Posts Tagged ‘board’

So the San Francisco 2024 Olympics Bid is Based on London 2012, Which Ended with a “Surplus?” – Here’s Why That’s Wrong

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Well, here’s your set-up, from the San Francisco Chronicle:

“…San Francisco is trying to apply the model used in London in 2012. The games there were concentrated primarily in existing, temporary or shrinkable facilities and ended with a surplus…”

But that’s wrong, wrong, wrong.

Let’s travel back to 2007, via BBC News:

“The overall budget for the London Olympics submitted in the bid to the International Olympic Committee was £2.4bn.” [In Yankee Dollars, that’s $4 billion-something.]

Now let’s look at the official total of the actual cost, via BBC News:

£9.29bn  [In Yankee Dollars, that’s in the area of $14 billion-something.]

So, how can the boosters of London 2012 claim to have come in “under-budget?” Well, it’s because they simply boosted the budget almost 300% to get it above what they ended up spending, you know, Hollywood accounting* style:

“The budget was revised upwards after taking into account previously overlooked costs such as VAT, increased security… Addressing the original bid budget of £2.4bn, Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said there was a “recognition right from the word go that figure would have to change dramatically on the basis of delivering the Games”

Now let’s hear from San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, to explain things for us:

“News that the Transbay Terminal is something like $300 million over budget should not come as a shock to anyone. We always knew the initial estimate was way under the real cost. Just like we never had a real cost for the Central Subway or the Bay Bridge or any other massive construction project. So get off it. In the world of civic projects, the first budget is really just a down payment. If people knew the real cost from the start, nothing would ever be approved. The idea is to get going. Start digging a hole and make it so big, there’s no alternative to coming up with the money to fill it in.”

Also, how is building temporary stadia (stadiums?) cheaper than building permanent structures? Oh, it’s not, but at least the IOC won’t have to deal with crumbling infrastructure as an icon of the 2024 Summer Games? So, you build a white elephant, then tear it down, and then it’s like it wasn’t even there? OK fine.

I’ll tell you, there’s no way the IOC will agree to an Olympics in the Bay Area without taxpayers being on the hook for overruns. No way. The last time something like that occurred was 1984, when Los Angeles didn’t really have to compete with a host of other potential host cities around the world. Just look at what the Mayor of Chicago had to agree to in order to just be considered for the 2016 Games. (Yes, he talked about insurance policies, actual policies from insurance companies, but those wouldn’t have worked out either, for various reasons, the taxpayers of Illinois would have been on the hook for billions, had Chicago “won” the right to host.)

Do you know what SFGov considers leadership to be? Something like this, something like what Chris Columbus showed on his First Voyage:

“Columbus kept two logs of the distance traveled. The one he showed to the crew showed they had not gone as far as Columbus believed. He did not want them to think that they were too far from home.

See how that works? If you’re honest with people, then you’ll never get anywhere So that’s why lying is necessary, the SFGov people feel. The problem is the question of whether The Journey is a good idea in the first place. IMO, they should say, sure, this will cost us an extra $10 billion or so in cost overruns, but here’s why it’ll be worth it.

Oh, and this is just in, here’s Mike Sugerman:

Vegas Odds Makers: Los Angeles, Boston Have Better Shot Than San Francisco To Host 2024 Olympics

If you do the math, our odds of “winning” the title of sole potential U.S. host of the 2024 Olympics are about 17%. (These Vegas odds certainly square with my understanding. IRL, the IOC hates, just hates, the idea of having Washington DC host, and IRL, the USOC is frightened, is horrified, of fractious Bay Area politics, and, frankly, Larry Baer is the last person you want herding cats, if said cats include any city in the South Bay, where, frankly, his name is mud.)

That’s your 2024 Olympics Update.

*In Hollywood, the goal is to make a profitable venture appear to be unprofitable, the better to lower costs for the studio. OTOH, in the world of the Olympics, the goal is to show a “profit” even though expenses exceeded income. 

Here’s Why SF’s Effort to Host the 2024 Olympics Will (Probably) Fail: “Public opposition is expected to be substantial”

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

I’ll tell you, I’m less optimistic about the San Francisco Bay Area’s odds of landing the 2024 Olympics than, say, Messrs Matier und Ross:

“What’s going to matter most is who can play best at the global level against the likes of Paris and Berlin — and on that point, the Bay Area has the lead.”

(Oh, and Rome, don’t forget about Rome, Italy and all those other Euro megacities which also are in the running for the 2024 Summer Olympics and which have a tiny bit more “European flair” than the fourth largest city in California.)

(And you know, sometimes I think our local Olympic “Movement” is a mechanism to separate Larry Baer from some of his money, is a way to allow Lare Bear to dream a little Dream.)

In any event, per Phil Matier [whoo boy, I think Phil's been spun on this one, big-time, by the usual suspects] we have “the lead” in “what’s going to matter most” at today’s big USOC meeting down in San Mateo County?

I think not.

Let’s now read the news and turn the pages of the Chicago Tribune to get the real handicapping, direct from the source:

USOC chairman says odds good for 2024 Olympic bid, with single city

Let me read between the lines, if necessary.

BOSTON: A viable choice, but there’s lots of citizen opposition already.

DC: They’ll never get picked by the IOC so there’s no chance they’ll get picked by the USOC. They’re drawing dead. (Will it be a good experience sending a delegation across the country on behalf of DC? Sure, for the people that go on the junket. They’ll talk about it for years.)

SF Bay Area: Here you go:

San Francisco likely is the candidate the USOC would prefer under ideal circumstances, but the city’s fractious political atmosphere, venue questions and the number of other large Bay Area municipalities that would probably need to be involved diminishes the chance for that to happen.”It is a city that resonates with the IOC membership,” Probst said.  “There is this magical appeal about San Francisco people find compelling.” Public opposition in San Francisco is expected to be substantial.

These are problems that simply can’t be fixed in a few weeks. Hey, you know what the USOC spends a lot of its time doing over in Colorado Springs? It scans the Web looking for opposition to the Bay Area bid, it ponders how big the opposition will be, ’cause the USOC surely knows it’s coming. Now, one of the reasons we haven’t heard much opposition is that the Olympic Movement is squatting on URLs it thinks the opposition might use. Is that kosher? I think not. SF2024 talks a big game about “dreaming big,” but when the rubber meets the road, it plays hardball. Isn’t that a tad inconsistent? Similarly, Larry Baer says fuck you to the South Bay by blocking any attempt to have the A’s move down there and, all of a sudden, he’s all let’s do this thing, San Jose? Larry’s name is mud in SJ, so why should SJ sign up for its pro-rated share of the cost overruns, like a billion dollars – how’s that going to work?

LA: Front runner, babe.

(Of course, the Chairman, the Dear Leader, is also signaling to the potential US Host Cities what their weaknesses are, the better for them to offer reassurances at the big beauty contest down south this AM. It’s a dynamic situation, of course.)

Hey, how’s that $50 billion Sochi Olympics working out for Russia these days? Oh, the whole country just lost $80 billion but the Russian People are so so happy to have funded a big party for Vladimir Putin? Really?

(And that’s what the IOC did to Russia this year, the year of the IOC’s “Great” Reform.)

All right, here’s hoping that we’ll be out of the Olympic race tout de suite. Let’s hope we don’t send a bill to The Future of $10,000,000,000 in cost overruns.

That’s my Olympic Dream.

Just a Man and His Board Confronting the Angry Waves – The Endless Summer of Ocean Beach, SF, 2014

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Surf’s up:

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Absurd MUNI 21 Hayes Bus Stop Situation (7 Stops for 6 Short Blocks) is Now Slightly Less Absurd – Thx SFMTA, Srsly

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Well here’s the official notice, seen in the Western Addition just north of the Panhandle and, I might add, just after election time:

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Mind you, these aren’t big big city blocks the likes of which you’ll find in SoMA or out in the Avenues. These are small blocks chock-a-block full of bus stops. Check it, and remember that Ashbury used to have stops as well.

So hurrah for the SFMTA.

United States Olympic Committee to Meet in Redwood City on December 16th to Consider 2024 Olympics City Choice

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Well, here we go: The United States Olympic Committee is going to meet in Redwood City, CA on Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 to:

1. Announce it will* submit the name of a single* American city/region to the famously corrupt International Olympic Committee. This was supposed to happen in 2015 but things are getting pushed up.*

2. Hear the pleas from all the boosters from Boston MA, Washington DC, LA CA, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Like here’s why we’re going to have the best Olympics ever kind of thing.

The invite for low-level media should look something like this*

WHEN: X:XX PM PST, Wednesday, December 16th, 2016. The specific time may change on the day of the teleconference. Please check your e-mails to be sure you don’t miss the start of the call.
WHERE: Electronic Arts, 207 Redwood Shores Parkway, Redwood City, CA 94059
NUMBER: 1-800-XXX-XXXX
PASSCODE: XXXXXXX
WHO: Larry Probst, USOC Chairman, Scott Blackmun, USOC CEO
TOPICS: USOC Board meeting

Speaking of corruption, here’s Larry Probst toasting “Pooty,” aka Vladimir Putin:

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Yish.

Suspiciously, the boosters from these very different cities/regions are saying the 2024 Olympics will cost pretty much the same amount of money: $4.5 billion or so.

Suspiciously, the boosters from all the bid cities/regions are saying that this whole process is at “its earliest stages” or “in the first inning,” but actually, whichever American city/region that the USOC picks over the next month or so will instantly become the front-runner for getting picked by the IOC to host the 2024 Games. The problem with that is that any area that gets picked will be on the hook for the inevitable overruns. And those should be around $10,000,000,000* or so.

So that’s where we’re at, that’s your 2024 Olympics Update.

*Probably

Compare SF (Most Expensive Parking Tickets in the Western Hemisphere) with Downtown San Mateo (50 Cent/Hr Parking Meters)

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Compare A with B, as seen in the City of San Mateo:

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But the SFMTA wants more more more, so it’s hatched a plan called Prop A, to raise your rent (literally) and/or take your propertah taxes to pay for, among other things, cost overruns on the entirely unnecessary pork-barrel project called the Central Subway.

Hey, speaking of which:

“During a pair of recent presentations at city political clubs, MTA commissioner Cheryl Brinkman, arguing on behalf of Prop. A, stated that a City Attorney’s opinion concluded that, when it comes to bond language, the terms “shall” and “may” are identical.

Huh.

Brinkman now says she’s not entirely sure what she said. Multiple witnesses are more certain: ‘She did say that!’ recalls Potrero Hill Democrats president Joni Eisen.”

So, what’s going on inside Cheryl Brinkman’s head when she says stuff like this? Is it a fugue state? Is it simple lying? Or maybe somebody lied to her? Or she’s under so much pressure to keep her “job,” but what does it pay, like $100 a month and a free FastPass? And she voted FOR charging people at parking meters on Sundays only to change her mind the next year when she voted AGAINST? Oh, so the SFMTA could instead get VLF money from taxpayers, except that plan got shelved right after she voted.

If she were fired from the SFMTA and then replaced with a spineless jellyfish, how would anyone notice, how would anyone be able to tell the diff?

Allegations About the Troubles of the Koret Foundation: An $80,000 Life-Sized Mural of a Board Member?

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

This is news to me:

“Without board approval, commissioned and installed a life-size mural depicting himself and now hung inside the Koret Foundation’s new headquarters in San Francisco at a cost to the Foundation of $80,000.”

I’ll tell you, this one allegation should prolly make you never even consider starting up any kind of foundation.

And what’s the response – a general denial about how all the charges are “bogus” and an ad hominem attack against the widow of Koret?

Spokesmodel Nate Ballard could try to explain the painting / mural – like he could say how it didn’t cost $80k or how it was authorized, but he chooses not to.

OK fine.

Hey is it “erratic” to want to invite non-poor non-Jewish Willie Brown in to the Koret Foundation? Probably. But there’s a lot of erraticism going on on these charitable boards – that’s no reason for a dismissal.

All right, have at it Koret Foundation. Let’s hope the fund will be in better shape and be used for better purposes after all this gets hashed out.

All the deets;

“Lawsuit Filed by Widow of Koret Foundation Founder Demands New Independent Board to Save Half-Billion Dollar Foundation from Spending Down Assets

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The widow of Koret Foundation founder Joseph Koret has filed suit against Koret Foundation Board President Tad Taube, accusing him and the Foundation’s Board of Directors of conflicts of interest in funding pet projects that include conservative causes in the United States and charities in his native country of Poland.

The suit filed October 7, 2014 in San Francisco Superior Court by Mrs. Koret alleges that under Taube’s direction the board has ignored the priorities established by her late husband to help the poor and assist Jewish causes in the Bay Area and Israel.

Instead, her suit claims, the Koret board is using foundation funds to promote programs closely affiliated with individual board members and is purposely confusing the public by putting signage that prominently features Taube’s name alongside the Koret Foundation name on buildings and grants for which the Koret Foundation is the principal funder.

“Defendants’ duty of loyalty to the Foundation has been corrupted by these directors’ close affiliations with many of the Foundation’s recent grants, resulting in tens of millions of dollars distributed due to self-interest,” according to the lawsuit.

(more…)

Koret Foundation Board vs. Mrs. Koret – Open Letter Labels Her Erratic, Unfit to be Lifetime Chair

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

The question in this case is how the board is spending the money. Perhaps somebody should look into that.

As far as whether Susan Koret is as crazy as 7/8ths of the board is making her out to be, well, that’s not the real issue.

Read the board’s letter below and then read Mrs. Koret’s side of the story here.

And let me just say, “Mmmm…”

In the late 1970s Taube convinced the Korets, who had no children, to donate their estate to charity.”

Here it is:

An Open Letter from the Koret Foundation Board of Directors

October 8, 2014

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

We are seven of the eight Directors of the Koret Foundation Board of Directors, and have served alongside the eighth, Ms. Susan Koret, for decades. Today, we write withone voice to express our regret regarding the actions Ms. Koret has taken in filing litigation against her fellow members of the Koret Foundation Board of Directors as well asthe Foundation.

We are each honored to be a part of advancing the local, national and global work of the Koret Foundation. We are also proud of the fact that the Foundation has provided $500 million in grants to non-profit organizations, and the majority of our funding has been dedicated to supporting the vulnerable and disadvantaged, children, families and the elderly. Our purpose is and will remain to support Jewish organizations worldwide, and to improve the quality of life for all the residents of the Bay Area community.

Ms. Koret has voted in full support of 95% of the grant decisions the Foundation has made. We are dismayed that she is now suing in disagreement with these very same decisions. She now makes vicious and unfounded personal attacks on her colleagues.

We believe Ms. Koret is taking these actions in an aggressive attempt to take over the assets of the Foundation. Alarmingly, her behavior has also become increasingly confused and erratic, and it is clear that Ms. Koret is unable to fulfill her duties as a Director.

We, the undersigned, unanimously decided to file a cross-complaint in order to respond swiftly and accurately to Ms. Koret’s false allegations. It is our hope that this matter will be resolved quickly. In the meantime, we assure you that the important humanitarian work of the Koret Foundation will continue, despite the attempted disruption by Ms. Koret.

Sincerely,

Tad Taube
Robert Friend
Koret Foundation Board President
President, Howard Properties of San Francisco
 
 
Michael Boskin
Anita Friedman
Koret Foundation President-Elect and Tully M. Friedman Professor of Economics, Stanford University; Senior Fellow,
Koret Foundation President-Elect
Hoover Institution; and Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research
Richard L. Greene
Richard Atkinson
Founding Partner, Greene, Radovsky, Maloney, Share & Hennigh
President Emeritus, University of California and Chancellor
Emeritus, University of California, San Diego
Abraham Sofaer
 
George P. Shultz Distinguished Scholar and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

Word on the Street: Instead of Fillmore, “Fill-No-More”

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

As seen on Fillmore Street in the Fillmore, home of the failed Fillmore Jazz District, brought to you by our horrible, failed Redevelopment Agency and SPUR, the urban renewal people:

On it goes…

Oh, here’s my message to those SPUR people:

Instead of doing something, just stand there.

Kite-Boarders, PG&E Tower, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay

Friday, August 8th, 2014

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