Posts Tagged ‘boston’

SMILES EVERYONE! The United States Olympic Committee is Coming to SF Nov 24th or 25th – A Secret “Private” Meeting

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Smiles everyone, smiles. Why? Because we all need to look our best when the United States Olympic Committee road show beauty contest comes to town on either Monday, November 24th or Tuesday, November 25th, 2014. If we “win,” there’s a good chance that we’ll end up with the 2024 Olympiad.

I was thinking we were overdue for a visit and it turns out we were:

“The USOC has already vetted LA, and was due in DC Wednesday. San Francisco will be visited early next week.”

And who will meet with Scott Blackmun and the USOC, that get-fresh crew from Colorado Springs? IDK, it’s a secret! And certainly you yourself, Gentle Reader, ARE NOT invited, ’cause it’ll be a “private” meeting. Of course, you’ll be “invited” to pay for any “overages” (typically, they run into the eleven-figure territory) but that will down the road a bit.

And where will they meet? IDK, it’s a secret! Oh well.

They could be anywhere, so make sure to smile at any and all tourists you see.

Now here’s the thing about smiles and here’s why democracies just aren’t into the Olympics all that much anymore. This is an actual demand from the corrupt International Olympic Committee:

IOC members shall be greeted with a smile when arriving at their hotel.

This is the kind of greeting the Olympics people want:

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Of course, the USOC isn’t corrupt the way the IOC is, but the question is why we’re even considering hosting the 2024 Olympics in the first place.

Shouldn’t San Franciscans have a vote on this matter? Mmmm…

Shouldn’t smart, skeptical people be invited to this meeting instead of just having the naive boosters who are happy to be on Another Committee? Mmmm…

San Francisco 2024 Olympics Roundup: Reaction to Today’s Big Push in the Pages of the SF Chronicle

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Well, today’s the big day for the bid to have the 2024 Olympics in the Bay Area.

San Francisco puts in chips for 2024 Olympics by John Coté

1. Obviously, an Olympics in the bay area would be good news for the San Francisco Chronicle. Obvs. I mean, that goes without saying, right? See the editorial below. I mean, they learned us this in Economics, case studies of media support for Olympics past.

2. What’s this?

“We have a lot of reverence for the Olympics … but there may be some ways to modernize the Games or do it a little differently,” said Giants President and CEO Larry Baer…

Sounds like Larry’s been looking at opinion polls. You know, Lare-Bear, the other option is to simply let authoritarian regimes host them from now on.

3. Gee, I really think “improvements” should be in quote marks here:

“Plenty of uncertainty remains, however, including whether improvements to housing, transportation and other infrastructure are worth the cost of hosting the Games.”

4. Is this right, our we still in the first inning?

Baer acknowledges that their effort is still in “the first inning,” even after a months-long exploratory process that included meeting with U.S. Olympic officials in July.

I’d say we’re in the seventh inning stretch. This contest will be all over in a month or two. After that, the only question will be whether America gets the Games in 2024.  This “first inning” stuff is spin spin spin.

5. Here’s the start of some nice OTOH grafs:

“It looks more and more like a boondoggle,” said Andrew Zimbalist, economics professor at Smith College in Massachusetts and author of the upcoming book “Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and World Cup.” “It’s a very difficult calculus to make work for you,” Zimbalist said. “The modern Olympics costs billions and billions of dollars to host. The recent evidence we have is that it does not increase tourism, even during the Games.”

6. But this part here is false:

Private funding from international corporate sponsorships, ticket sales and local sponsorships would cover operating costs that Baer projected at about $4.5 billion.

How does John Cote know that operating costs will be covered? He doesn’t.

7. And what a coincidence that our budget and Boston’s are exactly the same! Who’s cribbing from whom?

Boston has a similar cost projection of $4.5 billion for hosting the 2024 Games, a number Zimbalist dismissed as “a nonsense figure.” “They don’t know what they’re talking about,” Zimbalist said.

This is a nice, strong statement. One would expect the cost overage to run from something like 200% to 500% – something in that territory.

8. Uh, the America’s Cup was a “boon” to which industries?

Last year’s America’s Cup was a boon to certain businesses but…” 

I can’t think of a one, honestly. A “boon,” really?

9. Here we go:

Olympic bid leaders aren’t touting the Games’ economic benefits, but rather the ability to rally a region around tackling some of its major problems — transportation and housing — while improving San Francisco’s marginalized southeast corner.

So, if we want to help black people in the southeast, why don’t we simply give them the $4.5 billion and be done with things?

10. And here’s your stinger:

“Olympians,” said Cribbs, “are just ordinary people who do extraordinary things.”

 Sometimes, I suppose. Other times, it’s like this:

Moving on… to this:

OPINION – Solid start to Bay Area bid for 2024 Olympic Games – San Francisco Chronicle

11. Whoo boy:

At the top of the list is a pledge that they will not be asking for any direct public subsidies in what is expected to become a $4.5 billion venture if San Francisco were to become the first U.S. city to host the Summer Games since Atlanta in 1996.

Didn’t we just through this with the America’s Cup? Who’s pledging that there will be no public subsidies? This is laughable.

12. Whoo boy redux:

“We’re trying to take all the lessons learned, not just from other Olympics but what we learned from America’s Cup,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, adding, “We’re going to be smart about it.”

This is what everybody says every two years. What makes 2024 different?

13. Whoo boy redux II, Electric Boogaloo:

This region’s diversity, appeal as an international destination and leadership in technological innovation would make it a perfect fit for an Olympic Games — as long as it’s done our way, with sensibility and sustainability. The framework of this fledgling bid is very encouraging

The Olympics in the Bay Area would be good for some and not good for others. The Chronicle says we should do things “our” way, but we’re following the well-worn path of countless others. Any “sensible” Olympics proposal from the bay area would get rejected by the IOC, so that option’s not really on the table, now is it?

And here comes CW Nevius, a bit off-message:

Bay Area’s Olympic dreams focused on landfill near Candlestick by C.W. Nevius

14. Ah, Nevius. Let’s watch him beg for access right here on Twitter. A bit unseemly, IMO. And then he goes on about the weather / climate. That’s the least of our problems, right?

15. Remember that stuff from Larry Baer up above about us being in “the first inning?” Forget all that:

It could work, but it would need buy-in — and soon 

I’m not sure why the Neve is so negatory on Brisbane. I think it could “work” as well as any other location.

Anyway, for some reason, the boosters picked today to have a Big Push in the Chronicle.

We’ll see how it goes.

Onward They Charge:

apocalypse3-copy

Boston and D.C. Just Had Private Meetings with Olympic Officials – Will SF Have One Too Today or Tomorrow?

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Or perhaps next week?

Check it, Boston just had its big meeting with the USOC, and DC had its yesterday.

What comes next on the list? SF and LA, right?

Now look at how many people were involved with this process in Boston two days ago.

If something similar were to happen in San Francisco, we’d have leaders from Stanford, UCB, UCSF, UCOP, ETC, and a bunch of Mayors from all over the bay area, gathering to meet with USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun.

I’m thinking our meeting will have a lot fewer people, as it’s still a secret, AFAIK.

And also, we seem to far behind Boston in terms of a public conversation.

The bogus I’m-the-Mayor-and-I-was-skeptical-at-first-but-now… pivot has already occurred in Boston a while back. Given the reputation of the Olympics process these days, the best way for the PR people promoting this coming fiasco to handle things is to have a kind of campaign like THIS IS NOT YOUR FATHER’S OLDSMOBILE or THAT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE A BUICK.

Anyway, it doesn’t look like the Public, La Raza, will be involved in this process anytime soon.

Oh well.

Why is the Threat of Getting Stuck with the 2024 Olympics a Big Deal in Boston, But a Nothingburger in SF? Plus, a Female CW Nevius!

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

The possibility of America hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics is the talk of the town in Boston these days.

And there’s a lot of activity coming out of Los Angeles as well.

And look, Washington DC too.

But in San Francisco, there’s nothing like any of that.

Why?

I don’t know why the conversation in SF is so far behind.

I mean we made it past a bunch of other cities to get to the Final Four, but has there been anything discussed regarding a cost estimate? Like how many tens of billions of dollars it will cost us?

Nope.

This is a mystery to me.

There are all sorts of possibilities…

The danger is San Francisco getting the nod from the USOC and then the USOC beating out all the other OC’s of the world and then bam, the Bay Area will be hosting the 2024 Games.

What are the odds of that? IDK. Some Boston boosters appear to be very confident, but others say that the choice will end up being either LA or SF.

So it could be that San Francisco JUST ISN”T THAT INTO IT?  But then why have we made it this far along the process already and why is a/the web guy for the San Francisco Giants spending so much time on the clock building out the inchoate official 2024SF bid website? Would it be for the sake of the next effort, for 2028?

Mmmm…

All right, now I promised you a Female CW Nevius and here she is, poms poms in hand. Of course, she is supporting the Boston bid and CW Nevius is supporting the San Francisco bid, but they’re completing their assigned roles in exactly the same way. (BTW, am I a “naysayer,” a hater who wants to hate on people’s fun? Well then, how do the boosters look to me? A bunch of vapid cheerleaders who are unafraid to get mixed up in all the Olympic corruption, the bribery, the pay-offs, the reduction in tourism and who are unafraid to spend tens of billions of Other People’s Money on the off chance, perhaps five or ten percent, that things will all work out, don’t you believe in THE DREAM?)

Anyway, I know/ there’s something going on/ there’s something going on/ there’s something going on, but I just don’t know what it is…

Olympocalypse Now: The Time to Kill the 2024 San Francisco Olympics Idea is 2014 – New “NoSFOlympics” Site is Live

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Here are the Four Horse People of the Olympocalypse, these are the ringwraiths who recently rode to Colorado to promote the idea of inflicting the Olympics upon the San Francisco Bay Area in 2024:

apocalypse3 copy

Read all about it at the new No SF Olympics website and NoSFOlympics Twitter. (I’ll tell you, Boston is way ahead of us this go-around. Its official pro-Olympics site is extensive and the concomitant NoBostonOlympics site / Twitter account are similarly active.)

Is it a probability that the Olympics will come to the Bay Area in 2024? No, not at all. But certainly it’s a possibility.

Remember the failed America’s Cup? It had an organizing committee as well, and you’d bump into its members all over town – how proud they were. You’d see them at Costco #144 in SoMA – so what are you working on these days, well I’m on the America’s Cup Committee and… So proud they were! And then they ended up costing us eight figures in cashola after all the promises and reassurances evaporated, after the team that got caught cheating won anyway, after a poorly-designed and/or poorly-maintained catamaran killed an Olympian.

And yet they thought they were Doing Good For San Francisco.

It’s the same thing now with the Olympics except we’re looking at an eleven-figure loss instead of just an eight-figure loss – the impact could be a thousand times worse.

You know, these people just seem to like Doing New Stuff. For instance, here’s Larry Baer hanging out a half-decade back at the debut of the failed UFL. Did he run away from this questionable venture? Oh no. He was quite interested in this quixotic attempt to compete against the NFL. Why? Because it was Something New.

Who knows, maybe the San Francisco Bid Committee will shut down operations next week. OTOH, maybe it will launch its website and there will be a big push, all of sudden, after flying under the radar with people saying, well, I don’t even know if this is a good idea in the first place.

The citizens of the Bay Area should be prepared for both possibilities.

Now MUNI is Supporting the Oakland Raiders? And is “EQUALITY FOR ALL” Political? How About “HOUSING FOR ALL?”

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

So I can understand how SFMTA MUNI DPT SFBC puts up GO GIANTS! and GO BULLS! (the local hockey team) and even GO 49ERS!, but what about ads for teams that aren’t even in the towns that MUNI serves like GO WARRIORS! and, indeed, GO RAIDERS!

Thusly:

Click to expand

So what’s next?

Will Ed Reiskin put up FAIR HARVARD?

Will Ron Conway have something put up like “We Stand With Boston?

The point is that MUNI doesn’t have any standards, it just puts up whatever it wants for whatever reason.

Of course, this year we saw a lot of EQUALITY FOR ALL during Pride so why not next year have something like “HOUSING FOR ALL?”

So asks blogger Mike Petrelis and the B.A.R.

(BTW, when MUNI spokesmodel Paul Rose says something like, “I will be sure to include your request for consideration,” what he really means is FUUUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUU, GO TO HELL..)

We’ll just have to wait and see how this one goes…

“We Stand with Boston”

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

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Sucker Watch: Most Participants Won’t Pay to Enter the 2013 Bay to Breakers Fun Run So Why Should You?

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Oh, you are a sucker. Well, then be my guest – pay $48 for a number. And actually, and you’ll enjoy this, sucker, it’s already too late to get a good deal on registration for 2013. Prices be higher now.

Most people who aren’t professional runners  don’t pay and here’s a good reason not to pay:

Your money goes directly to “Christian Billionaire” Philip Anschutz.

And then he takes your $$$$$ and uses it to, over the years, oppose the concept of evolution and fund anti-gay efforts.

(It’s funny that he even took an interest in this historic fun run and street party but he likes running so there y0u go.)

The reason that organizers won’t say how many “bandits” show up for the party is because they don’t want you to think that most people don’t pay.

But, IRL, most people don’t pay.

If you don’t believe me then take a NSFW look right here.

How many bibs do you see? Every year they say they will eject all these people and every year they don’t actually do it.

Now the San Francisco Nike Womens Marathon is different. You see, they give out coveted awards and people just can’t help themselves. And then stuff like this happens; “NO BIB NO BIB NO BIB!

But B2B aint like that.

One difference this year will be a limit on the size of the bags you might carry.

It’s like the size of Fook Mi’s backpack, best I can imagine.

Click to expand

All right, have a great 2013 B2B.

And if you want to pay money to somebody, just take whatever your reg fee is and give it to Pride or whatever.

End Of Line.

Uh Oh, San Franco-Based Uber Cab is in Trouble Again: Now Getting Sued in Massachusetts for Retaining Drivers’ Tips

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Apparently, if you have your UberCab driver pahk the cah at Hahvahd Yahd, the tip you pay for that service doesn’t all go to the Uber taxi driver. Deets below.

Is that kind of a setup illegal? I don’t know but we’ll find out soon enough.

Oh Uber Taxi, will you ever win?

Now when Uber drivers aren’t Ubering, they’re illegally picking up people off the street like the drivers of all these vehicles were trying to do on Sacramento last year:

Click to expand

Uber Cab/

Uber Cab/

It IS your fault

All the deets:

“High-tech car service Uber faces more accusations

Lawsuit alleges labor law violations

BOSTON, Feb. 7, 2013  – A class-action lawsuit filed in US District Court last week alleges car service Uber Technologies Inc. is violating state law prohibiting employers from keeping tips earned by employees.

The suit, filed by a driver for Uber, is another strike against the upstart high-tech car service that has prompted legal and regulatory crackdowns in other cities.

“Uber’s practice of keeping a large portion of the drivers’ tips is both deceptive to the customers, who expect that the drivers get to keep the gratuities that they have given them, and blatantly in violation of Massachusetts law,” said Hillary Schwab of Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C., one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs.

The suit comes on the heels of similar action taken by drivers in Chicago and regulations for smartphone applications in the car service industry recently proposed by the International Association of Transportation Regulators. Those proposals, released in November, would curtail the use of GPS devices as a substitute for a taxi meter, prohibit drivers without proper licensing from offering rides for pay, and bar car services from charging extra during hours of peak demand. IATR said its intention was to “bring rogue applications into compliance.” The proposals would have to be adopted by local state and city regulators. New York City, meanwhile, has drafted even more stringent regulations.

Boston fleet owners have said that if smart phone applications in the car service industry are to become standard there still must be uniform rules regarding their use.

In the most recent case, a driver for Uber, David Lavitman, of Milton, alleges Uber kept his tips. He said customers are regularly assessed a 20 percent gratuity but that the company retains as much as half that amount. Lavitman’s suit is seeking class action status and says more than 40 drivers in Massachusetts who served customers beginning Dec. 10, 2012 could join the class. Damages could exceed $5 million, according to statements by the company.

Uber is based in San Francisco.

SOURCE  DBMediaStrategies Inc.

DBMediaStrategies Inc.

Web Site: http://www.dbmediastrategies.com

“Me Dancing” by Principal Dancer Maria Kochetkova – Plus, International Auditions for Ballet School Summer Session 2012

Monday, November 14th, 2011

World-famous ballerina Maria Kochetkova is down in Mexico City these days, but she’ll be back to our world-class San Francisco Ballet for the 2012 Season soon enough.

This one is simply entitled, “Me Dancing.”

Via balletrusse

Hey, speaking of ballet, here’s a recent announcement about why you always see gaggles of ballet students congregating around Civic Center every summer:

SAN FRANCISCO BALLET SCHOOL ANNOUNCES - NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL AUDITION TOURS

SAN FRANCISCO –San Francisco Ballet School, the official school of San Francisco Ballet, has announced the schedule for its first-ever International Audition Tour. The School has also announced the dates for its 2012 National Audition Tour. Over the course of three months, hundreds of teenage girls and boys from across Europe and the U.S. will audition for an invitation to attend one of two Summer Sessions offered by San Francisco Ballet School. These include Program 1, a three-week program for intermediate students, and Program 2, a four-week program designed for advanced and pre-professional students. Program 1 will be held this summer from June 11–29; Program 2 will be held July 9–August 3.

The 2012 International Audition Tour is scheduled to visit 4 European cities: London; Madrid; Marseille, France and Florence, Italy. These auditions will be held for advanced and pre-professional students, only.

The 2012 National Audition Tour is scheduled to visit 11 U.S. cities: Boca Raton, FL; Boston; Chicago; Dallas/Ft. Worth; Irvine, CA; New York; San Francisco; Santa Monica, CA; Seattle; Washington, D.C. and Winston-Salem, NC.

“There are many talented young dancers throughout Europe who are well-suited to participate in our training programs,” said Lola de Avila, associate director of the San Francisco Ballet School. “For the first time ever, San Francisco Ballet School is thrilled to hold international auditions, offering prospective students the chance to receive the highest-caliber training.”

Nearly 1,500 intermediate and advanced-level students are expected to audition on the tour, vying for approximately 125 positions for each of the School’s Summer Session programs. The Summer Sessions will include intensive classes in classical ballet technique, pointe work, batterie, dance history, repertoire, character, and Pilates. Students must attend a Summer Session in order to be considered for admittance to the School’s regular school year program.

About San Francisco Ballet School
San Francisco Ballet School, the country’s oldest classical academy, is directed by San Francisco Ballet Artistic Director and Choreographer Helgi Tomasson and Associate Director Lola de Avila. Now, over 75 years after its founding, the School boasts a distinguished international staff, a Trainee Program for advanced-level students, a dedicated student residence, and an extensive scholarship program. San Francisco Ballet School attracts students from around the world, training approximately 350 annually. In addition to filling the ranks of San Francisco Ballet, graduates have gone on to join distinguished ballet companies throughout the world.

For more information on San Francisco Ballet School’s Summer Sessions, visit: www.sfballet.org/school/summer_session.