What's the Word?

An NPS Employee Newsletter - September

I'm back! . . . a message from Deputy Superintendent Aaron Roth

Hi Team,

Our Superintendent Frank is off in Europe on a well-deserved break so I’m filling in for him on the newsletter. I’m back from my detail up in Seattle with the Pacific West Regional Office and it feels good! There are so many fantastic resources and people up in the Pacific Northwest it was a real pleasure to spend some time with them. My role with the Pacific West Region was Deputy Regional Director, in which I was assigned supervision of many park superintendents in the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. I also supervised the Planning, Natural Resources and Cultural Resources programs for the region.

The detail assignment was a good experience for me on a number of levels. It was an excellent opportunity to see what other parks are doing, the issues they are working on and common struggles. I was able to build a better understanding for myself of the Regional Office and build relationships with its leadership and staff. Although the Golden Gate National Recreation Area has its unique challenges and resources, I found we have more in common with our fellow parks than not. Many of our parks throughout the region are stepping up to similar challenges of overwhelming visitation, climate change, constrained fiscal resources, increasing partnership opportunities and more complex community relationships. I definitely felt some piece of mind in knowing that we are not alone in our opportunities and our issues!

One of my objectives going on the assignment was to give myself a fresh perspective at my own role. After four years on the job as Deputy Superintendent, I wanted to take a step back and see how I can improve and what set of things would be important priorities for me as I head into the next stretch. I was also able to get some independent viewpoints from our Acting Deputy Superintendents Darla Sidles and Carey Feireabend on the strengths and weaknesses of our park operations. I’m still processing all that I have learned but some things I do know is that it has always been my goal to maximize my time in the field getting to know first-hand our resources, our team, and our challenges, but I’ll ned to re-double my efforts in that area. I’m also looking to continue and even increase my focus on being personally engaged in making Golden Gate a safe, inclusive and rewarding place to work.

In going away, some things stand out more clearly with contrast. I’m duly impressed, just as when I first arrived, with the quality of our leadership team and our staff, at every level, and the spectacular and layered resources of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It really is amazing to consider all the innovative and creative programs underway and the constant park building and transformation. I consider myself very fortunate to work here every day and be a part of such a dynamic and vital team. Thanks for welcoming me back and looking forward to our new fiscal year and upcoming preparation for our Centennial!


Aaron Roth

Deputy Superintendent

Employee Appreciation Event- Picnic in the Park

Wednesday, Oct. 22nd 2014 at 11:30am-1:30pm

1 Fort Mason

San Francisco, CA

Please plan to attend this fun event scheduled for October 22, at the General's Residence. It will be an indoor/ outdoor fun time for everybody, with food and games.

~ Celebrate the good work done by all NPS and Parks Conservancy staff

~ Get to know your coworkers

~ Have some fun at the end of a long year

~ Recognize the achievements of your peers, including Employee of the Year and Bridge Awards

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Of Interest

The Peoples Sunrise Gathering

Monday, Oct. 13th 2014 at 5:30am

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, CA, United States

San Francisco, CA

This special event commemorates the Indians of All Tribes occupation of Alcatraz Island between 1969-1971. It is held on Indigenous People's Day (Columbus Day) Monday October 13th and again on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 27th. Indigenous People's Day will have three boats leaving pier 33 at 5:30 am, 5:45 am, and 6:00 am. The November 27th event will have more boats leaving pier 33 starting at am- 6:00 am every 15 minutes. The only places accessible will be the dock and the path to walk up to the parade ground; cell house, west road, rec yard, north end, and eagle plaza will be closed.

Staff will not have to pay to attend, but if your family would like to they would need to purchase a ticket. To arrange for a staff ticket please contact Owen Simncoe at Owen_Simcoe@nps.gov by the end of Wednesday, October 8.

Big Project Milestones

We are pleased to celebrate the completion of the Pier 2 Shed rehabilitation by the Fort Mason Center. The project was constructed July 2013-August 2014, after several years of planning and design. Building on the rehabilitation of the pier structure by NPS (2005), this $20 million project has provided structural strengthening of the pier shed, hazardous materials remediation, repair of spalling concrete, windows and doors, new roofing and paint, and various systems upgrades. As part of the sustainable design of the project, Pier 2 now sports one of the largest photovoltaic arrays in San Francisco, and there is a new radiant heating system below the new concrete floor. There is also a viewing porthole to the historic railroads tracks which were exposed during construction (and are preserved beneath the new topping slab). The project is an exemplar of partnership projects, including efforts not only from GGNRA and FMC, but also the NPS Technical Preservation Services and State Historic Preservation Office (historic preservation tax credits), Dept. of Energy grants, and major philanthropic participation. Many thanks to all the participants, especially the support from GGNRA staff.

Employee Spotlight

History Comes Alive with Juana Briones at El Polín Spring

Saturday, Oct. 25th 2014 at 1-2:30pm

MacArthur Ave

San Francisco, CA

Have you ever wanted to grind corn? Then what are you waiting for? Join me at El Polin Spring where we will experience a day in the life of Juana Briones, a legendary woman of the Presidio. We will start by grinding corn, and then continue with a short walk while listening to stories of the presidio’s past inhabitants. Space is limited, registration required. Meet ranger Fatima Colindres at El Polín Spring , end of MacArthur Avenue.

Reservations required; call (415) 561-4323.

Upcoming events from the Office of Special Park Uses:

Fleet Week with the Blue Angles is the largest event in the near future. An Incident Command Team has been pulled together to prepare for and work the event.

There are many events at this time of year. You can find a list of upcoming events anytime on the Sharepoint site:

Look for the link that begins oOoOo. The list can be sorted by time or place and is updated every Friday.

Making of: ‘@Large, Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz’ | KQED Arts

GGNRA Get-together-- A New Approach to Public Meetings

Tuesday, Oct. 28th 2014 at 4-7pm

1 Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA, United States

San Francisco, CA

You are invited to drop by after work to learn about current and upcoming projects in the park. Come anytime between 4 and 7 p.m.

There will be a PRESENTATION about captive rearing of coho salmon beginning at 5:30 pm.

There will also be door prizes of cool park gear, and light refreshments will be provided.

A few of the projects that will be represented are listed below. A more detailed agenda and links to project information will be available approximately 2 weeks before the meeting.

  • Ocean Beach Fire Revised Pilot Program
  • Ocean Beach Update
  • Fire Management Projects/Strategy
  • Aquatic Park Promenade

Snapshot of Visitor and Resourse Protection and US Park Police Activities

Two Men Rescued by NPS Lifeguards and San Francisco Fire Department

On September 24th, lifeguards received a report of a father and son in distress in the water at Ocean Beach. Surfers brought the young man into shore where NPS lifeguards began CPR. The father was brought to shore nearby and SF Fire started CPR. Both patients were taken to hospitals in the area. The father was pronounced dead shortly after arriving. The young man remains in critical condition.

Man and His Dog Rescued from Cliff- again

On Sunday, September 21st, 2014, a man and his dog were stuck on the cliffs at Fort Funston. San Francisco firefighters set-up a rope system and rescued the two from the cliff. This is one of more than 10 dogs and two humans who have needed assistance of the NPS and San Francisco Fire Department this year. Each year there is an average of 7 to 10 rescues of dogs from cliffs at Fort Funston.

Narcotics Case nets $23,100.00 in Illegal Substances and Results in an Arrest

US Park Police Officer Cole was conducting foot patrol at on Ocean Beach in the dunes for a subject who was involved in a recent rape case in the area. He observed a male subject with what appeared to be narcotics on a scale. When Officer Cole made contact with the subject, the subject attempted to conceal evidence. A search and field testing revealed the subject was in possession of the following narcotics: hash oil, methamphetamine's, mushrooms, cocaine, heroin, and over- the-counter medications. He also had $1322.00 in cash on him. The subject was arrested and charged with possession of felony narcotics for sale-meth and hash; possession of controlled substance-cocaine, heroin, and mushrooms; possession of drug paraphernalia - needle and scale.

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A Few Seconds for Safety

Poison Ivy- “Leaves of three, let them be; Berries white, run in fright”

Poison ivy's leaves generally grow in bunches of three and, in the last summer and fall, there may also be tiny white berries growing in bunches from the stems. Here are some tips:

• The best way to avoid getting a rash from poison ivy is to stay away from the plants. The urushiol oil in the plants, which causes the rash, can only transfer to your skin by direct contact.

• If you are going to be hiking in a wooded area where these plants live, wear protective clothing­ (long-sleeved shirts, long pants tucked into your socks or boots and cloth or leather gloves).

• If you get the oil on your skin, wash as soon as possible with soap and lots of cool water. The sooner you wash, and the more water you use, the less likely you will be of getting a rash.

• If the rash covers more than 20 percent of your body, or develops in sensitive areas like the eyes, mouth or genitals, see a doctor immediately.

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Send Your Feedback About this Newsletter!

This newsletter is created by the Public Affairs Office to keep staff updated on the happenings around the parks. If you feel we missed something, want to suggest a story, or have a correction, please email us at alexandra_picavet@nps.gov.