Kensington is an unincorporated community and census designated place located in the Berkeley Hills, in the East Bay, part of the San Francisco Bay Area, in Contra Costa County, California. The population was 5,077 at the 2010 census. Kensington is an unincorporated community of Contra Costa County. Unlike many unincorporated communities, Kensington has local jurisdiction over its police department, park services, refuse collection and fire department; these are governed by two elected boards. The five-member Kensington Police Protection and Community Services District Board oversees the police department, park services, refuse collection; the five-member Kensington Fire District Board oversees the fire department and emergency medical services, of which the day-to-day function is outsourced to the fire department of El Cerrito, a neighboring city. The Kensington Municipal Advisory Board is a commission whose members are appointed by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. KMAC is charged with land-use and development review and provides recommendations to the county planning and public works departments.
The sewer system is maintained by the Stege Sanitary District, which includes the city of El Cerrito and the Richmond Annex area of Richmond. The East Bay Municipal Utility District supplies wastewater treatment services. AC Transit operates local transit service. House numbers follow the pattern used in the East Bay, Kensington addresses use the ZIP codes 94707 and 94708; the area, now Kensington was the territory of the Huichin band of the Ohlone indigenous people who occupied much of the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Pedro Fages mapping expedition passed through the area in 1772. In 1823, the Republic of Mexico granted Rancho San Pablo, an extent of land lying north of Cerrito Creek and the Rancho San Antonio, including that portion of land, now Kensington, to Francisco María Castro, a veteran of the Mexican Army and former alcalde of San José. In 1831 his youngest son, Victor Castro, inherited the southern portion of the rancho, including what is now Kensington. In 1892, Anson Blake purchased a portion of Castro's land, most of, now Kensington.
In 1901, George Shima bought ten acres north of Cerrito Creek and east of the present day Arlington Avenue, intending to build a home there. He hosted an annual community picnic on the property for some time. Land development companies had bought most of the Kensington area by 1911, when it was first surveyed; the area was named "Kensington" that year by Robert Brousefield, a surveyor who had lived in the London borough of South Kensington at one time. Farmers in Kensington resisted inclusion in the city of El Cerrito when it was incorporated in 1917, local voters have rejected incorporation various times since then. In the 1920s, the East Bay Municipal Utility District constructed an aqueduct through the Berkeley Hills to transport water from the San Pablo Reservoir to a still-active pumping facility in Kensington, located just above the Colusa Circle; some of the water received by this facility is pumped up the hill to the Summit Reservoir located at the top of Spruce Street. The rest is pumped to other reservoirs serving the East Bay.
The population of Kensington was 226 in 1920, 1,423 in 1930, 3,355 in 1940, reached a peak of 6,601 in 1950. During World War II, J. Robert Oppenheimer lived at 10 Kenilworth Court where he held meetings of the American Communist Party, while working on top secret atomic bomb work, denying any involvement with such political groups; the house is mistakenly described as being in Berkeley. In his life, Oppenheimer lived at 1 Eagle Hill in Kensington; until 1948, streetcar line #7 of the Key System ran to Kensington from Berkeley along Arlington Avenue, terminating in the small commercial area at Amherst Avenue. The streetcar was replaced by an AC Transit bus route of the same name which continues to run along Arlington Avenue; the streetcar service played an important role in the development of Kensington, was fed by a network of mid-block pedestrian paths, most of which persist to this day. The pathways, which traverse Kensington, were offered for dedication for public use to the County of Contra Costa at the time the various subdivision maps were recorded.
The County never accepted the offer of dedication, accordingly, the ownership of the pathways has been in a state of uncertainty. Some of the pathways are used by the public and some have fallen into disuse, are overgrown with foliage, or have been absorbed into neighboring properties; the late local historian Louis Stein Jr. lived and worked in Kensington, maintaining a pharmacy on the corner of Amherst and Arlington Avenue. For many years, he kept one of the East Bay's oldest horsecars in his yard—one that had seen service between Temescal and the University of California in Berkeley; the horsecar is now at the Western Railway Museum. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 1.0 square mile, of which, 99% is land 1% is water. Kensington borders Berkeley and Albany to the south, El Cerrito to its west and north, Wildcat Canyon Regional Park and Tilden Regional Park to the east. Kensington is residential, with two small shopping districts. One of these is located on the other centered on the Colusa Circle.
The 2010 United States Census reported that 5,077 people, 2,199 households, 1,417 families resided in the CDP. The population density was 5,361.1 people per square mile. There were 2,305 housing units at an average density of 2,409.7 per square mile. The racial makeup of the CDP was 78.1% White (74.8% non-Hisp
Guadalupe River (California)
The Guadalupe River mainstem is an urban, northward flowing 14 miles river in California whose much longer headwater creeks originate in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The river mainstem now begins on the Santa Clara Valley floor when Los Alamitos Creek exits Lake Almaden and joins Guadalupe Creek just downstream of Coleman Road in San Jose, California. From here it flows north through San Jose, where it receives a major tributary; the Guadalupe River serves as the eastern boundary of the City of Santa Clara and the western boundary of Alviso, after coursing through San José, it empties into south San Francisco Bay at the Alviso Slough. The Guadalupe River is the southernmost major U. S. river with a Chinook salmon run. Much of the river is surrounded by parks; the river's Los Alamitos and Guadalupe Creek tributaries are, in turn, fed by smaller streams flowing from Almaden Quicksilver County Park, home to former mercury mines dating back to when the area was governed by Mexico. The Guadalupe River watershed carries precipitation from the slopes of Loma Prieta and Mount Umunhum, the two major peaks of the Sierra Azul, the historical Spanish name for that half of the Santa Cruz Mountains south of California Highway 17.
Two of the Guadalupe River's major tributaries, Los Gatos Creek and Guadalupe Creek have their sources in the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve on the western and eastern flanks of the Sierra Azul. The Guadalupe River was named by the Juan Bautista de Anza Expedition on March 30, 1776, Río de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the principal patron saint of the expedition. Juan Bautista de Anza camped along the banks of the Guadalupe River at Expedition Camp 97 on March 30, 1776 near the present-day site of Agnews State Hospital; the historic de Anza Expedition explored much of Santa Clara County, traversing western areas en route from Monterey to San Francisco, traveling around the south end of San Francisco Bay and thence through the eastern portions of the county on the return trip after exploration of parts of the East Bay. In 1777, the original Mission Santa Clara de Thamien and el Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe were established on the banks of Mission Creek, un tiro de escopeta from its confluence with the Guadalupe River.
Both had to be moved away from the river because of mosquitoes in the summertime and flooding during the winter. Today Santa Clara Mission is 2 miles away from the original location; the Guadalupe River was shorter, originating several miles further north, at the downstream end of a large willow swamp, now Willow Glen. Its main tributary was known as Arroyo Seco de Guadalupe on 1860 maps and as Arroyo Seco de Los Capitancillos on the 1876 Thompson & West maps. On July 9, 2005, the fossilized bones of a juvenile Columbian mammoth were discovered by San Jose resident, Roger Castillo, in the Lower Guadalupe River near the Trimble Road overcrossing. Roger founded the Salmon and Steelhead Restoration Group conservation organization and has served as a Board member of the Guadalupe–Coyote Resource Conservation District; the Pleistocene mammoth was nicknamed "Lupe" by area residents and Lupe's fossils are exhibited at Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose. The Guadalupe River flowed into Guadalupe Slough, 1.0 mile west of its current drainage into Alviso Slough.
To make it easier to get sailboats up the Guadalupe River to the port of Alviso, the river was redirected into the straighter Alviso Slough by the 1870s. Alviso Slough known as Steamboat Slough was straight, while Guadalupe Slough meandered extensively through the marshes. Alviso Slough was not fed by any upland streams, but carried tidewater in and out of the extensive salt marshes; the re-routing of the river to Alviso Slough in the 1870s disconnected it from several tributaries, had the effect of shrinking the Guadalupe River Watershed. San Tomas Aquino Creek and its Saratoga Creek tributary and Calabazas Creek, used to enter the Guadalupe River upstream of Alviso; these tributaries were disconnected from the river and re-routed directly into Guadalupe Slough between 1876 and 1890 according to historic maps. Saratoga Creek had steelhead and coho salmon runs. Large portions of the tributaries of the river were straightened and armored starting in the late 19th century and continuing through the 20th century first by farmers and by the Santa Clara Valley Water District and its predecessor organizations.
They now go dry in the summer months and their lower segments have become denuded ditches requiring continuous maintenance. Mission Creek used to harbor trout and salmon but today it is buried in a culvert; the historic watershed can be viewed in the West 1876 maps. The Guadalupe Watershed today drains an area of 171 square miles. Below its origination at the confluence of Guadalupe Creek and Los Alamitos Creek, the mainstem is joined by three other tributaries: Ross and Los Gatos Creeks; the SCVWD manages water flows and provides flood control on the river, has started to promote watershed stewardship. Six major reservoirs exist in the watershed: Calero Reservoir on Calero Creek, Guadalupe Reservoir on Guadalupe Creek, Almaden Reservoir on Alamitos Creek, Vasona Reservoir, Lexington Reservoir, Lake Elsman on Los Gatos Creek. Ending nine years of study and passionate debate about the future of the San Jose/Alviso waterfront, the Santa Clara Valley Water District in November, 2009 voted to approve a $6 million project to clear bul
San Rafael Bay
San Rafael Bay is an embayment of San Pablo Bay, located in Marin County and the northern San Francisco Bay Area, California. San Pablo Bay is the northern bay section of the larger San Francisco Bay, in the North Bay region. San Rafael Bay is located along the Marin County coast, adjacent to the City of San Rafael; the Marin Islands are within bay. The river mouth and estuary of San Rafael Creek is located at its shoreline. San Pablo Bay topics
Contra Costa County, California
Contra Costa County is a county in the state of California in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,049,025; the county seat is Martinez. It occupies the northern portion of the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, is suburban; the county's name is Spanish for "opposite coast", referring to its position on the other side of the bay from San Francisco. Contra Costa County is included in the San Francisco–Oakland–Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. In prehistoric times the Miocene epoch, portions of the landforms now in the area were populated by a wide range of now extinct mammals, known in modern times by the fossil remains excavated in the southern part of the county. In the northern part of the county, significant coal and sand deposits were formed in earlier geologic eras. Other areas of the county have ridges exposing ancient but intact seashells, embedded in sandstone layers alternating with limestone. Layers of volcanic ash ejected from geologically recent but now extinct volcanoes and now tilted by compressive forces, may be seen at the site of some road excavations.
This county is an agglomeration of several distinct geologic terranes, as is most of the greater San Francisco Bay Area, one of the most geologically complex regions in the world. The great local mountain Mount Diablo has been formed and continues to be elevated by compressive forces resulting from the action of plate tectonics and at its upper reaches presents ancient seabed rocks scraped from distant oceanic sedimentation locations and accumulated and lifted by these great forces. Younger deposits at middle altitudes include pillow lavas, the product of undersea volcanic eruptions. There is an extensive but little recorded human history pre-European settlement in this area, with the present county containing portions of regions populated by a number of Native American tribes; the earliest definitively established occupation by modern man appears to have occurred six to ten thousand years ago. However, there may have been human presence far earlier, at least as far as non–settling populations are concerned.
The known settled populations were hunter-gatherer societies that had no knowledge of metals and that produced utilitarian crafts for everyday use of the highest quality and with graphic embellishments of great aesthetic appeal. Extensive trading from tribe to tribe transferred exotic materials such as obsidian throughout the region from far distant Californian tribes. Unlike the nomadic Native American of the Great Plains it appears that these tribes did not incorporate warfare into their culture but were instead cooperative. Within these cultures the concept of individual or collective land ownership was nonexistent. Early European settlers in the region, did not record much about the culture of the natives. Most of what is known culturally comes from preserved contemporaneous and excavated artifacts and from inter-generational knowledge passed down through northerly outlying tribes of the larger region. Early interaction of these Native Americans with Europeans came with the Spanish colonization via the establishment of missions in this area, with the missions in San Jose and San Francisco and the establishment of a Presidio in 1776.
Although there were no missions established within this county, Spanish influence here was direct and extensive, through the establishment of land grants from the King of Spain to favored settlers. In 1821 Mexico gained independence from Spain. While little changed in ranchero life, the Mexican War of Independence resulted in the secularization of the missions with the re-distribution of their lands, a new system of land grants under the Mexican Federal Law of 1824. Mission lands extended including portions of Contra Costa County. Between 1836 and 1846, during the era when California was a province of independent Mexico, the following 15 land grants were made in Contra Costa County; the smallest unit was one square league, or about seven square miles, or 4,400 acres, maximum to one individual was eleven leagues, or 48,400 acres, including no more than 4,428 acres of irrigable land. Rough surveying was based on a map, or diseño, measured by streams, and/or horseman who marked it with rope and stakes.
Lands outside rancho grants were designated el sobrante, as in surplus or excess, considered common lands. The law required the construction of a house within a year. Fences were forbidden where they might interfere with roads or trails. Locally a large family required 2000 head of cattle and two square leagues of land to live comfortably. Foreign entrepreneurs came to the area to provide goods that Mexico couldn’t, trading ships were taxed. Rancho Canada de los Vaqueros was granted to Francisco Alviso, Antonio Higuera, Manuel Miranda. Two ranchos, both called Rancho San Ramon, were granted by the Mexican government in the San Ramon Valley. In 1833, Bartolome Pacheco and Mariano Castro shared the two square league Rancho San Ramon. Jose Maria Amador was granted a four square league Rancho San Ramon in 1834. In 1834 Rancho Monte del Diablo was confirmed with 17,921 acres to Salvio Pacheco; the Pacheco family settled at the Rancho in 1846. The boundary lines w
Codornices Creek, 2.0 miles long, is one of the principal creeks which runs out of the Berkeley Hills in the East Bay area of the San Francisco Bay Area in California. In its upper stretch, it passes within the city limits of Berkeley, marks the city limit with the adjacent city of Albany in its lower section. Before European settlement, Codornices had no direct, permanent connection to San Francisco Bay. Like many other small creeks, it filtered through what early maps show as grassland to a large, northward-running salt marsh and slough that carried waters from Marin Creek and Schoolhouse Creek. A channel was cut through in the 19th Century, Codornices flows directly to San Francisco Bay by way of a narrow remnant slough adjacent to Golden Gate Fields racetrack; the name derives from the Spanish word "codornices", meaning "quails". California valley quail were once common in the area; the name was given by one of owners of the vast Rancho San Antonio. Luis Maria Peralta, military governor at San Jose, divided the land grant among his sons, giving the area that now is Berkeley and Albany to Domingo, who built his home on the banks of Codornices Creek.
The first of his dwellings was an adobe, destroyed in the 1868 Hayward earthquake on October 21, 1868. He replaced it with a wooden structure, razed in the 1930s for an apartment building. Both were located on the high banks of Codornices Creek across from the site of what today is St. Mary's College High School near the Westbrae district of Berkeley. In the 19th century, a quarry was opened at one of the heads of Codornices Creek in the La Loma district, it was replaced by a city park in the late 1960s. Another feeder comes down from Remillard Park. Others, on private land, have lovely small waterfalls. Napoleon Bonaparte Byrne, a wealthy Missourian who crossed the plains before the Civil War, attempted to farm along the creek and built his large home on the south bank of the creek above today's Oxford Street; the Byrne family was accompanied by two freed slaves, believed to have been Berkeley's earliest African American residents. Byrne's property was acquired by Henry Berryman, a developer who in 1877 built Berryman Reservoir south of today's Codornices Park, above Euclid.
The reservoir became part of the East Bay Municipal Utility District system and was enlarged and covered, but has been drained because of fears it might rupture in an earthquake. In 2010 construction was begun on a replacement, a large tank on the site, put into service in 2013. From 1912 to 1928, a 275-foot-long wooden streetcar and road trestle spanned Codornices Creek along Euclid Avenue. In 1928, the trestle was filled in and a culvert laid through it for the creek. Codornices Creek was recognized early for its beauty. In 1914, the Berkeley City Council voted to acquire Live Oak Park as Berkeley's first "nature park." In 1915, Codornices Park was opened along the east side of Euclid Avenue. In that streetcar era, both parks had busy club houses and large picnic areas with stone fireplaces. Across Euclid from this park, the WPA constructed the Berkeley Rose Garden during the 1930s; the creek once flowed into a swimming hole below today's Henry Street, but today enters a culvert above Henry. This culvert was installed to carry the creek under the extensive fill emplaced along Henry Street by the Southern Pacific when it extended the Berkeley Branch steam line for its new East Bay Electric Lines.
Much of the material used for the fill came from the excavation of the nearby Northbrae Tunnel. For a time before the fill was emplaced, a wooden trestle spanned the creek in this locale. A steel bridge spanned a gap left in the fill over Eunice Street; the overcrossing was removed when the Key System ceased running its F-train here in 1958, more fill was added to bring the uphill portion of Eunice up to the level of Henry Street. The lower portion of Eunice now deadends at a retaining wall below Henry. Downstream, Berkeley's first zoning designated the marshy area near the creek and railroad tracks for "noxious industries." In the 1920s, the city built a garbage incinerator just south of the creek channel at Second Street, across from today's city Transfer Station. The incinerator failed, the building became a slaughterhouse. Other industries edging the creek included scrap-metal yard. Codornices Creek may have escaped burial in pipes because much of it formed the Berkeley–Albany border, making projects complicated.
It is Berkeley's most intact creek, in and out of culverts at streets. Some of the longer covered portions are below Neilson Street, San Pablo Avenue, Eastshore Highway, Interstate 80; the creek exits this last culvert into a narrow tidal slough—the remnant of the former salt marsh - that makes a right turn to follow between Golden Gate Fields Racetrack and the I-80/I-580 freeway, following the creek's original northward course to San Francisco Bay. Just south of Buchanan Street in Albany, this channel widens into a small salt marsh; this marsh in turn empties into the Albany tide flats and San Francisco Bay via four pipes under Buchanan Street. After a brief post-World War II boom, the industries that had polluted the lower creek began to wither; the University of California bought the housing, used for shipyard workers and returning G. I.s, used it for student families. Contemplating expansion, the University had creek meanders straightened in the 1960s, but i
Suisun Bay is a shallow tidal estuary in northern California. It lies at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, forming the entrance to the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, an inverted river delta. Suisun Marsh, the tidal marsh land to the north, is the largest marsh in California. Grizzly Bay forms a northern extension of Suisun Bay; the bay is directly north of Contra Costa County. The bay was named after the Suisunes, a Native American tribe of the area; the word originates with the Patwin. On the west, Suisun Bay is drained by the Carquinez Strait, which connects to San Pablo Bay, a northern extension of San Francisco Bay. In addition to the major bridges at the Carquinez Strait, it is spanned in its center by the Benicia-Martinez Bridge and at its eastern end by the State Route 160 crossing between Antioch and Oakley, it is the anchorage of the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, a collection of U. S. Navy and merchant reserve ships, created in the period following World War II; the Glomar Explorer was anchored here after recovering parts of a sunken Soviet submarine in the mid-1970s.
Many ships were sold for scrap in the 1990s. In 2010, plans were announced to remove the mothball fleet in stages, with final removal by 2017; the Central Pacific Railroad built a train ferry that operated between Benicia and Port Costa, California from 1879 to 1930. The ferry boats Solano and Contra Costa were removed from service when the nearby Martinez railroad bridge was completed in 1930. From 1913 until 1954 the Sacramento Northern Railway, an electrified interurban line, crossed Suisun Bay with the Ramon, a distillate-powered train ferry. On April 28, 2004, a petroleum pipeline operated by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ruptured reported as spilling 1,500 barrels of diesel fuel in the marshes, this was updated to about 2,950 barrels. Kinder Morgan pleaded guilty to operating a corroded pipeline and paid three million dollars in penalties and restitution. Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet Kinder Morgan Information Regarding Pipeline Release Carl Nolte. "Suisun Bay's ghost fleet may R. I. P." SF Gate