These things are huge.
First there was just one giant billboard extolling the virtues of Budweiser, and now there are two.
Well played, Budweiser.
These things are huge.
First there was just one giant billboard extolling the virtues of Budweiser, and now there are two.
Well played, Budweiser.
Here’s a repost from 2009. I haven’t kept up on things, but I don’t think much has changed. It’ll take somebody to sue SFGov to have a chance to change this situation, the way things happened with the big cross atop Mt. Davidson.
“The Prayer Book Cross was erected in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in 1894 as a gift from the Church of England. Created by Ernest Coxhead, it stands on one of the higher points in Golden Gate Park. It is located between John F. Kennedy Drive and Park Presidio Drive, near Cross Over Drive. This 57 ft (17 m) sandstone cross commemorates the first use of the Book of Common Prayer in California by Sir Francis Drake’s chaplain on June 24, 1579.”
Didn’t the City have to sell off the similar Mount Davidson Cross (Yelp-rated) after a lawsuit back in the 1990s? Yes it did. So, do you think the Prayer Book Cross creates an “appearance of governmental endorsement of religion” as well, particularly considering that we’re living in a post-Everson world?
Do these trees help to make this cross kosher, cause fewer people see it? Potentially, yes. Click to expand:
In other words, does the City’s ownership and maintenance of Prayer Book Cross violate the No Preference Clause and the Ban on Aid to Religion Clause of the California Constitution and the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution?
Or maybe it’s all good, because the cross communicates “primarily non-religious messages” ala the shorter Mount Soledad Cross down in Fun Diego County? This is a close call.
Read all about the Mount Davidson case here, where the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit lays down the law. It’s pretty accessible.
You see it on the right here, as seen back in the day, during the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894. Electric Tower at Night, with Search Light on Prayer Book Cross in Golden Gate Park:
But should it be on government land today?
“Presented to Golden Gate Park at the opening of the Midwinter Fair, January 1, A. D. 1894, as a memorial of the service held on the shore of Drake’s Bay about Saint John Baptist’s Day, June 24, Anno Domini 1579, by Francis Fletcher, priest of the Church of England, chaplain of Sir Francis Drake, chronicler of the service. Gift of George W. Childs, Esquire, of Philadelphia. First Christian service in the English tongue on our coast. First use of the Book of Common Prayer in our country. One of the first recorded missionary prayers on our continent. Soli Deo sit semper gloria.”
Here you go, you can try to join the official Boston 2024 Olympics Citizens Advisory Group by clicking here.
Hey, does the official San Francisco bid committee have such a citizen’s group?
No, not at all.
And here’s another thing that’s better about Boston – the Olympics backers over there didn’t go around registering URLs for websites that citizens could use to offer a non-official point of view, like NoBostonOlympics.org for example. Compare that with our local boosters, who went out and registered NoSFOlympics website URLs to prevent anyone from using them. (This kind of URL squatting is a tad cheesy IMO.)
You know at this point, the bids from all the cities have ended up looking pretty much the same:
Obviously, the bid groups have received pressure and guidance from elements of the USOC on what their bids should look like. But one difference is that Boston has a citizens advisory group and San Francisco does not.
In this sense, Boston’s bid committee is better than San Francisco’s.
“…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.
“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.]
£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:
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.
I don’t know. Some consultant came up with 10 MPH a few years back, but that idea wasn’t good for business, or something like that.
Now here’s a sign that tells you how fast you’re going, anyway:
Sometimes, I just don’t know…
Brace yourselves, Liberty Hill, brace yourselves, Castro / Noe Valley. Here’s what could be in store for you:
“Applicant: Stephen Fowler – 38 Liberty Street (3608/044A); Project Review meeting to discuss the following: Property is part of the Liberty Hill Historic District. Applicant would like to raise building, add a garage, and add a vertical and horizontal additions as well as restore Victorian facade. Applicant is requesting a preservation and environmental planner.”
Hey, didn’t Stephen Fowler just wear out his welcome in Noe Valley just a few years ago, before decamping to the ‘burbs of Marin? I think so. Remember that whole deal, when the denizens of Noe went down to City Hall to argue with the San Francisco Wife Swapper et ux. It was a fiasco. Hey, remember when octogenarian Mr. Hanamura, who got “evicted” in World War II, as a Japanese American, had somebody drop a dime on him to SFGov to get him out of his illegal in-law unit? (Hey, who made that call, I wonder.)
And then up in Marin, there was the Tree Topping Issue, but I won’t get into that.
All right, I’ll show my “work.”
Welcome to the City and County of San Francisco’s Citizen Portal
San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspections and Planning are pleased to offer our citizens, businesses, and visitors access to government services online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
And look, does he still want to “restore” the front – a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down? IDK.
Who knows what’s in store…
Anyway, that’s the update on our infamous Wife Swapper / House Flipper / attemptive Victorian Lifter
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:
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.
Well, this is news to me.
All the Feds want to do is kill off the mice of the Farallones and San Francisco is standing in the way?
Check out how our Federales scored a “rip-roaring conservation success” exterminating vermin up in Alaska at Hawadex Island, which was known for centuries as “Rat Island.”
I’ll tell you, I can’t name any of the “visionary policies and innovative programs” created by SF Environment that Director Deborah Raphael boasts of.
Can you, Gentle Reader?
One down, a million to go – here’s the big version, via nature photographer Jenny Erbes.
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
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:
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.