Posts Tagged ‘Mayor’

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.

If District Two Supervisor Mark Farrell Needs To Be Replaced Soon, Two People with Legitimacy are Abe Simmons and Kat Anderson

Monday, December 15th, 2014

First things first, you tell me how big a deal this is:

Supervisor Farrell directed to pay S.F. $190,000 for violation by John Coté

And don’t niss this part:

“Theoretically speaking, I think they then become the same campaign,” said John St. Croix, director of the Ethics Commission.

Kaboom. Did an effort (from Janet Reilly, or some other Reilly)…

FPPC Stipulation, Decision and Order

…lead to this…

FPPC Letter to Charles H. Bell, Jr.

…almost four long years later?

OBSERVATIONS / QUESTIONS:

1. Why does big news always seem to come out post meridiem on a Day of Frigg, you know, like on a Friday evening? Funny that.

2. Could this situation explain why Mark Farrell nominated (law student(!)) Katy Tang as interim Board of Supervisors President?

3. Is Mark Farrell going to serve out his second term? IDK.

4. If he doesn’t, who’s going to replace him? Mmmm…

The election that District 2 held four years ago was narrowly lost by Janet Reilly, but I can’t see her ever getting appointed D2 Supe in today’s political environment.

Now, what about the people who came in third and fourth, the people who myabe could have / should have formed an ANYBODY BUT JANET ranked-choice voting troika / three-way with Mark Farrell?

Meet Ivy Leaguer Abraham Simmons:

Does he still live in the District? IDK.

Now meet Stanfoo-educated Kat Anderson:

I’m thinking either of these two attorneys could slot right into the job.

You know, if necessary.

Here’s what people have been talking about over the weekend:

Agenda – December 16, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING and AGENDA
December 16, 2014, 5:00 P.M.
Room 400 City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco

[EXCERPT]

  • Discussion with City Attorney’s Office regarding potential litigation by the City Attorney’s Office against local committees, including Common Sense Voters, SF 2010; Vote for Mark Farrell for District 2 Supervisor, for violations of local campaign finance laws.  Possible Closed Session.  (Attachments: FPPC Stipulation, Decision and OrderFPPC Letter to Charles H. Bell, Jr.)
    1. Public comment on all matters pertaining to Agenda Item III, including whether to meet in closed session.
    2. Vote on whether to assert attorney-client privilege and meet in closed session under California Government Code section 54956.9 and Sunshine Ordinance section 67.10(d) to discuss anticipated litigation:  San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 1.114.  (Action.)
    3. Conference with Legal Counsel:  Anticipated litigation.  (Discussion.)
      Number of possible cases: 1
    4. If closed session is held, reconvene in open session.
    5. Discussion and vote pursuant to Brown Act section 54957.1 and Sunshine Ordinance section 67.12 on whether to disclose any action taken or discussions held in closed session regarding anticipated litigation.   (Discussion and possible action.)
      Motion:  The Ethics Commission moves (not) to disclose its closed session deliberations re: anticipated litigation.

I suppose we’ll find out more tomorrow…

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

The Evolution of Color in the Lights of Civic Center’s Christmas Tree and City Hall – This is How SFGov “Works”

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

This is how the Christmas Holiday Tree in front of San Francisco City Hall was lit at night back in the aughts:

3135050190_216855f66b_b

Via Steve Rhodes, who, like Visa, is Everywhere You Want To Be.

Do you see a problem? All those gaudy lights in the tree offended certain rich white ladies of San Francisco! They felt all that colour was “not appropriate.” So they imposed their values on the RPD, as they are wont to do, and RPD spent five figures to correct the “problem.”

So that left us with this:

O.K. fine.

Except this lack of color just wasn’t jazzy enough for other certain people.

So then came this:

Capturefsfs

Via Julie Blaustein

And now Mayor Willie Brown wants ever more color.

So, the colors came out of the tree in front of City Hall and they went into City Hall itself.

Were these changes “improvements?”

No. But that’s what they were called at the time.

Oh well…

News Flash for Willie Brown: SF WAS NOT IS NOT AND WILL NEVER BE the Sister City of Paris – The Real Sister is Rome, Italy

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Here’s Willie Brown (Mayor of San Francisco, 1996 to Present) going on about:

…our sister city Paris…

The problem with that is that Paris only has one (1) sister city and it’s not San Francisco.

It’s Rome.

They even have a saying about this:

Only Paris is worthy of Rome; only Rome is worthy of Paris.

Seule Paris est digne de Rome; seule Rome est digne de Paris

Solo Parigi è degna di Roma; solo Roma è degna di Parigi.

Ergo, San Francisco is not “worthy” of being the Sister City of either Paris or Rome.

Sorry, Mayor Brown.

The fact is that Paris is in an exclusive sister-city relationship. It’s an “elaborate cultural partnership,” as they say.

Now, here’s our real relationship with The City of Light. We’ve signed a few of these things:

“Pacts of friendship and cooperation signed by the City of Paris.”

Les pactes d’amitié et de coopération signés par la Ville de Paris

Which, IRL, is rien de bien grave* (no biggee).

All right, TTFN. But remember:

We’ll Always Never Have Paris.

*Paris, France is pals with just about everybody:

2014: Rome 
2014: Seoul 
2014: Mexico 
2013: Montevideo 
2013: Amsterdam 
2011: Yerevan 
2011: Dakar
2011: Sao Paulo, signed an amendment to the Cooperation Agreement of 2004 
2011: Yerevan 
2011: Rio de Janeiro 
2011: Ramallah, signed a pact of friendship and cooperation inauguration, the Garden of Nations, a bust by French sculptor Emile-Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929), including Ramallah to Paris 
2010: Doha 
2010: Tel Aviv-Jaffa 
2009: Istanbul 
2009: Quebec 
2009: San Francisco  
2009: Rio de Janeiro 
2009: Quebec 
2009: Jericho 
2009: Istanbul  
2007: Phnom Penh 
2006: Montreal  
2006: Cairo  
2006: Beirut  
2005: Copenhagen  
2004: Tunis  
2004: Sao Paulo 
2004: Rabat  
2004: Casablanca 
2003 St. Petersburg 
2003: Quebec 
2003: Algiers 
2002: Geneva 
2001: Porto Alegre (joint statement) 
2001: London 
2000: Madrid 
2000: Athens 
2000 (updated in 2004): Washington 
1999: Warsaw 
1999: OVA (Arab Towns Organization) 
1999: Mexico 
1999: Buenos Aires 
1999: Amman 
1998: Sydney 
1998: Sofia 
1998: Lisbon 
1998: Yerevan 
1997: Tbilisi 
1997, Santiago  
1997: St. Petersburg 
1997: Riyadh  
1997: Prague 
1997: Beijing 
1996: San Francisco 
1996: Quebec 
1996: Chicago 
1995: Jakarta 
1993: Beirut 
1992: Moscow 
1991: Seoul 
1987: Sanaa  
1987: Berlin 
1987: Amman 
1985: Cairo 
1982: Tokyo 
1958: Kyoto 
1956: Rome (Twin Exclusive)

Floodland: San Francisco Can’t Handle a Little Rain, So It Awakes to Flooded Streets, Buildings and Cars

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Here’s how the east end of Cayuga looks this AM, near the 101:

X0Cgr1a copy

And here’s how people are reacting:

“I looked out front and the manhole in the street in front of our house was bubbling water a foot into the air. My neighbors were outside with flooding downstairs as well. I called 311 and was on hold for a while. During that time a fire truck went by and stopped at the other end of the block and stayed their for a while. Other people living down there were out on the sidewalks so I assume the whole street was flooding. Soon after the bubbling stopped. After like 20 minutes of being on hold I got a hold of an operator and reported the situation and she said they’re having flooding issues all across the city, but apparently they don’t coordinate with the fire department so they have no idea what they did.”

It’s Floodland!

What It’s Like to Stay at a Mid-Market Hotel for $60-Something per Night: “Budget Inn,” 1139 Market Street

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Well, here’s an upbeat take:

Hotel Tour : Budget Inn San Francisco CA by DieselDucy:

Compare that with Yelp – a very low one-star rating:

“I want to leave, but it’s already 1am and we are both too afraid to leave our locked room. We get 4 hrs or interrupted sleep (the walls are paper thin and the doors have cracks in them), pray that we didn’t get exposed to tuberculosis, hepatitis and/or herpes and book it out of there. Trust me folks, this place isn’t worth the $60. I’ve stayed in $15 hostels while traveling though Europe that were both cleaner and safer than this place.”

And there’s this:

” If you have less than $150 night for a decent place to stay, youre actually safer just camping at golden gate park than any of these SROs…”

And there’s the bedbug allegations, natch.

Choose wisely…

After the Airbnb Fiasco, Mayor Ed Lee Says Diane Feinstein is Giving “Enthusiastic Support” to the Assembly Campaign of David Chiu

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Believe it or not, Mayor Ed Lee is saying that DiFi is giving “enthusiastic support” to the Assembly campaign of David Chiu. Check it:

“I am proud to join U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein … in giving David Chiu my enthusiastic support.”

See?

P1160922 copy

Now IRL, here’s DiFi herself on President Chiu’s Airbnb legislation from October 20th, 2014:

Don’t hand San Francisco over to Airbnb

And now Willie Brown is suggesting that DiFi is already on the list of those who are “joining Leno” against Ed Lee?

I’m thinking no, DiFi’s residual support of David Chiu, if any, against David Campos sure aint “enthusiastic.”

Read the news and turn the pages. Moving on…

Hey, speaking of Airbnb, check this out, from San Francisco’s biggest corrupt non-profit org:

“On October 6, Supervisor Jane Kim’s persistence and the last-minute intervention of Mayor Ed Lee ensured that legislation legalizing tourist rentals in San Francisco will have teeth.”

The problem with this, or I should say just one problem with this, is that Ed Lee could have simply not signed the legislation, right? There was no need for any “intervention,” right?

I don’t know how seriously people take all these shenanigans. We’ll see, soon enough…

Instead of Concentrating on the 7th Game of the World Series, Mayor Ed Lee is Playing Ping Pong at a Political Event?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

In the words of the great John MalkovichWTF to that:

“…fundraiser for Evan Low is happening tonight in SoMa from 6-8 PM! With an open bar, amazing food, a live DJ set, and Mayor Ed Lee playing ping pong, this is an event not to be missed.”

And this official fundraiser graphic is odd, certainly, and “500 DOLLAR BUY IN” seems very “off-message.”

Capturedffs copy

Oh, there’ll be some TVs on that the Mayor Airbnb can glance at, perhaps in between sets with Ron Conway? All right.

(Hey, who’s Evan Low – what does he have to do with San Francisco?)

No wonder Senator Mark Leno is ahead in the polls, already, in next year’s mayoral race…

[UPDATE: And here it is, as advertised, incredibly.]