Alcatraz Weekly

Staff Meeting Notes - 14 August 2013

Weekly Discussion Topics

Time SHEETS are due TUESDAY COB. Nancy is only here Wed of next week so you need to get time sheets in on time.

Kudos to John and Wendy for a terrific anniversary event. See all of the visitor comments below.

Also kudos to Lori for all of her help with the event and especially for a wonderful overnight for the alumni. They really enjoyed it.

Herman has been temporarily reassigned to the North Roads. There is no backfill for this key maintenance position - yet. Stay tuned. If there are maintenance issues, let Marcus know.

Reminder to staff that we can not get a staff discount at the PC store. Getting one represents a conflict of interest for us.

The King Center and the 50th Anniversary Coalition are calling on people and organizations across America to help culminate the 50th anniversary of The March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech with “Let Freedom Ring” bell-ringing events at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on August 28th, a half-century to the minute after Dr. King delivered his historic address. In other nations, there will be bell-ringing ceremonies at 3:00 p.m. in their respective time zones. On this day, we will honor this event with a minute of silence during any programs.

New Idea: We discussed the idea of doing dock announcements from the Boat. If we had thr right technology we could give dock announcements from the dock and be heard on the boat as the boats approach. This could shorten dock announcements, give visitors another 10 minutes on the island, and free up the dock for mini programs. Wendy/Cortney and Lori/Nancy to experiment doing dock announcement on the boat on 8/28 to see if this can work.

New Idea: Civil War exhibit in casemate. With the anniversary over, we can start thinking about how to use the Civil War casemate. Nancy and John to discuss this idea with Connie Golda. She has offered to provide items to the park for display.

Is everyone adding to the program statistics. Can someone help me update the database?

We have a location for the retreat at SAFR. Laura is working on getting us on the Alma in the afternoon.

There is a New Hard Drive in the media closet with Alcatraz photos. This includes the entire collection of photos put together by George Su. Also, extensive collections of historic photos. This hard drive works on both PC and Macs.

Cameras for America’s cup have not been used. Sarah to discuss with Tori about making the cameras available to birders who give programs on the West Road.

Junior Ranger days Nov 2 and 9. AC to provide 500 free tickets for kids each day. We will plan on providing special programs for youth that day.

IPAD. Just a reminder that we have an IPAD available for programs. Especially useful for behind the scenes programs. Get photos to Craig so that he can put them on the IPAD.

Bio-Blitz 28/29 March. Mark you Calendar. This will be all hands on deck. No annual leave for this F/Sat. Many programs/events throughout the park during this extensive biological inventory. Rangers are wanted at other sites to help out. If interested, let Marcus know: Wendy, Nancy.

Devo has reported a missing Sabot and other items related to cannon demonstrations. Lori to contact Devo. She may know where it is. Wendy to take charge of the Cannon Demo equipment.

Weekly Safety Message

Please do not use the stairs leading from the power house to the road. They have been deemed unsafe by the maintenance supervisor. The steps and the railing are both in poor repair. This has been brought up several times and some people continue to use these steps.

Visitor Comments

6/28/13 “Great to have the extra spots open for an hour here and there so we could see places like the hospital, morgue, etc.”

8/1/13 “We saw park staff around the area, apparently checking/studying the birds. It would be nice to have some educational speeches along the way for those interested and who wants to know about the species of plants and birds in the area. Make the experience more interesting by adding knowledgeable people to the tour -- the speech provided about Al Capone (by a history writer) was quite interesting.”

8/1/13 “Kathy was working on the island the day we visited (Thurs Aug 1 2013) She was AMAZING! So kind, enthusiastic and informative. She definitely made the experience a great and memorable one for us! THANKS KATHY!!! ”

8/5/13 “I learned so much I had no idea that Alcatraz was a bird sanctuary. ”

8/6/13 “I know the birds are protected, but is there a way to clean or power wash occacsionally? Some of the areas were really smelly and gross. THAT is what my kids remember most.....”

8/8/13 “We visited " The Rock"on 8/8/13.we are from WI and were thrilled to meet your volunteer Kathy ( who is also a WI native) and received a special tour with her! She's very friendly, kind and very informative! We had a spectacular time. Thank you so much and we will have wonderful memories of this experience forever!! Joe, Mary and Nevin Schauer ( Racine, WI) ”

8/8/13 “Very good and appropriate to have a presentation on Restorative Justice at the end of the tour of the cell block.As a kiwi visitor it was pleasing to see our efforts in this area were recognised and that some areas of San Francisco are trying to implement this process as it does reduce reoffending.”

8/11/13 “A fantastic trip for us as we arrived on the 79rh anniversary day and listened to some former workers and families. We were very privileged to celebrate mass with fr. Bush in the chapel- an amazing experience; thank you.”

8/11/13 “when i first started this visit to alcatraz, i was dissapointed to find out that i had to wait 90 days to purchase the tickets, when i finally was able to book them i wasnt able to secure the tickets i wanted ( first ferry to alcatraz) so i had to book 2nd ferry which was a little disappointing because there is so much to wonder at on that island, the day went to quick and we didnt get to see all the island. What i did thoughly enjoy was listening to the stories of the ex-prison guards and ex-cons , This was another reason why we didnt get to see the whole island. It was an excellent day, it just went by to fast . thankyou regards john hector”

8/11/13 “Absolutely wonderful tour!!! Highly recommend visitng and it really is the icing on the cake to a fantastic trip to San Francisco. Staff are all very helpful. We got a chance on this particular day to meet with Alcatraz alumni and what a really special experience that was!! Just fantastic! ”

8/11/13 “I visited Alcatraz during the anniversary day event. I didn't even do the audio tour because it was such an awesome experience to see and talk to those who used to live/work on the island. I think that it should have been advertised more (Twitter, news companies, etc). I saw the ad by coincidence when I was booking for a different date. I will definitely be returning for next year's anniversary day.”

8/11/13 “Everyone was so polite and friendly. Usually you don't see that in government workers. Well done! I would have enjoyed seeing the officers' barracks and children's schoolhouse as well. It would be interesting to see how the officers and their families lived.”

Upcoming Leave (Annual, Sick, Off-Site Training)

20 August Benny AL

24 August Benny AL

26 -30 August John AL

25-29 August Casler AL

4-6 Sept Marcus AL

6-9 Oct Nancy AL

18-31 Dec Marcus AL

Calendar of Events

8/14 - 8/19/13. Dr. Chris Corneleus on island to make measurements of island for research project. He is an Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

8/15/13 Andrew Evans to present ideas on Stanford Alcatraz Program. 2:30 to 5 pm. NEED TO SET UP TIX

8/20 ALCA (9:00-11:00) & Bldg. 1050 (1:30-3:30) – All employees meeting

8/21/13 Accessibility Training. 10 am — 1 pm. Lori, Jim, Michael.

8/21-22 Operational Leadership Training.

8/22/13 Accessibility Training. 2:45 to 5:45.

8/22/13 Bldg. 201 (1:30-3:30) – All employees meeting

8/25/13 Last day Ranger Dan.

8/25/13 VIP Tour at 1:30. Quatar. NEED a RANGER. Contact is Schariss 415-773-6167.

8/26/12 Kelly starts full time on night shift.

8/28/13 Table of Voice and Restorative Justice displays coming down.

8/28/13 50th anniversary of The March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech with “Let Freedom Ring” bell-ringing events at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Programs for the day to have 1 minute of silence at either 12:00 or 3:00 pm.

8/29/13 Installation of Water Color Exhibit. Shelagh.

8/25/13 VIP Tour at 1:30. Quatar. NEED a RANGER. Contact is Schariss 415-773-6167,

8/29/13 Facilitated Dialogue Training: Carla , Wendy, Benny, Marcus. Lori only ranger on the island. Looking for volunteers to help on this day.

9/4/13 SPUG Training 10-11. George Durgerian coming to the island.

9/27/13 Outreach Ranger Truck at Hyatt. Shelagh, Tori. Is a Ranger Available to help?

9/28/13 Friends of Civil War – Living History Day.

10/1/13 RESCHEDULED Garden Conservancy Exhibit event. Need 2 Rangers for evening program 6-9 pm.

10/10/13 AZ Work Day (Maintenance)

10/14/13 Sunrise Ceremony

10/21/13 Winter Schedule Starts

10/22-25/13 Interpreting Critical Issues Using Civic Engagement & Facilitated Dialogue Techniques-- This classroom course focuses on the front-line interpreter’s role as a facilitator of dialogue and discussion, and a range of ways to incorporate these techniques into new and existing park programming. Lori

10/26/13 Alcatraz 40th Anniversary Event – Former Rangers on the island to reminisce. John Cantwell/John Martini.

11/1/13 University of San Francisco Eco-Tourism Students with Dr. Pavlίna Látková, Ph.D. Lead: Marcus.

11/2/13 Alcatraz Junior Ranger Day.

11/9/13 Alcatraz Junior Ranger Day.

11/14/13 Joint NPS/PC Staff Retreat. Location: SAFR. 9 Am – 3 Pm. Potential Topics include:

- How do we talk about Native Americans and the occupation?

- How do we make our behind the scenes tours more consistent?

- Methods of working with youth.

- How do we reach out to underserved communities?

- What are good ways of using humor to address sensitive or controversial topics?

11/19-20 Operational Leadership Training.

11/20/13 All Supervisors Mtgs 1-3 pm

11/28/13 Thanksgiving Sunrise Ceremony

2/2014 Health and Safety Week.

3/28-29/14 Bio-Blitz. All hands on deck to help out throughout the park.

Exhibit Calendar

2/15 – 8/29 Restorative Justice Comic and Table of Voices venue: Band Practice Room AZ lead: Jim B.

3/21 - 3/20/14 Anniversary of Prison Closing Exhibit venue: New Industries Building AZ leads: Lori & John C.

4/28 - ? Native Nationalism and Red Power: Historicizing the 1969 Alcatraz Occupation venue: Building 64/Theater/China Alley AZ lead: Teresa

9/1 - 12/31 Flower Painting Display venue: Band Practice Room AZ lead: Shelagh

Tentative Upcoming

2013 Prison Arts Project. Lead: Carol Newborg.

2013 California College of the Arts Graduate Seminar. Artists on island at various time. Exhibits at various locations at end of Graduate Seminar. Lead: Patrick Gillespie.

10/2014 – 4/2015 Possible ? Prisoners of Age venue: New Industries Building AZ lead: ?

10/2014 – 4/2015 ? Possible International exhibit. Various locations around the island.

10/2015 - ? Hamlet performance by WePlayers


Closures (Updated 7/22/13): Off limits areas include: Cell House Roof, Citadel, QM Lower Level, Bldg 64. Upper floors, area past cable by power house. All Bird Closure Areas including Agave trail, parade ground.

Before and After

Here are two before and after photos from the Citadel. Work is progressing.

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Alcatraz Preservation Update

What are these two pictures about? They show before and after scenes in the citadel.

The National Park Service is making strides to improve both the visitor experience and preserve the historic structures found on Alcatraz. The highest priority has been on life and safety projects including seismic stabilizations. Below is an update of many recent and upcoming projects.


Alcatraz Landing (Pier 31.5): The parking area has been realigned to provide more accessible parking spots and to create a larger walking zone. New exhibits have been installed at the main entrance to Alcatraz along with picnic tables, a large scale island model, and a touch model.

Auditorium: New larger and more comfortable seats were installed in Barrack Bldg Auditorium.

Barracks Bldg. Bridges: The metal bridges behind the barracks were repaired of rust and repainted in July 2012.

Building 64 Office Space: The office space in Bldg 64 have been renovated to provide better working space and an indoor bathroom.

Cell House - Band Practice Room: New lighting consistent with the adjacent retail area has been installed. The lighting will enhance art exhibits rotated through the room.

Cell House – Roof and Solar Project: The solar panels were installed on a newly finished roof of the cell house. This has allowed us to reduce running the diesel generator from 24/7 to once every 3 days for a few hours.

China Alley Boardwalk: Lowe’s Home Improvement donated materials to extend the

China Alley Boardwalk by another 60 feet. This allows us to open two additional casemates with exhibits in the future.

Dock Guard Tower: The guard tower on the Alcatraz Dock has been repaired and repainted.

New Industries Building: A new tram has been added to island operation. Alcatraz Cruises is making two additional runs to the New Industries Building and the West Side of the island to improve accessibility.

Puppy Stairs: Through a five-year partnership, Chico State Field School completed repair and rehabilitation of the entire Puppy steps. These steps provide access for special tours to the Alcatraz Gardens.

Warden’s House Slope Stabilization: The slope below the Warden’s House has been slowly receding. A project to stabilize critical portions of the slope below the Warden’s House and Lighthouse was completed in 2013. Metal rods were inserted into the hillside and covered with concrete to match the surrounding hill side.

Water Tower: The Alcatraz Water Tower has been completely stabilized. Replacement structural steel and a new roof was installed, heavy corrosion was removed and the entire tower has been coated with high performance coatings.


Cell House - Citadel and Shower Room: Repair work in the basement of the Cell House (Citadel) began in 2012 to strengthen the building’s foundation by replacing corroded I- Beams. In addition, spalling concrete from the Shower Room’s ceiling is also being replaced. Though behind schedule, we anticipate completion in Sept. 2013.

Flagpole: A new flagpole will be installed on Eagle Plaza. The new pole will feature ropes inside the pole and a swivel that will minimize flag tangling on windy days.

New Industries Fire and Safety: Install fire alarm in New Industries Building to increase event capacity up to 500 people.

Recreation Yard Fence: Install new fence on Rec Yard wall.

Schoolhouse Stairs: Chico State Field School is working on repairing and rehabilitation the steps into the old schoolhouse.

West Road Gardens: Relocate the fence along the lower west road to allow visitors to view the West Road Gardens from below.

Planned in the near future (FY13-15)

Cell House – Outer Walls and Window: The out walls of the cell house are in urgent need of repairs. NPS is still securing funding and the work has not yet been scheduled.

Barrack’s and Warden’s Office Ramps. The ramp by the Warden’s Office is to be rebuilt to replace rotting wood. In addition, a new ramp is being designed for Bldg 64 entrance.

Dock Queue: We are realigning the queue on the Alcatraz Dock to improve not only the visual esthetic but also to improve the efficiency of loading the ferry.

Guardhouse/Sally Port: The oldest building on Alcatraz is in critical need for stabilization. Design work has started and stabilization is expected to begin in fall of 2013. Removal of the boat house to expose more of the brick guardhouse is expected to be part of the project.

Quartermaster Building Stabilization: The Quartermaster Building is critical for island operations and houses much of the islands retail and maintenance infrastructure.

Seismic stabilization is being planned and work is expected to being in fall of 2013.

Wharf Stabilization: To increase the dock’s lifespan, the pillars underneath the wharf need to be repaired and/or replaced.

Planned for the long term

Bldg 64 Stabilization and Rehabilitation: This project includes stabilization and partial rehabilitation of the upper floors. This would enable visitation to the post office, store, and at least one apartment.

Fencing: Replace historic fencing around island.

Hospital Stabilization: Stabilize ceiling and walls in hospital to prevent further collapse. Also conduct lead abatement and repaint.

Model Industries Stabilization: Stabilize the building to prevent collapse.

New Industries Stabilization and Rehabilitation: This project includes rehabilitation of the lower floor, installing running water to improve the event space.

Quartermaster Rehabilitation: Install an elevator to improve retail operations for 3rd floor. Install maintenance workshop on 2nd floor.

Quartermaster: Correct failing underground fuel storage tanks.

Parade Ground Rehabilitation: Open parade ground to public, enhance garden planters, and show footprints of historic buildings.

Post Exchange Stabilization: Stabilize walls of the post exchange/social hall.

Powerhouse Stabilization: Stabilize the building to prevent collapse.

Seawall Restoration: Restore historic Rip Rap Seawall along the Agave Trail.

Slope Stabilization: Additional areas adjacent to the Warden’s house will need to be stabilized once funding becomes available.

Warden’s House: Stabilize walls of the Warden’s house. Install a deck for visitors to enter building.

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