Posts Tagged ‘Corp’

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 an Olympic City made a good deal 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:

chi-20141209-001 copy

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.

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

Here’s What Our Massive “Left Coast Lifter” Barge Crane is Doing These Days: Nothing – Soon, Off to NYC?

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Could be:

“The massive crane is expected to be used during construction of the New Tappan Zee Bridge, a replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge across the Hudson River in New York State by Tappan Zee Constructors, a consortium of companies that includes American Bridge Company.”

As she appeared last week:

Click to expand

Attention Tenderloin NIMBYs: You Have the Entire Month of March to Protest the New Maestro Restaurant at 555 Golden Gate

Monday, March 5th, 2012

That Paolo Lucchesi of Inside Scoop has once again scooped me, it seems. This time it’s news of the latest doomed attempt to make a go of 555 Golden Gate near Polk Street, oh well.

But here’s a close-up of the entrance. (Looks like bird poo might be a problem, as it was for the Trader Vic’s people)

Click to expand

And here are the deets for your nascent protest against the opening of this brokedown palace:

Enjoy.

“WHO NEEDS MORE TORTURE?” I Don’t Know, Abu Ghraib Detainees? What’s the Answer?

Friday, March 11th, 2011

I don’t get this one.

As seen in SoMA:

Click to expand

Somehow the Giants are involved…

RAND Corp. Says Influence of Mexican Drug Trafficking is Exaggerated, So Marijuana Legalization is No Big Deal

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Seems like our RAND Corporation always has something interstesting to say. Like today, for instance, they’re talking about the affects of marijuana legalization in California, if that ever happens.

It’s a little nuanced, so prepare yourself now.

Arnold on the ganga, in Africa, back in the day. How will he celebrate the passage of Prop 19?

 

All the deets:

Legalizing Marijuana in California Will Not Dramatically Reduce Mexican Drug Trafficking Revenues

Legalizing marijuana in California will not dramatically reduce the drug revenues collected by Mexican drug trafficking organizations from sales to the United States, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

The only scenario where legalization in California could substantially reduce the revenue of the drug trafficking organizations is if high-potency, California-produced marijuana is smuggled to other U.S. states at prices that are lower than those of current Mexican supplies, according to the study from the RAND Drug Policy Research Center. RAND is a nonprofit research organization.

The study calculates that Mexican drug trafficking organizations generate only $1 billion to $2 billion annually from exporting marijuana to the United States and selling it to wholesalers, far below existing estimates by the government and other groups.

The RAND study also finds that the often-cited claim that marijuana accounts for 60 percent of gross drug export revenues of Mexican drug trafficking organizations is not credible. RAND’s exploratory analysis on this point suggests that 15 percent to 26 percent is a more credible range. Given that California accounts for about 14 percent of the nation’s marijuana use, this suggests that if marijuana legalization in California only influences the California market, it would have a small effect on drug trafficking organizations — cutting total drug export revenues by perhaps 2 to 4 percent.

However, the impact of legalization on Mexican drug trafficking organizations’ bottom line could be magnified if marijuana cultivated in California is smuggled into other states, according to the study. After legalization, if low-cost, high-quality marijuana produced in California dominates the U.S. marijuana market, then the Mexican drug trafficking organizations’ revenue from exporting marijuana could decline by more than 65 percent and probably closer to 85 percent. In this scenario, results from the RAND study suggest the drug trafficking organizations would lose roughly 20 percent of their total drug export revenues.

Ever more deets, after the jump

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