Food

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

In Photos: The Bay Area's Dungeness Crab Trade

by Bert Johnson
Wed, Jan 14, 2015 at 12:28 PM

For this week's feature story, Shell-Shocked, photographer Bert Johnson followed the path of the Bay Area's favorite crustacean from the rough sea near Half Moon Bay, to working docks along San Francisco's Embarcadero, and finally to the kitchen of Camino, in Oakland's Grand Lake district. The hardest part was deciding which photos to print. Since there were so many to choose from, here are some of the outtakes.
The cold coastal waters of Northern California pose a challenge during crab season, which brings rough weather to the region.
  • The cold coastal waters of Northern California pose a challenge during crab season, which brings rough weather to the region.
On days when swells are high, fewer fishermen go out to check their crab pots.
  • On days when swells are high, fewer fishermen go out to check their crab pots.
If bad weather persists, the biodegradable ropes that hold a pot closed will disintegrate, allowing the catch to escape.
  • If bad weather persists, the biodegradable ropes that hold a pot closed will disintegrate, allowing the catch to escape.
feature_crabfishing_marcalley_creditbertjohnson-15.jpg
Alley's boat, the Ronna Lynn, is much smaller than most commercial fishing craft.
  • Alley's boat, the Ronna Lynn, is much smaller than most commercial fishing craft.
Marc Alley, a veteran crab fisherman.
  • Marc Alley, a veteran crab fisherman.
Wholesale facilities, like this one owned by Monterey Market at Pier 33, have large seawater tanks for crab storage. Each of these can hold 1,000 pounds of crab and there are three onsite.
  • Wholesale facilities, like this one owned by Monterey Market at Pier 33, have large seawater tanks for crab storage. Each of these can hold 1,000 pounds of crab and there are three onsite.
San Francisco's Pier 45, located next to Fishermen's Wharf, is still an important stop for commercial crab vessels like this one.
  • San Francisco's Pier 45, located next to Fishermen's Wharf, is still an important stop for commercial crab vessels like this one.
Alley says the advantage of his boat's size is increased speed and maneuverability, which allows him to fish in worse weather than larger boats. Here, his deckhand watches for buoys that mark the location of pots.
  • Alley says the advantage of his boat's size is increased speed and maneuverability, which allows him to fish in worse weather than larger boats. Here, his deckhand watches for buoys that mark the location of pots.
Local restaurants that specialize in Dungeness crab prepare the delicacy in a variety of ways. At Camino, they are seasoned and roasted over coals.
  • Local restaurants that specialize in Dungeness crab prepare the delicacy in a variety of ways. At Camino, they are seasoned and roasted over coals.
Dungeness crab's popularity is justly deserved, but its fame comes at the price of artificially limited availability.
  • Dungeness crab's popularity is justly deserved, but its fame comes at the price of artificially limited availability.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Must Reads: AC Transit Kills Bus Transfers; Kernighan Pushes to Tighten Campaign Finance Rules

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. AC Transit is eliminating 25-cent bus transfers effective Tuesday and is replacing them with a $5 day pass that allows unlimited trips, the CoCo Times$ reports. AC Transit also is reducing regular bus fares from $2.10 per trip to $2.00 if riders pay with a Clipper card. The changes are expected to speed up bus service, because they eliminate the need for passengers to purchase tickets each time they ride. But some passenger groups are upset, because the $5 pass likely will increase costs for some riders.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday Must Reads: State Senate Votes to Raise Minimum Wage to $13 by 2017; Legislature Kills Fracking Ban and GMO Labeling

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The state Senate approved legislation that would raise the minimum wage in California from $8 an hour to $13 an hour by 2017, the LA Times$ reports. The bill, authored by Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco, would increase the minimum wage to $11 an hour on January 1, 2015, and then to $12 an hour the following year, before rising to $13 on January 1, 2017. The minimum wage would then increase each year thereafter based on the cost of living. The legislation is now in the Assembly.

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Court Ruling Could Help Delta and Fish

by Joaquin Palomino
Fri, Mar 7, 2014 at 12:48 PM

After decades of litigation, a court ruling this week could help save the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and protect endangered fish. A Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled that the state Department of Water Resources didn't adequately analyze the environmental impacts of the Kern Water Bank — the largest underground water-banking operation in the country — before privatizing the agency in 1994 under a deal known as the Monterey Agreement.

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Got Sugar? Retailers More Likely to Sell Sugary Drinks than Milk

by Madeleine Key
Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Stores that sell food and beverages in Alameda County and throughout the state are far more likely to sell sugary drinks than low- or non-fat milk, according to a new study from a division of the California Department of Public Health. The study revealed that only 34.9 percent of such stores sell low- or non-fat milk (compared to 37.2 percent statewide), while 59.1 percent sell sugary drinks near their check-out stands (compared to 56.9% statewide).

But that's not the only disturbing details from the new study.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: Two Men Convicted of Killing Tribune Photographer; Scientists Bewildered By Massive Decline in Butterfly Population

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A jury convicted two Oakland men of second-degree murder in the death former Oakland Tribune photographer Lionel Fluker, Bay Area News Group$ reports. Fluker, who also was a former freelancer for the Express, was killed by a stray bullet in East Oakland last year during a gun battle between Donel Poston, 37, and Joe McNeely, 38, both of Oakland. Poston and McNeely had claimed that they were shooting at each other in self-defense, but the jury concluded that they were attempting to murder each other when Fluker was caught in the crossfire. The two men face possible life sentences.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ninth Circuit Rejects Oyster Farm's Appeal

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 10:20 AM

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a request from a controversial oyster farm to overturn a previous court ruling that ordered the business to close. Drakes Bay Oyster Company had asked the full Ninth Circuit to hear its appeal after a three-judge panel of the same court ruled against the oyster business last year. The latest ruling means that the only way the oyster farm would be able to remain open is if it seeks and is granted a hearing in front of the US Supreme Court. Chances of that happening, however, appear to be slim after the oyster farm's request for appeal was rejected by the entire Ninth Circuit — not a single judge asked to hear the case.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday Must Reads: FDA Attempts to Limit Factory Farm Antibiotics; Asiana Crash Probe Focuses on Pilot Error

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The FDA has finally decided to try to curb the use of antibiotics in factory farms nationwide in an attempt to stem the growth of antibiotic-resistant super bugs that kill 23,000 Americans each year, the Chron reports. Big Agribusinesses have long used antibiotics to prevent livestock that stand shoulder-to-shoulder in their own excrement from getting sick. But studies have shown that this practice creates super bugs that when transferred to humans cannot be treated. Some environmentalists, however, are criticizing the FDA’s plan as being too weak because it’s a voluntary program.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Federal Budget Cuts Will Cause More People to Go Hungry This Holiday Season

by Madeleine Key
Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Federal budget cuts scheduled to take effect this Friday will cost Alameda County residents about $1.24 million in food stamp benefits, forcing many East Bay families to go hungry this holiday season. According to data from Feeding America, a national nonprofit, the cuts to the nation’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (commonly known as the food stamps progam) will result in 453,922 fewer meals a month for the 124,000 East Bay residents served by the program.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Hidden Costs of Fast Food

by Adelyn Baxter
Tue, Oct 15, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Fast food workers and supporters marched into a Wendy’s on International Boulevard in Oakland Tuesday chanting “Fifteen dollars and a union!” in an effort to gain awareness for the millions working long hours in the fast food industry for low-wages and no benefits. The demonstration coincided with the release of a new study by UC Berkeley and University of Illinois researchers that found that the low wages paid by fast-food companies make their employees reliant on national public assistance programs and cost taxpayers nearly $7 billion each year.

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