Araby, director of strategic campaigns for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 about how they are trying to get their 28,000 members vaccinated and why they are fighting for hazard pay during the remaining days of the pandemic.

Despite Vaccine Shortage, City to Expand Eligibility

Teachers, child care workers, police, firefighters and food service and agricultural workers will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations in San Francisco beginning Feb. 26. Mayor London Breed said Tuesday the city was ready to move past the current plan that limits vaccinations to health care workers and those over 65 years of age.