SF Voters Nix Plan to Tear Down Alcatraz

Motion to transform island prison site into peace center fails
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Feb 7, 2008 5:16 PM CST
Da Vid, director of the Global Peace Foundation, walks through a sallyport toward the ruins of an officer's club on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008. Also known as The Rock, the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Alcatraz Island shouldn't be transformed into a global peace center, San Franciscan voters decided in rejecting a measure on Tuesday's ballot. Only 28% backed the non-binding proposal to convert the one-time penitentiary and tourist hotspot into a peace dome, the New York Times reports. But DaVid, the measure's main sponsor, says he's about to throw in the towel.

The island across from the Golden Gate Bridge may have housed A-list criminals like Al Capone, yet DaVid calls it "a sacred spot." The city's Republican Party calls his measure ludicrous and a needless expense for taxpayers. Alcatraz was a federal prison in 1936-63, and became a national park in 1972 following an 18-month takeover by Native American activists. (Read more California stories.)