Pelosi steps up


by Amanda Witherell

The ongoing saga at Alcatraz has finally caught the attention of Rep. Nancy Pelosi. While sewage spills and a fired whistleblower interested legislators in the State Assembly, it's labor practices and land use planning that have Pelosi concerned -- both of which have been issues since Alcatraz Cruises assumed control of the lucrative contract from Blue and Gold back in September.

photo courtesy of

Pelosi has written to the Department of the Interior's Dick Kempthorne regarding the lack of information Alcatraz Cruises and the National Park Service have provided to the Port of San Francisco on their intentions to develop Piers 31-33, which has long perturbed city officials who've been wondering how exactly that parking lot would be transformed into a state of the art visitor's center. She writes:

"The Port has repeatedly expressed concern over Alcatraz Cruises 'piecemeal' approach to the Port and not fully disclosing information needed to understand the full scope of present and long-term approvals needed from the Port..."

She also mentions that shuttles to the pier don't have handicapped access. Nice.

Pelosi, in conjunction with her California cohort, George Miller, then her attention to Elaine Chao, calling on the Secretary of Labor to ensure the prevailing wage law decision of September 15, 2006, which Alcatraz Cruises is appealing, is being applied to the non-union workers that Alcatraz Cruises employs.

Wow, Alcatraz Cruises allegations tally is getting up there... flushing the toilet into the bay, mistreating workers, spurning the city, ignoring the handicapped. Way to flaunt it, Mr. MacRae.