Bay Area

Alcatraz prison closed 50 years ago today

alcatraz-aerial.jpgThe last federal inmates — 27 "pale, quiet men" — left the island in San Francisco Bay by boat for transfer to other prisons. Alcatraz had held the Los Angeles mobster Mickey Cohen until a month earlier. The crumbing prison was abandoned after a couple of escape tries and the increasing costs of maintaining a high-security institution reachable only by boat. Nice history piece at the San Francisco Chronicle, talking to a former guard and former inmate.

Also in our Bay Area report: The damage from a March 8 fire at Berkeley landmark Chez Panisse is worse than first thought. An April 15 target date for reopening is not realistic.


More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent Bay Area stories on LA Observed:
An Angelena adopts Palo Alto but misses home
Why LA missed the new economy
Remembering his days at the Bay Guardian
Why I love LA and the Bay Area
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