Apparently, we, as the second largest town in the bay area, are all saying NOPE to e-cigs and we’re spending money to send that message all the way to North Carolina:
“I truly believe this will advance our long-term interests,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said. “We believe that San Francisco’s 2024 vision of the Olympics is 100 percent aligned with our priorities as we see them today, both as a city and as a region.”
Yeah, sure, hook Ed Lee up to a lie detector and you’d see that he actually believes this statement. Except that it’s not true. Unless he thinks that the 2024 Olympics are worth $10 billion or so of cost overruns. Some would benefit from those overruns but most would not. This process of exaggerating benefits and minimizing costs is what got us in trouble with the disastrous, expensive, deadly, scandal-marred America’s Cup, which, of course, San Francisco declined to repeat.
And I can’t help but think that “2024 vision” sounds a lot like Vision Zero 2024*, another promise that hasn’t a chance in the world of coming true.
“Our mantra really is, ‘Can we host an Olympics and leave the Bay Area better off for having done that?’ ” Strandberg said. “If we can’t, you should hold us to the standard. That’s what we think about every day as we lay out our plans.”
How on Earth would we be able to hold Mr. Strandberg “accountable” post 2024, when we’ll be billions and billions over $4.5 billion? How much skin does he have in the Game? Not much, not much at all.
“It’s not relevant to include Games that were put on by sovereign states like Russia or China and compare them to how you would do something in the United States,” he said. “We’d never look at the Chinese economic system or the Russian political system and say, ‘That’s how we do it here.’ So, why would we assume that is how we would do an Olympic Games here?”
(Sovereign states? Is that some kind of insult? Not really. I wonder what phrase he’s thinking about when he says sovereign state.) In any event, the better comparisons are with London 2012, which overran by about $10 billion and Chicago 2016, which would had overrun by a similar amount. Or Greece? Can we talk about Greece? No, all right. And the reason to include Russia and China has more to do with the IOC, which has a real problem dealing with democracies.
So that’s the SJMN bit. It’s well-written, by Elliott Almond and Mark Emmons
Moving on, to SF Moderates, which used to be called Plan C, which used to be a right side of the aisle political group for gay property owners. It’s expanded its membership lately, but it’s still decidedly on the right side of SF’s political aisle. Begin:
But what if we could defy the naysayers and make it happen? Mayor Ed Lee has initiated the effort, emphasizing that the $4.5 billion price tag will come from private donors. I learned from the Miracle on Ice and from the 2010 Giants and Ashkon that you don’t stop believing just because someone says you can’t win.
So why didn’t we sign up for another America’s Cup? Perhaps the naysayers were absolutely correct? Yep.
The issue for anti-Olympics lobbyists appears to be possible cost overruns, which have averaged over 200 percent per Olympics according to a recent study. The assumption is that taxpayers will be on the hook for the extra $9 billion in average cost overruns. That’s a fair concern.
Oh OK, well, yes, that’s the “concern.”
The requirement is a guarantee of public money to cover cost overruns. There are ways to deal with that if the final bill is the sole concern.
Uh, no there’s not. Are you talking about cost overrun insurance from that Aon company? That’s never going to work. If everybody thinks the taxpayers will be on the hook for $10 billion, then the premium for such a policy would be about $10 billion, right? And if it’s not, then it has a host of exceptions and deductibles and caps and then let’s have future taxpayers pay off the bill.
But, let’s consider another view. There are private donors ready to pump in $4.5 billion into our local economy. How often does that happen? If we say no to this money, are we in a better position to reduce poverty or curb homelessness?
Yes, without the 2024 Olympics, we’ll be in a better position. Were you born yesterday?
While the anti-Olympics lobby eagerly points to the America’s Cup as proof that the Olympics will be bad for San Francisco, what about the San Francisco Giants?
But that stadium was privately financed, right? The IOC would never allow a privately-financed 2024 Olympics.
I hope it doesn’t get derailed by another just say no campaign.
No no no no no. This deal will never work out in the long run. Let’s hope San Francisco loses tomorrow.
*With an admirable goal, but it’s never going to happen. Transportation deaths are a people problem, not an infrastructure problem. Fundamentally.
Oh man, this is something.
So, local Olympics boosters are more or less contractually obligated to register URLs like SF2024.org if they want to have any hope of having a costly Sumer Olympics come to town in 2024. But they went further – they went and registered URLs that could be used by citizen opposition to having an expensive Olympics come to town.
I’ll tell you, Boston citizens use NoBostonOlympics.org without any interference from the Boston boosters. But SF boosters registered NoSFOlympics .org and .com because they didn’t want the USOC in Colorado Springs to see the opposition.
Isn’t that sad?
Anyway, they must have registered a bunch of URLs, cause look, they also registered NoSF2024 and other names they could think of. See?
But they didn’t think to register SFNo2024.org and so that’s what the citizens ended up using.
And now guess what site all the USOC people are looking at now?
So what was the point of all this registration fooforall?
Well, here you go:
A decision on which American city will be chosen to bid for the 2024 Olympics is set to be announced on Thursday (January 8) but it is increasingly looking unlikely that it will be San Francisco.
Bay Area activists have formed a coalition opposing a bid for the Games, which is sure to be a factor when the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is due to meet at Denver International Airport to choose a city from a shortlist which also includes Boston, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.
The SF No 2024 Olympics group, which includes SEIU Local 1021, San Francisco activist Tony Kelly, and former San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly…”
And now you ask, “What about Boston – they have a bigger citizen opposition movement, right?” Maybe so, but the one that the United State Olympic Committee frets about over in Colorado Springs is San Francisco’s. Let’s get the update from last month:
“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. Public opposition in San Francisco is expected to be substantial.”
Does the USOC similarly cite the fractious political atmosphere or the public opposition in Boston? No, not at all.
Hey, do you know that the USOC has been conducting opinion polling of bay area residents? Yep. So the USOC knows on its own about the dangers of playing piñata with the giant hornet’s nest that is San Francisco politics.
This political risk is a bigger factor than, say, where are we going to build the big stadium, right? Right.
And you know what else the USOC is up to these days? It’s scouring the Web looking for public opposition to pop up in Frisco. So if, let’s say, a tiny local blog has a new post about, say, mounting opposition against hosting the 2024 Olympics, look who comes a running, all the way from Colorado Springs, 80903:
So it doesn’t matter what spinmeister Nate Ballard tells anybody, the USOC has its own independent information.
And what did the USOC find just recently? They found SF No 2024 Olympics. Ouch.
And speaking of the Internet, look who’s paying Google to get at the top of your search page when you search for something like “No SF Olympics.” That’s right, it’s Larry Baer and all the other Olympics boosters:
Is this an effective use of Larry’s money? IDK.
And speaking of wasting Larry’s money, what’s up with this?
WTF to that. Did Nate Ballard just trick Heather Knight here? I can’t tell. And what’s “a” front-runner? Like top three out of four? So, odds-wise, LA’s got the best shot, then Boston, and then SF and so only poor, poor DC isn’t a front-runner? OK fine. But IRL, SF is not the front runner and SF is not a front runner.
And hey, did you know that Olympic Dreamers, the Olympics Movementarians bought up URLs like NoSFOlympics so that the citizen opposition wouldn’t be able to use them? Yep. They did this at the end of October. But the opposition simply used SFNO2024.org instead, right? So, the dreamers end up looking like assholes and there was zero percent chance that this scheme would work. (Let’s hope the person who reg’ed the URLs for cheap didn’t send a bill to Larry for $5000 marked Opposition Suppression.)
Hey speaking of Larry Baer, his name is mud in the all-important South Bay, right? You know, where the Bay Area’s biggest city is, right? Take a look:
“Consumer tip: Do not start saving up money to buy those tickets for a 2024 Bay Area Olympics just yet. In fact, by my estimation, odds are 99-1 against the games ever happening here. Admittedly, those are unscientific odds. They are based solely on my four decades of covering the Olympic landscape. The actual odds could be much worse.”
And then, what, would San Jose residents get to vote on their participation? And Oakland too? How would we divvy up the overrun risk? It seems like an impossible task.
This just in: an artist’s conception of the dartboard in Larry Baer’s den:
Poor Chris Daly!
So, the Dream is dead. (Or if you paid Nate Ballard enough money to switch sides, he’d come up with something like, “Just like Sean Penn, SF2024 is a Dead Dream Walking.”)
And really, we shouldn’t compare our bid with those from autocracies like Russia (Sochi) or China (Beijing). I mean it would be impossible to spend more than $40 billion on the 2024 games in America. No no, the proper comparisons are with London 2012 and Chicago 2016. Let’s take a look.
London 2012, like SF 2024, had an initial bid of $4 billion something. Then it overran like a son of a bitch, something on the order of $10 billion. So, for SFGov officials to claim that the London Games ended in “surplus,” well, that’s just a fantasy. If London is the modern-practices lodestar, then would SF overrun by a similar amount?
And then Chicago. Well, the Mayor there also said he wouldn’t put taxpayers on the hook, but then he changed his mind when he finally figured out that the IOC insisted upon the taxpayers of Illinois being on the hook. Was Mayor Daley lying? That’s your call, but there was no way that the no taxpayer money commitment was ever going to happen. And then the Mayor of Chicago tried to fix things with an insurance policy from Aon? Yep. The problem with that was that the innocent taxpayers were still on the hook IRL. Oh, the policies had big deductibles and they had low caps? Well, how would that that have helped? And now, SF wants to use Aon for the same purpose? OK fine, whatevs.
All right, that’s your update.
(You know, what the Olympic Dreamers should do is make the case that it would be worth $10 billion in potential overruns to have the Olympics here. That would be the honest approach…)
Dear Members of the United States Olympic Committee: With one week remaining before your committee votes to select a United States candidate city for the 2024 Summer Olympics, we wanted to introduce our coalition and its goals.
For some reason, SF No 2024 seems to think that the USOC will vote on January 5th, 2014. The USOC might end up doing that, but I don’t know why SF No 2024 is so confident that the decision will come today. [This means I think that they’re wrong wrong wrong.* JMO.]
And here it is, a letter from a coalition to the USOC in opposition to SF’s bid. The USOC has been waiting for this, wondering when opposition groups would start to develop. And here it is. This is bad news for local Olympics boosters, like Larry Baer, and the poeple who feed off of the boosters, like Nate Ballard
“As you know, San Francisco is planning to spend $4.5 billion to bring the
2024 Summer Olympic games to the Bay Area. We believe that money would
be better spent addressing our region’s most pressing social and
environmental priorities, such as…”
Well, San Francisco is “planning” on spending a lot more than $4.5 billion. I mean, area boosters know that it will end up costing us far more than that, so I wouldn’t give any credence to that figure, which is the generic bid amount, more or less, that the USOC wanted for all U.S. cities
And the other thing is that if we’re going to give credence to the $4.5 billion figure, then the official word is that we’ll get all that money back from our share of the IOC pie, from broadcast rights and from Coca Cola and from ticket sales. And then maybe we’ll end up with a “surplus,” or so they say. So, you can’t say that we should cancel our bid and instead spend the $4.5 billion on a host of other things. There aint no $4.5 billion to spend on local housing and transportation and whatnot without the Olympics coming to town.
No no, the danger is SF and the bay area being on the hook for cost overruns, which could amount to something like $10 billion on top of the $4.5 billion. So it’s that $10 billion extra that would rob money from whatever else people want SFGov to spend money on.
…our region’s progressive history or values….
Let me just say here, that the people who signed their John and Joan Hancocks on this letter to the USOC are wingers for the most part, like they’re definitely from the left side of the aisle and they’re not from San Francisco’s dominant right side of the aisle political faction. Compare that with No Boston Olympics, which appears to be more broad-based. (So like, you won’t have any of the core members of SF No 2024 defecting to the pro-Olympics side the way somebody just did over at No Boston Olympics. No no, any Benedict Arnolds who get bought off by SF2024.org would have a high price to pay. I mean, they’d get ostracized, right?)
…above market rate housing … gentrify … waterfront property…
Well, here you go, here’s what we’ll be hearing about for the next ten years if the USOC and IOC pick the bay area for the 2024 Olympics.
The 2012 America’s Cup cost our city over $11.5 million, despite rosy
promises that the event would generate more than $100 million in revenues,
among other unfulfilled promises.
Yep yep yep. Well, except for the 2012 part – it was actually 2013. Not that that matters too much, but I’ll bet the person who made this error doesn’t live in San Francisco, just saying. And come to think of it, lots of people who signed the letter to the USOC live outside of SF in the North Bay. Mmmm…)
If your committee selects San Francisco as the U.S. host city for the 2024 Summer Games, we are prepared to take political action to ensure that Bay Area voters have a say in ensuring that no public funds are spent to host the 2024 Olympics in our region.
Bam! Is this threat credible. Oh, yes it is. Could such a vote win? Yes. Could that kind of thing spook the IOC. Yes. And actually, I could see even some Olympics boosters voting yes.
I’ll tell you, there’s no way the IOC will agree to a deal that doesn’t leave taxpayers on the hook for overruns. No way. So, if SF can’t make that kind of deal, then we’re looking at an embarrassing Denver 1972 situation. Which means that the IOC won’t want to pick SF, right? Which means that the USOC won’t want to pick SF, right?
So, to repeat, bam!
Oh, in other words:
…selecting San Francisco as the United States 2024 Summer
Games host city would jeopardize your efforts to bring the Olympics back to
the United States.
Yep. This kind of political risk will be highest in San Francisco. Then Boston And then Los Angeles. (Sorry, DC, you’re drawing dead. You’ll never get an Olympics. Sorry.)
Hey, who wants another threat to close things out? Here you go:
….the actions that we are prepared to take, in the event that the USOC selects San Francisco as its host city.
And I’ll just say, again, that this is a credible threat, coming from these people, backed with a little service worker money, and that’s all it would take to get a vote against SF2024 on the record.
(And yeah, some of these people are union activists, but they’re not construction union activists.)
And here they are, for the record:
Chris Daly, former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
SEIU Local 1021
Ed Kinchley, Co-Chair of SF Committee on Political Education (COPE), SEIU
Local 1021’s political action committee
Tony Kelly, southeast San Francisco community activist
Stephen Burdo, San Anselmo, Organizer, No SF 2024 Olympics
Kathleen Russell, San Rafael, Organizer, No SF 2024 Olympics
Dr. Elizabeth Fromer, President, Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association, Mission District
Matthew Kaftor, San Francisco, Co-Founder, More SF
Paul Taylor, San Francisco
William Mandell, San Francisco
Javier Briones, San Francisco
Richard Stone, San Francisco, The Zeitgeist Movement John Graham, San Francisco, Director, BetaCorp
Zhenya Spake, Mill Valley
Ann & Gene Spake, Mill Valley
Mark Coleman, Sausalito
Deborah Rose, Novato
Devin Hartnett, Oakland
Zachary Beachem, Hayward
… and a growing number of concerned Bay Area residents.
*UPDATE: Oh, now they’re saying January 8th will be the date of the vote. Well, that makes more sense. One assumes that the USOC has issued a release for the MSM and that an MSMer told the citizen opposition of the bay area.)
So this sign is a real thing but I don’t know what its purpose is.
It would appear to prevent something like Mayor Gavin Newsom’s old Chevy Tahoe SUV from parking on Lincoln:
Click to expand
The news of the day:
Boy, it wouldn’t take too much effort from a few members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to hop on this particular bandwagon.
Now, which street to rename?
Hey, how about Laguna, the location of our Chinese Consulate? My, wouldn’t that be “provocative?”
In related news, here’s what a small stretch of Laguna looks like now, right in front of the consulate – see the brand-new NO STOPPING ANY TIME signs?
They’re also on Geary, so that means the Western Addition has lost maybe ten parking spaces, in the name of security, one supposes.
Actually, I’m surprised that parking lasted as long as it did, as it was such an obvious security issue.
On It Goes…
This dude is bad-ass.
Now, do you think this guy is on Strava going 60 MPH downhill, so fast he can’t stay in his lane?
Or do you think he’s the kind of Strava person who would plow through a Market Street crosswalk over the speed limit and then place all the blame for a ped death* on pedestrians?
Click to expand
Dude’s just taking it easy.
No medallions, dreadlocks, or black fists it’s just that gangster glare, with gangster raps that gangster shit, that makes the gang of snaps, uhh.
*True story. It’s the Chris Bucchere story. Our District Attorney’s Office has offered him a verrrrrry generous plea bargain deal, but there’s no resolution yet.
Well, here’s the word on the street:
Click to expand
But I guess if you’re unregistered political lobbyist Rose Pak or one of her stencil voters, you prolly want to vote yes on waiving a five-decade-old waterfront height limitation.
In that case, you’re going to want to go here, at the laughable and brand-new Open Up The Waterfront website.
(If Goebbels could have made up websites, he’d have had Open Up Alsace-Lorraine and Open Up The Sudetenland, you know, talking about how pedestrians would benefit after the Third Reich took over.)
Uh, Rose Pak, didn’t we already help pay for your taxpayer-subsidized condo in District 6? Isn’t that enough?
This has been your “NO WALL ON THE WATERFRONT” 8 Washington update.
Oh, and look at all the SPUR losers what actually want this thing built:
Urban Center Director
Jim Salinas, Sr.
V. Fei Tsen
Immediate Past Chair
Advisory Counci l
Oscar De La Torre
Elizabeth (Libby) Seifel
Brooks Walker, III