Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Here’s What San Francisco Chronicle Writer CW Nevius Gets Wrong About Our Failed Bid for the 2024 Summer OlympicsFriday, January 16th, 2015
I guess this will close out SF’s attempt to host the 2024 Olympics.
The weird thing about San Francisco’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics was that the local committee was this close to pulling off a terrific plan.
The vote was Boston 15 and San Francisco (and the other two) 0, was it not? That’s not all that close, huh? Or does he mean that the bay area’s bid was sub-terrific, like it was just one unit below being terrific? One can’t tell what the Nevius is trying to say here. San Francisco always was a long shot, right? And if SF got picked by the USOC, then it would have been a long shot to get picked by the IOC. And if the corrupt IOC had selected SF, then there was always the chance of things not working out anyway, ala the inchoate Denver 1976 Olympics. So, was this thing “close” or actually far far away? I’ll tell you, if I were the USOC, I’d tell all the boosters from all the cities how close things were and if I were the spokesmodel for SF2024, I’d tell Larry Baer how close he almost came. (“We were this close Lare-Bear!) But I’m not so I won’t. OTOH, CW Nevius got paid by the Chronicle to publish, more or less, what Nate Ballard wanted published, so here we are. “So close!”
Let’s see a show of hands. How many of you thought a temporary, pop-up $350 million Olympic stadium in the Brisbane wind tunnel was a good idea?
The IOC doesn’t want any more images of white elephants haunting them through the decades. So, in their opinion, which is the only one that matters, pop-ups might be a good thing. As far as Brisbane vs. Oakland is concerned, how could it matter? Our hosting would have ended up costing 5, 10, 15 billion dollars more than the “official” bid, right? Isn’t that the real issue?
More on Oakland:
It would not only have been a terrific solution for the Games — better weather, easy access, waterfront views — it would have penciled out financially.
This is the same Nevius who moved to town and then a few months later determined that the failed America’s Cup would come “without a downside.” But it did come with a downside, or two or three or four, right? Moving on.
And, by the way, don’t think the United States Olympic Committee wasn’t hoping to make San Francisco work. Conventional wisdom was that Los Angeles had the facilities, Boston and Washington had the East Coast bias, but San Francisco was “the sexiest.”
Why does the Nevius use the term “conventional wisdom” here? What does he mean? Is he suggesting that this view wasn’t accurate? I don’t think so. And what’s “East Coast bias?” Have the Summer Olympics ever been held on the East Coast of the United States ever in history? Nope. So there doesn’t seem to be too much bias there. Our Summer Olympicses have been held in the West (twice), the South and the Midwest. So WTF. Now, time zone-wise I can certainly see how advertisers worldwide would strongly prefer the EDT for live events, and that certainly was a factor favoring Boston. And I’ll say, that DC had no chance at all, as the IOC hates DC and all it stands for. And then the Nevius puts quote marks around “the sexiest?” Is this a an actual quote or is it merely the conventional wisdom? Hmmm
So what happened? Well, San Francisco happened. Or more specifically, the Bay Area, and particularly the fractious shenanigans in Oakland, made everyone nervous.
So, nothing happened, right? The USOC did its own polling and figured out that we don’t really want the Olympics here. That’s what happened. I wouldn’t describe that as San Francisco happened since this was and is a known known, right?
Every time someone touted the Bay Area as a location, someone else cued up the video of the Oakland protesters trashing a Christmas tree.
Whoa, Nelly! Is this literally true? Like “every time?” No, so who was actually doing this at all? Like, even once? Is the Nevius aware of the non-disparagement agreements that all the bid cities signed on to? Is he suggesting that somebody from the Boston bid “cued up” some video literally or is this a Nevius tone poem? I can’t tell. Not at all.
As one local Olympic insider suggested: “We are like the hot, crazy girl that everyone wants to sleep with. You never know what you’re going to get when you wake up in the morning.”
This quote is from Nate Ballard but he doesn’t want to own up to it? Weak. I’ll note that Nate Ballard isn’t quoted anywhere else in the Nevius bit. And did Larry Baer’s money go to somebody getting paid to talk about hot, crazy “girls” everybody wants to sleep with? That’s amazing. Anyway, this came from Nate Ballard – prove me wrong! I won’t disagree with the sentiment though. Yes, SF was the most “appealing” bid city, the city that the corrupt IOC would have the warmest feelings for, most likely.
Now make no mistake. It wasn’t just Oakland. Accounts of the years of debate and acrimony over the harmless Beach Chalet soccer fields in Golden Gate Park made the national news.
OK, so what are you saying here, Nevius? That spending money and effort trying to get the Olympics to come here is/was a bad idea, you know, considering? Is that what you mean to say, Nevius?
Nor was it helpful to hear that collecting enough signatures to get an initiative on the San Francisco ballot is incredibly easy.
So, CW Nevius from Walnut Creek doesn’t want the people of SF to be able to weigh in on spending 10, 15, 20 billion on an Olympic-sized boondoggle? Mmmm…
Suppose, for example, an initiative was passed that said no public money could be used for the Games.
Yep, that was what was coming, no doubt.
Would that mean no increase in funding for public transportation, which would be stressed for the Games? Or police and emergency services.
The answer to this question is that it doesn’t matter as such a vote would be more than enough to scare away the corrupt IOC and why would you continue along the boondoggle path after the People voted thumbs down? I mean, what kind of monster would do that? Here’s the thing – this is the IOC:
That’s in terms that CW Nevius, that white, wizened, wine-drinking, Walnut Creekian Downton Abbey fan can appreciate. In fact, the IOC is like 10-15% royal blooded, like literally. The IOC has lots of ideas about how best to spend Other People’s Money on projects to glorify the IOC. But the IOC itself can’t afford to put on the show. That’s why it forces cities to guarantee the games with taxpayer money. There’s no way ’round this. So the IOC will not grant the Games to any city that doesn’t have a guarantee that the bill for the inevitable overruns will get sent to taxpayers. This is the Denver 1976 situation. It doesn’t take all that much to scare away the IOC.
Would we ever be able to get this together? Sure. It’s possible. The timing couldn’t have been much worse this year to put something together.
So, our bid was All About Oakland? I don’t think so. Perhaps this notion is comforting to Larry Baer, but I don’t think so. Perhaps SF bidding on the Olympics is fun, but it’s a bad idea? Perhaps?
But don’t think Boston is a slam dunk to win the international bid.
Who thinks Boston is a “slam dunk?” Where does this come from?
If anything, the anti-Olympics political forces in Boston — there’s a “No Boston Olympics” coalition — are more organized and more vociferous than the little band of naysayers here.
Well, Nevius, the USOC did its own polling and it concluded that the political environment was worse here in SF. The reason why Boston’s citizen effort had a higher profile is that the bid in Boston had a higher profile, for whatever reason. And if a “little band” of naysayers would have had a very easy time winning its no-taxpayer-funds-for-the-Olympics vote, then they aren’t such a little band, right? Maybe SF doesn’t want to pay for the Olympics to come here – is that a possibility?
So now Nevius is rooting for Boston to lose the 2024 Olympics so that we can get the 2028 Olympics – that’s what Larry Baer and Nate Ballard are thinking?
OK fine, but I don’t think that’s going to work either.
CW Nevius should be able to do a better job than this.
MISSING: Steven Harris – Last Seen at the California Academy of Sciences Jan 6th – Last Ping at Market / Van NessThursday, January 8th, 2015
[UPDATE: “STEVEN HAS BEEN FOUND. He is currently with family.]
OK, here’s the report as far as I know:
Steven Harris, went missing around 11:00 AM on Tuesday, January 6th, 2015, last seen leaving his job at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. His home is in San Bruno, and his last phone ping was at Market & Van Ness. His family is trying to get any sort of media attention to help bring Steven home.
Advice for San Francisco Newcomers: What’s “Rent Control?” It’s Something You Might Want – Not Now, But Next YearFriday, January 2nd, 2015
Or not. It’s hard to say how much rent control would benefit you next year once your lease is up.
But these days, there’s a ton of SF newcomers who are just figuring out the big benefit of RC.
“Unfortunately most residents can’t afford to stay longer that 1 year. We’ve been living at Argenta for 10 months and have been very happy with the apartment. But we began to suspect that things weren’t quite right with management shortly after moving in. People we met in the elevator, lobby and our floor were all saying the same thing — rent had been raised to ridiculous heights and they were moving out. Over the last 10 months we have watched many of the tenants on our floor leave because of the rent increase.”
So that’s what you get with your brand-new building – a huge rent increase after your first year.
Generally speaking, older buildings have rent control and newer buildings do not. One exception is federal land, like Treasure Island and The Presidio. In those places, you can live in an older building but still get with huge rent increases.
Of course, it always pays to check.
Here’s a test – can you tell which places are rent controlled?
You see, it’s hard.
Hey, do you know what I’m “offended” about, you know, having to do with America’s most dangerous and slowest big city transit service, well I’m offended by how slow it is and how badly it reacts to bad behavior by its operators.
But that’s just me.
Now look at the universe of reactions that KALW permits you after people were “devastated” to see some ads on the sides of a few buses:
Or angered you.
Or made you feel threatened”
That’s it, those are your options.
Read the whole bit to see the tone and then see if you agree with me, if you want.
IMO, this bit from KALW is beyond the pale.
ASSIGNMENT DESK: Ask People Who Use the Golden Gate Park Panhandle Playground to See If It’s Really “Failing”Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
Per this bit on SocketSite, SFGov thinks it has 50 “failing” playgrounds. Does that means that all of them get an “F” grade, that they’re all basically worthless?
If you polled people who actually use the place, the grade you’d come up with is “A,” or possibly “A-,” something in that area.
I think what SFGov / RPD / all those people with clipboards from that big non-profit what’s run by the wealthy, white and wizened actually mean is that the Panhandle Playground isn’t brand-new. What they mean is that it hasn’t kept up with the latest trends in playgroundom the past decade or so due to the fact that it hasn’t been replaced the past decade.
In other words, what they’re saying is that the Panhandle Playground isn’t “world-class.”
Oh, what’s that, Parks Alliance, there were more than 2.5 pieces of litter per square meter or whatever on the day that you dropped by with your clipboards? OK, so don’t you mean that the RPD is failing then?
Oh, what’s that, Parks Alliance, you’re concerned about the health effects of “x.” You know, I don’t think you want to go there, Parks Alliance. Cause then you’d have to look at the other stuff RPD is doing lately, like, say, the Beach Chalet soccer fields. Now I’ll tell you, I’m 90%+ sure that all the things people are worried about with the new artificial turf aren’t going to turn out to be a problem, but that’s not an absolutely assurance. You could say the same for whatever it is that makes you say that four dozen playgrounds in SF are “failing.”
You know, I could take my clipboard and go up to somebody’s 2004 Honda Accord with low miles and I could say, “Oh, no sat nav – minus five points. And oh, dirty windshield – minus three points. And oh…” And then I could put the car on my list of “failing” commuter vehicles, even though the person who drives it every day M-F thinks it’s a great ride and even though it passes its smog test every year or two and even though it starts up every time without fail. Who, oh who will appoint me chairman of the “Failing Hondas Task Force?”
(Oh hey, you know what RPD is disappointed about? It’s bummed out that the Maude Flanderses and the Reverend Lovejoy’s Wifes of the 94117 haven’t formed something like the Friends of the Panhandle Playground to raise $800k or so to give to RPD, you know, the way things worked with Presidio Heights and Mountain Lake. Oh well. Sorry RPD.)
In any event, a big bag of money fell from the sky and SFGov is going to spend it the way it wants. IMO, SFGov spends too much time focusing on the aesthetic concerns of millionaires who appoint themselves to the boards of the non-profits they create.
So, go for it, send a reporter over to the Panhandle to check things out, to see why SFGov wants to spend months and months tearing out a perfectly good playground, to see why SFGov wants to scrap a Honda Accord with low miles, and a dirty windshield…
Free Kool-Aid, after the jump, drink up, it’s free, well, not really, but you’re going to end up paying for it anyway, so might as well.