Posts Tagged ‘central subway’

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.

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

UPI Reports That SF Has Already Submitted Its Secret 2024 Olympics Proposal? – Also, a Big USOC Meeting in SF on Dec 16th

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Oh, the San Francisco 2024 Olympics bid committee has already submitted its technical proposal to the United States Olympic Committee? Well, that’s news to me. Check it:

Boston, Los Angeles, other US cities vie for 2024 Olympics

So what was the proposal? Oh, it’s a secret? OK fine.

You know, there’s no way that the IOC will agree to have the 2024 Summer Olympics come to the Bay Area without the Bay Area being on the hook for all the inevitable cost overruns, right? That could be ten or twenty billion dollars, right? What’s that, we shouldn’t worry about these matters – we should “rest assured” until the inevitable bill comes? Isn’t that bassackwards? I think so.

And what’s this, the United State Olympic Committee is coming to town for a big meeting on December 16th, 2014? This is news to me as well:

The four cities will make their final presentations to the committee in San Francisco on Dec. 16.

Isn’t this kind of thing kind of newsworthy to the people of the Bay Area?

Anyway, all this seems like a big deal – you’d think Bay Area media people would be covering this issue more…

 

What San Francisco Chronicle Writer CW Nevius Gets Wrong About Our Bid for the Corrupt 2024 Olympics

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Here’s the latest from The Nevius – once more unto the breach, my friends, once more:

Olympic insiders dish on S.F.’s bid for 2024 Games - We’ve been talking to some Olympic insiders — nobody likes to gossip like Olympic insiders — and they’ve been sizing up the chances.”

Who’s “we,” Nevius?  Is this nosism, the Royal we? Why do you do that, Neve? (Oh, I’m sorry, why do you guys do that, Neve?) You all should stop doing that, all of you, Neviuses.

The good: There is definitely a strong interest in bringing the Games to the United States. 

I don’t exactly know how juicy this “gossip” is – I think it’s more like common knowledge, right? And considering what the IOC has done to a bunch of cities over the years and decades, I don’t see how this non-gossip could be categorized as “the good.”

The bad: San Francisco’s quirky politics may make organizers nervous. “San Francisco could put something on the ballot,” the staffer said, “and you’ve got Denver all over again.”

OK, so what are you saying here Neve? The short-sighted politicians of Denver and the rest of Colorado made a mistake back in 1970 and that mistake got corrected by the Voters, the sacred Voters, right? Check it: “The IOC had long asserted that it wouldn’t hold the games in Denver unless public money was available to help foot the bill, so unless the people of Colorado would change their minds, the Olympics were going elsewhere.” So isn’t Denver 1976 an example of The Good? I cry foul.

Joke if you will about the proposed pop-up stadium on what is now a landfill in Brisbane, but there is a case to be made that a temporary facility is a sensible option.

The only person in the world to have joked about Brisbane as a stadium location is you yourselves, CW Nevius. FYI. IRL, the venue of this venue is the least of our concerns. IRL, with billions and billions of OUR MONEY, it would be a LEAD PIPE CINCH to make Brisbane work as an olympic stadium. For ex, they could put a roof on it, right?

Beijing’s iconic Bird’s Nest stadium is now called the Empty Nest because it isn’t being used.

As the saying goes, if you start disassembling your “pop-up stadium” four weeks after the Opening Ceremony, all you’re doing is shooting a white elephant. How is that an improvement?

Our insider says, “San Francisco is the most European city,” which plays well with IOC delegates.

“Our insider?” Your (the Plural Your, of course, Emperor Nortonevius) headline promised insiders. And SF is “the most European city” EXCEPT for fucking Berlin, Paris, Hamburg. Rome, St. Pete and all the other European cities what are in the running for 2024.

If San Francisco has one, I couldn’t find it.

Well, here it is – it’s SF2024.Org. Can you find it now, Neviuses?

The Central Subway will be ready by then…

Oh, is that the very same subway what “makes you wince,” Neviuses? What’s that, you know it’s the largest pork barrel project in ‘Merica currently, but you want to maintain your access with the current political Establishment so you say nice things about it now? OK fine. I can’t imagine how the Central Subway would make any kind of difference to the 2024 Olympics, but anyway.

Hey Nevius, weren’t you a big big fan of the America’s Cup coming to town? Weren’t you all:

Holding the America’s Cup race in San Francisco is a wonderful opportunity without a downside.”

Yes you were. But there was a downside, huh? And then you started rooting for the other side and you wished a good riddance to the Cup and now it’s off to Bermuda in 2017. Don’t you see how wrong you were about the America’s Cup? Yes? No? Oh, you’ve already picked up your pom-poms and moved on to the Olympics?

OK fine.

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?

The “World’s Most Rodent-Packed Island” is in San Francisco – When Will We Let the Feds Kill the Mice on South Farallon?

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Here we go, from the USA Today from a few months back:

“Those suffering from musophobia would be wise to steer clear of the South Farallon Islands. The archipelago, which sits just 27 miles off San Francisco, is the most rodent-dense island in the world, with an average of 500 Eurasian house mice occupying each of its 120 acres (that’s 60,000 total).”

Now I’ll tell you, I have had it with these motherfucking mice on this motherfucking island.

So why don’t we finally get rid of them, like this:

South Farallon Islands Invasive House Mouse Eradication Project: Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement

(That’s posted on a either pro-mouse or anti-mouse website – I just can’t tell and don’t really care.)

A few years back, up in Alaska, the Feds killed off all the rats on Rat Island in the Rat Island Group:

THE RAT ISLAND RAT ERADICATION PROJECT: A CRITICAL EVALUATION OF NONTARGET MORTALITY - Final report issued December 2010

See? That was a huge success. Now the chopper pilots were nervous up there ’cause a big storm was coming so they wanted to bug out of there with a quickness so they didn’t follow their marching orders very well so more bald eagles died than was necessary. But they killed all the rats on Rat Island, hurray!

All we need to do is nothing. Then the feds can get off their asses and start killing all the mice.

“More study” is NOT needed.

That’s your update.

A relatively fog-free day in the Sunset District.

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Through the tinted glass of the ginourmous windows of Yelp-rated Sava Pool

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From a higher sperspective in the Twin Peaks area, on an exceptionally clear morning.

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Can you see the lighthouse on the top of South East Farallon Island?

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Noisy Canon 10D at 840mm, from Christmas Tree Point Road, a skosh more than 30 miles away…

Oh, So _That’s_ What the Central Subway Looks Like – A Giant Hole in the Ground at the Foot of Stockton – “Don’t Dig There!”

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

The Central Subway project might make sense politically (let’s take money from taxpayers from all over America to pay for a big project in our little-big city), but it doesn’t make sense from a transit standpoint.

Down down we go, under Market Street, under the MUNI Metro, and under the BART. When you pass by, you should crumple up all your ones and fives on you and throw them into this sinkhole because that’s what you’re already doing and what you will be doing far far into the future.

Click to expand

Oh, what’s that, “transit justice,” they say? Well, most of the victims of this project live in San Francisco and most of them aren’t caucasoids, so I don’t know what the fuck that phrase means in the context  of this ridiculous scheme.

The project promotes transit justice by providing reliable, efficient, and safe transit for those who live in Chinatown and those who want to visit Chinatown.”

Does City Attorney Dennis Herrera believe this bullshit? No. Does Supervisor Scott Wiener? No. How about closeted Republican Supervisor Mark Farrell? No. How about Board of Supervisors President David Chiu? No.

Oh well.

Don’t dig there and dig it elsewhere
You’re digging it round and it ought to be square
The shape of it is wrong, it’s much too long
And you can’t put a hole where a hole don’t belong

The Hole in the Ground” was a comic song which was written by Myles Rudge and composed by Ted Dicks. When recorded by Bernard Cribbins and released by EMI on the Parlophone label in 1962, it was a hit in the UK charts.[1][2]

The song is about a dispute between a workman digging a hole and an officious busybod y wearing a bowler hat. This exemplifies English class conflict of the era and Cribbins switches between a working class Cockney accent, in which he drops his aitches, and a middle class accent for the gentleman in the bowler hat.

Travis Bickle 94108: Busking at the Central Subway Boondoggle Apple Store Construction Site – “Fuck You, Pay Me”

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

An arresting figure at corner of 4th and Market:

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Look at How the City of San Francisco and the Housing Department Treat Old Glory – How Much Abuse Can One Flag Take?

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

This was the scene down on MACALLISTER Street in the Western Addition PJs last year, on govmint land of course.

…and here’s the same scene these days:

Let’s see here:

“When flags of states, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the US flag, the US flag should always be at the peak.”

NOPE! Believe it or not, that rat tail you can see at bottom is our Stars and Stripes. Above it is the flag of the State of California. (You can still see the bear a little bit.)

“The flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.”

NOPE!

“The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

NOPE!

I could go on…

There’s a little black spot on the sun today
It’s the same old thing as yesterday
There’s a black hat caught in a high tree top
There’s a flag pole rag and the wind won’t stop