Posts Tagged ‘media’

What’s This, the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle Costs “Only $3.00?”

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

I could do without the “only” part, frankly.

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What’s that, it costs $10 to make a Sunday paper and get it to you, the Reader? Yeah, maybe, something like that.

But even so, I could do without the “only” part.

Frankly

The Boston 2024 Olympics Committee has a Citizens Advisory Group, But San Francisco Does Not – Why’s That?

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Here you go, you can try to join the official Boston 2024 Olympics Citizens Advisory Group by clicking here.

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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:

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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.

Bold Move: SF Business Times Prints Shame List of “Restaurants with High-Risk Health Code Violations”

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Seems a long time ago now, but back eight years the spouse of a County Supervisor had this to say:

“To those mother fuckers at the Golden Gate Restaurant Association: FUCK YOU!”

And I thought, what an odd thing to say, but yeah, I can see where that comes from.

(Here’s just one example – this place is a member. Like, it even gets promoted by the GGRA.)

Anyway, the GGRA spends its time doing things like lobbying against simple letter grades for restaurants, ala San Diego. Which is funny, because posting simple letter grades up front has lots of benefits – like it lowers food poisoning incidents at ER’s in the surrounding area and other good stuff like that. Check it:

“A 2003 study by two economists [Yay, Stanfoo!] found that after letter grades were introduced in Los Angeles, there was a 20 percent decline in hospital admissions for food-borne illness.

But the SF Bidness Times, well, the people there must bump into officers of the GGRA all the time. And yet here it is, the SFBT now has a naughty list a mile long.

Here’s part of it – let’s start with the beginning of the alphabet

Arizmendi Bakery
1331 9th Ave.
08/28/2014: Unclean hands or improper use of gloves (Score: 73)

Ouch. If I were Arizmendi, I’d spend more time striving to get a triple digit score and less time working on buying a “parklet” from the City.

And hey, who’s in charge of AT&T these days? Is it Olympian Larry Baer? I think so:

AT&T – Cable Car Bar (Promenade) [146520]
24 Willie Mays Plaza
09/14/14: No hot water or running water (Score: 93)

AT&T – Say Hey Sausage-Room 5319 [145157]
24 Willie Mays Plaza 5.15.01
09/14/14: High-risk food holding temperature (Score: 93)

AT&T Park – Food Cart
24 Willie Mays Plaza
09/14/14: Sewage or wastewater contamination (Score: 93)

AT&T Park – Garden Table Stand
24 Willie Mays Plaza
09/14/14: High-risk food holding temperature (Score: 93)

AT&T PARK – Gotham Kitchen
24 Wilie Mays Plaza
09/14/14: Unclean or unsanitary food contact surfaces (Score: 91)

AT&T PARK – Hearth Table Stand
24 Willie Mays Plaza
09/14/14: High-risk food holding temperature (Score: 93)

And yet, all the scores appear to be similar? I’m sure there’s a reason for that, but I don’t know the reason. (Are some of these violations no biggee? I don’t know. Which violations are important and which are less so? IDK.)

There’s lots I don’t understand about how SFGov does it restaurant health grading. Oh well.

Hey SFGov, can we get simple, effective letter grades posted out front, ala San Diego? Oh no, you just don’t feel like it? Oh what’s that, the GGRA doesn’t want you do it so you won’t?

OK fine.

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:

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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

The Harvard Crimson Comes Out Against Hosting 2024 Olympics – Why Can’t the Stanford Daily Do the Same Thing?

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Well, here it is, the Harvard Crimson coming out against the idea of Boston hosting the 2024 Olympics.

So why can’t the Stanford Daily come out against the idea of San Francisco hosting the very same Olympics?

I’ll tell you, the United States Olympic Committee is going to be all over the Bay Area over the next 24 hours and then they’re going to pick one of four possible US hosts in a month or so.

So that’s it, the Final Four will be winnowed down and then the next step will be the USOC saying they want the Olympics in America (there’s a 99% chance of that happening) and then the next step would be the corrupt IOC deciding to award the ‘Lympics to ‘Merica.

So this isn’t the “first inning” of this process – it’s more like the seventh. The time to avoid the bay area losing 11 figures on this kind of fiasco is right now right now wikiwiki, Brah.

And here’s John Oliver to bring it all home for us, in a four-minute video.

Recalling How Excited People Were Just 34 Months Ago About Then-New iPhones with Tiny 3.5-Inch Screens

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

What’s the tone here?

“Miles Barquin of Union City gets excited about her new iPhone 4S at the Apple store in Palo Alto on Oct. 13, 2011. (Gary Reyes / Mercury News)”

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I can’t tell.

(Waiter, I’ll have what she’s having.)

Boy, I wish my cell phone had Siri.*

*Not really.

Sutro Tower + Mothra = HAIGHT ASHBURY COMMUNITY NURSERY SCHOOL

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Based upon the wingspan, I’m thinking the kids are referencing Showa-era Mothra:

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If you want, Follow Sutro Tower on Twitter – perhaps that will inspire it to Tweet more than once per year.

(Thank you, Sutro Tower, for broadcasting the recent World Cup for free at 1080i.)

Now let’s close with a bunch of NIMBY complaints about the tower plus the Sutro Tower, Inc FAQ:

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24 Hours of Gannet Co Inc’s The Bold Italic Website: “Sexy Time,” “Sex Toy,” “More Sex” – A Triumph of Form Over Content

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

This was the promise, a few years back:

“From the beginning, art elements and overall design featured prominently in strategy discussions and were kept at the forefront. Inventive and well-known global design firm IDEO was brought in early on to work with Gannett’s innovation team incorporating relevant research into the human-centered design* that was being developed for The Bold Italic.”

The cost to Gannett? Well, millions were spent on just one website / defunct magazine. How many millions? Well, as with Charles Foster Kane’s Xanadu, No Man Can Say.

But let’s check the water cooler chitchat over at The Gannet Blog:

“The revenue plan was mysterious because there was no revenue. Not for the first 24 months anyway. The Bold Italic had a burn rate that rivals some of the most infamous dot.com fizz outs. They blew through $2 million a year for the first 2 years, before snagging a whopping $41k in revenue based on their skimming from entertainment ticket / event sales.”

And that brings us to July 2014, where these bits came out within hours of each other:

Sexy Time: An Oil to Get Your Lady Parts Stoned (NSFW)

Men Can Bone Their iPads with New Sex Toy

Help This Horny Gal Have More Sex with Her BF

My point is that you didn’t need to go There to get Here.

My other point is that:

1. Aging east coast media baron Gannett Co. Inc. is Charles Foster Kane; and

2. West coast corporate money-pit vanity-project The Bold Italic is its Xanadu, and perhaps, eventually, its Waterloo

Oh here it is, 34 Page Street – so sexy! You can see the glow from all that reclaimed wood upstairs:

In closing … Rosebud!

END OF LINE

*What on Earth does that mean? I’m clueless. It’s just blah blah blah while the meter’s running at $500 per hour…