Posts Tagged ‘Boondoggle’

The Most Ignored Person in the World Has Got To Be This “Pedestrian Monitor” for the Central Subway Boondoggle

Friday, March 29th, 2013

This is the scene down at 4th and Market, where the Big Dig West Coast Central Subway project is, well, digging big these days.

San Francisco’s horrible pedestrians want to get across the northern side of the intersection and it’s this person’s job to stop them from doing so.

It’s not working. Check it out sometime.

But don’t laugh at sad sack Charlie Brown here – the Theory of Prevailing Wages ensures that he makes more moolah than you:

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In closing, San Francisco pedestrians are the worst in the world just saying.

America’s Cup Confidential: “Team Korea” Has Exactly Zero Koreans On It – How Does That Make Any Sense?

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Answer: It doesn’t.

Let’s meet the team – there’s a white boy, a white boy, a white boy, a white boy, and a white boy:

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Hey, why don’t they call themselves Team North Korea, cause, you know, that would be just as accurate.

Or, indeed, Team Kyrgyzstan, you know, whatever.

(There was an idea to have actual Koreans on Team Korea. First, it was going to be 30% Korean, and then 15% and then after those proposals got shot down we’re back to the original requirement of 0% Korean. And if you think China Team is Chinese, well…)

Oh what’s that, it’s where the boat was made is what counts? But isn’t this a spec race with all the boats basically the same?

The World Wonders.

Now, speaking of Team Korea, let’s check in:

You’ll note that this Tweet was “promoted” by purported Korean Mark Bulkeley, so that his banal message would go out to more than just his few dozen Followers. One could assume that one Markie B. was paying some hard-earned won or quid or whatever they use for money wherever he’s from or pretends he’s from, but he says he Tweets his unsolicited Tweets at no charge.

Perhaps the City and County of San Francisco is picking up the Tweeting bills of all the “professional sailors” involved in the America’s Cup scrimmage races?

Speaking of which, how much is each Sailor costing San Francisco taxpayers? About $100,000, $200,000 each? It’s like welfare for the “sailing community,” huh?

Speaking of which, isn’t the America’s Cup a big disappointment already? I think it is.

So it’s “NASCAR on the bay” complete with faked incidents for the cameras (like last year’s pitchpole near Alcatraz – that’s the first thing they show on the broadcast that nobody wants to pay for) and yet still nobody’s interested.

OK fine.

P.S. Nobody cares about anything related to the America’s Cup, you’ll see. They had a scrimmage down in San Diego not too long ago and nobody showed. Anyway, this whole deal is kind of a fraud. You’ll see.

Citizen Kane Had His Rosebud, Of Course, So Is This Little Boat Larry Ellison’s Version? America’s Cup to Cost Us Nine Figures

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Here’s a spoiler alert from 1941 – it’s Rosebud, a small sled that was a symbol of a billionaire’s lost childhood, or something.

Now, here’s the updated version. It involves King Larry Ellison. Here’s his Rosebud, found in the Marina District:

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So Larry, of course, now likes boats.

And that’s going to end up costing us a bunch of money over the next century.

Oh well.

Who’s going to stop him from taking our children’s money?

I know not.

To review:

Larry Ellison of Oracle wants us to pay him and give him land so that San Francisco can be forced to watch his little boat race:

Oh, wait, that’s not Larry Ellison, here he is, flipping off the competition as he sails by on his big boat.


“I win! I win! I’m King Larry.”

Hurray Larry! We all love you, Larry! All your ex-wives let you down, but it wasn’t your fault, Larry, it was all their fault, you’re the greatest, Larry!

Mmmm.

When Eric Cartman saved South Park he wanted just one reward – he wanted to play with his toy truck, but, also, he wanted another child to be forced to watch. See?


In this image, the toy truck is the America’s Cup, Cartman is Ellison, and Kyle back there, he’s the people of San Francisco, sold down the river, once again.

So, if you’re getting pressured to “donate” to Larry’s little boat race to “help the town” or whatever, that’s fine, do it if you want. You’ll be sure to get access to the “V.I.P.” tent or whatever and you’ll get some swag like a souvenir windbreaker or something, that’s fine.

Good for you.

But why are we paying to be forced to watch Larry fix a boat race so that he can win it again?

I know not.

 

Central Subway Boondoggle UPDATE: “Rescue MUNI” Sells Out But “Save MUNI” Remains on the Case

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Here’s the latest from Save MUNI:

“Central Subway Boondoggle  =  Waste and Inefficiency

A Vibrant Citywide Muni System  =  Revival and Value”

But those sellouts at Rescue MUNI (who with regularity have the gall to complain about Save MUNI), or most of them, anyway, think that the politically-motivated Central Subway is A-OK as it is.

But You Make The Call.

Here’s Rescue MUNI’s “CS Fact Sheet,” which basically tears apart a straw dog, and here’s Save MUNI:

“SaveMuni.com Comments:

CENTRAL SUBWAY AUDIT

On November 15, 2011,  the Transportation Authority held a hearing on the new MTA Audit and ignored the Audit’s 46-page “Appendix VI: Central Subway Project”.  Several press articles reported that the Audit examined 29 construction projects, excluding the Central Subway Project.  But in fact, the “Limited Scope Performance Audit” evaluated the Subway’s financial risks—although it did not study transit effectiveness because of the contract’s limited scope.

MTA & CENTRAL SUBWAY AUDIT:  Central Subway, Pages 171-217.

http://www.sfcta.org/images/stories/Executive/Meetings/board/2011/11nov15/CGR%20Audit%20Report%20(Scanned).PDF

Auditors may be constrained in their criticism—especially when the scope of work is narrow and their client is a likely future customer.  But reading between the lines, the Audit forewarns of potential future fiscal troubles. SOME HIGHLIGHTS:

  • ·    “The potential for variation in the final cost of the project is large” (Page 172):  The Audit expands on the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) concerns about construction and financial risks.  In the context of the Audit’s study of 29 MTA construction projects and their delays/ cost escalations, past performance is an indicator of future risks.
  • ·    “The Central Subway Project is the highest risk project that the SFMTA has undertaken” (Page 184):  The Audit expands on the FTA’s concerns.
  • ·    “There is a 30% likelihood of the total project cost in year of expenditure dollars being equal to or less than $1,578 million” (Page 185).  The audit couches potential cost overruns in terms of financial probability theory.  Although construction contingency dollars and schedules have been increased, the history of large infrastructure projects, in the Bay Area and throughout the United States, shows astronomical cost overruns and unpredictability—within the same financial/ management models.  Moreover, in latest project budgets, contingency dollars appear to have decreased.
  • ·    “A study of the funds required for maintaining the state-of-good-repair expenditures revealed that SFMTA’s total assets on the FTA’s Condition Code were above the 2.5 out of 5 minimum required by the FTA” (Page 197).  With the current $1.9 billion in deferred maintenance and $1.6 billion in budget deficits over the next 20 years, MTA should have already devoted higher expenditures to maintain assets in a state of repair.  Instead, the Central Subway will only lead to more service cuts, life-safety threats and draconian revenue hikes—unless the project is halted.
  • ·    “However, full funding is not guaranteed and the availability of funds when needed may still be an issue” (Page 198).  Officials and the citizenry are increasingly scrutinizing the Central Subway’s data falsifications and misrepresentations—while the FTA reviews the final application and the State of California faces increasing budget deficits and bond indebtedness. 
  • ·    “The Audit Team is not aware of consequences for the [MTA] Board or the Board Members if performance is unsatisfactory, nor are there any criteria that define what constitutes unsatisfactory performance” (Page 210).  By the Central Subway’s estimated completion date in 2019, most elected officials will not be in office and many MTA staff will be retired.  History indicates that it’s too easy to spend other people’s money.  The political benefits and quid pro quo of large infrastructure projects outweigh actual transportation benefits.  Unless the MTA Board, staff, consultants, Supervisors and Mayor bear some personal liability, taxpayers will be singularly liable for future cost overruns and crippling deficits. 
  • ·    “Now, at the half-way point in the project, the cost estimates at completion are approximately double that at initiation” (Page 213).  Again, past performance is an indicator of future performance.
  • ·    “[SFMTA] will comply with Prop K policies to delay the expenditure of Prop K funds to the extent possible without putting the project at risk” (Page 271).  However, the Subway’s budgets show $72 million of Prop K funds will be expended in the next two years.  The recent MTA contract for tunnel boring machines usurped $57 million of Prop K sales tax funds—in lieu of restoring service cuts or improving citywide Muni.

Central Subway Boondoggle  =  Waste and Inefficiency

A Vibrant Citywide Muni System  =  Revival and Value

 Regards,

www.SaveMuni.com”  

Choose or lose!