Posts Tagged ‘Olympic’

WikiLeaks on How Gavin Newsom Handled the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay: “It’s Not Chaotic Leadership, It’s Actively Avoiding Hippies”

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

I’ll tell you, the number of people (outside of select parts of SF Gov and the People’s Republic of China) who knew what was going on when the disastrous Olympic Torch Relay came to town in 2008 was small. But Stratfor seemed pretty well clued-in. 

See how its employees mocked CNN and defended man-child Gavin Newsom in real-time during the hunt for the hidden torch back in aught eight:

“Athena Bryce-Rogers wrote:

By the way, CNN has no clue exactly where it is –and they have cameramen all over the place. Authorities are remaining tight-lipped.”

“Athena Bryce-Rogers wrote:

Vehicles leaving warehouse by back. They may have the torch. They’re not going on original route — they’re going around back of SF AT&T parking lot. They’re moving in a unit.”

“Thomas Davison wrote:

Authorities are deciding on the fly where the route is so that protestors can’t prepare. It’s not chaotic leadership, it’s actively avoiding hippies.”

That’s your Wikileaks of the day.

Three-Day Weekend Fun: Using This Link to Search WikiLeaks Cables for Interesting Stuff

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Well, here it is, your:

US diplomatic cables browser (all 250k, unredacted cables available)”

I think this link has the new stuff in it, since there are references in there to Apple’s astonishing (to the writer, anyway) lack of counterfeit-preparedness back in 2008, and that’s been in the news the past couple of days.

I don’t know how exciting this will be for you but remember when that Olympic torch came to town back in 2008? This bit and others similar touch on that:

China is \”gravely concerned\” about security for the April 9 San Francisco Torch Relay participants and their charter plane, said MFA Director General Zheng Zeguang, during a March 26 meeting with the Charge. China expects \”anti-China forces\” to step up their efforts to sabotage the event and asked for USG help in ensuring a \”smooth\” relay.”

And oh yeah, Vietnam was pissed about this kind-of-whacko lady who tried to set part of our downtown Marriott on fire leading to a back and forth that reads just the way you’d expect it to. (The Vietnamese really, really wanted the terrorism charges to stick. They didn’t. But she got a five-year sentence for arson so that’s not too bad.

Anyway, I’m done, my five minutes worth of kicking around the browser are over. The problem is that you can’t search the text.

But you, you’re so clever, I’m sure you can look into this and figure out all sorts of interesting stuff what occurred in the 415…

Squaw Valley USA Announces Details for $50 Million Capital Plan – New Base Lodge and Two New High-Speed Chairlifts

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Don’t get me started on scandal-plagued Winter Olympiads and whatnot.

Instead, let’s focus on $50,000,000 – that’s a lotta money, non?

All the deets, below.

But first, let me bore you with a Kodak Carousel of the last time I was up at the home of the 1960 Winter Olympics.

Looking down:

And looking up:

Way up high:

Squaw Valley is a Winter Wonderland:

All the deets:

Squaw Announces Details for $50 Million Capital Plan

SQUAW VALLEY USA’S RENAISSANCE
Squaw Valley USA announces details for a $50 million capital plan
New base lodge, expanded restaurants and two new high-speed chairlifts planned

[Squaw Valley USA] July 26, 2011 – Squaw Valley USA announces the details of a five-year, $50 million capital improvement plan that will add dramatic improvements to the on-mountain and base village guest experience. Plans include everything from new food and hospitality offerings to new beginner and advanced high-speed chairlifts, trail improvements and a state of the art mountain information system. All enhancements are designed to better enable guests to embrace their desire for adventure, exploration and immersive experiences, whether solo or with families and friends. Whether it’s discovering new terrain or socializing at the end of the day, improvements to amenities and customer service will allow skiers, riders and guests to explore Squaw Valley’s 4,000 acres and vibrant alpine village like never before.

“Squaw Valley is an incredible and diverse mountain, and we are committed to honoring every aspect of the mountain’s history, legacy and legend,” said Andy Wirth, Squaw Valley’s president and chief executive officer. “We’ve talked to guests, skiers and riders regionally and around the country and learned that the very caliber of this mountain may have kept some visitors away, and we are dedicated to creating an approachable and friendly experience for our guests of every ability level. This philosophy is present in every aspect of our mountain and base area improvement plans—and will remain a theme as we continue to change.”

YEAR ONE: Winter 2011-12 / $15 Million

Squaw Valley USA will be investing approximately $15 million in base area and on-mountain improvements for the 2011-12 winter season to improve the guest experience in the following:

Ever more deets, after the jump.

(more…)

ZOMG, the Ziptrek Zipline is Coming Back to San Francisco for the Summer of 2011! Just $29 a Ride

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Here’s the news from AkitIt’s ba-aaaack! Its the ZipTrek EcoTours zipline* (or ziplines, as they will have two, side-by-side). Deets are below.

Now, last year, back in 2010, the rides were free, so people were lining up at 3:00 AM. But this year, the cost will be $29, so that will certainly cut down on the riff-raff, and therefore surely shorten the queue.

(And oh, our friends from up in the Great White North just told me that they will be highly disappointed if Edwin Lee, San Francisco’s once (and future?) Mayor chickens out, if he blows off his obligation. Other Mayors have done it and it all worked out fine. See below for one example…)

This could be you:

Hangtime by Justin.Beck

The deets:

All guests are required to sign an Assumption of Risks and Release of Liability Agreement (coming soon) before zipping. Under 19 requires signature by a parent or guardian.

The ziplines are gravity fed, so guests do not have to worry about controlling their own speed. Guides are stationed at each tower to connect (launch platform) and disconnect (landing platform) each and every guest. Age restrictions apply and guests must weigh more than 65 pounds and no more than a maximum of 275 pounds.

When:
Summer 2011
11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. *

Where:
Justin Herman Plaza at Embarcadero Square, San Francisco, California

* times may vary on certain days”

Will you have the guts to climb a temporary tower (80 feet tall!) just like this one from 2010 to earn the right to tell your friends you rode the Justin Herman Plaza Zip Line?

Just asking.

via Josegee – click to expand

Clicque to expand

But first, you’ll need to wait in line next to the abysmal Vaillancourt Fountain, sign a waiver, and get harnessed up.

Le mise-en-scene.

You’ll ascend the 80 foot tower and encounter a friendly Canadian guide at the top. If you need a pep talk, you’ll get one:

You’ll soon be steadying your nerves by glancing at your jump buddy…

…and then you’ll be off, into the wild bleu.

Sisters doing it for themselves:

Can you see the nervous giggles? There’s your team bonding right there.

And this is what it felt like last year. Everything zooms by with a quickness, and there’s a loud buzzing above your noggin. Some people go upside-down even.

And they’ll totally let you bring a camera to make your own YouTube:

You owe it to yourself to try.

Don’t dissappoint lovely Ashleigh. She brought her Olympic Gold all the way down here last year just so you’d consider Vancouver as the starting point for your next vacation:

via Amy Widdowson

And I’ll tell you, last year the kids from Project Insight were quite amused to see former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown take a run on the fantastic British Columbia Zip-Line near the Ferry Building.

Here’s an account from John Coté.

Willie, sporting cashmere, handed out souvenir mittens (I still have a pair sitting in the back seat of Mom’s Taxi) from Up North:

Then it was time to harness up:

A reluctant exchange of headgear:

It’s go time.

 

Then he was off:

 

Here’s a close-up of those cardinal socks:

The landing tower. Here’s the reverse angle from David Paul Morris

And then a press conference:

His reaction after flying through the sky?

“I was scared as Hell, but there was no way I was going to show it!”

Good for you, Mr. Brown. Will you ride again in 2011?

Anyway, if he can do it, you can too.

See you there this summer!

And get the latest info direct from la source here:

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*Aka flying fox, foefie slide, zip wire, aerial runway, aerial ropeslide, death slide or tyrolean crossing

How Many Golf Courses Does the San Francisco Area Really Need?

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

The suburbs of San Francisco, you know, the Parkside and Northwest San Mateo County, that whole area, seem to be about half golf course from this angle.

Shouldn’t we be going for density instead?

Why can’t we build apartment buildings to the moon and then throw a MUNI station into the mix?

Why can’t we do this now?

Who needs old-school Parkmerced? Who needs golf courses?

Olympic Gold Winner Jennifer Azzi Graces Annual GIRLVENTURES Fundraiser – “Leadership in a Safe, Risk-Taking Environment”

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

San Francisco-based GirlVentures is all about “Empowering adolescent girls to Develop and Express their Strengths.” Now, they have all kinds of programs that would have your tween/teen outdoors in teams on Mt. Tam and other places, but the point is not to teach girls outdoor survival skills. Rather, the point is to teach leadership skills in a safe, risk-taking environment.

So, check out this morning’s “Empower! Breakfast Fundraiser” down at the Palace Hotel (that Grand Old San Francisco Hotel that always seems a cut above the other GOSFH’s).

We’re done with the the wind-up, now here’s the pitch:

“Join us at our 2010 Empower Breakfast Fundraiser as we honor our community and hear about the life-changing experiences of girls who have participated in our outdoor education programs. Hear also from our keynote speaker, Jennifer Azzi, an Olympic gold medalist and Women’s basketball Hall of Famer, while enjoying a scrumptious breakfast and networking with your friends.”

OMG, it’s USF Basketball Head Coach Jennifer Azzi giving the keynote. (Note orange and black rock-climbing helmet – how apropos.)

Click to expand

And here are a few of the Venturing Girls themselves: Shania Reynolds, Kaijika Kendall, Emma Winer, and Yesenia Herrera listening for the next raffle winner to chirp up after each of them spoke to the crowd about what their experiences at GirlVentures programs meant to them:

There were hundreds on hand this AM on the first floor of the Palace:

So, maybe this is the charity you’ve been looking for. Check out their website.

All the deets:

Olympic Gold Medalist Jennifer Azzi Delivers Keynote at Annual GirlVentures’ Empower! Breakfast GirlVentures’ graduates share personal stories of growth and leadership through outdoor experiential education

San Francisco, October 25, 2010 – Jennifer Azzi, Women’s basketball coach at the University of San Francisco and one of the world’s top athletes, will be the keynote speaker at GirlVentures’ Empower! Breakfast, 8-9 AM, Thursday, October 28 at the Palace Hotel, 2 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco. Azzi is described as one of the best basketball players of all time—male or female. Before winning the Olympic gold medal in women’s basketball in 1996, she won an NCAA Basketball Championship at Stanford University, and was honored with both the Naismith and Wade Trophies. Azzi is also a sought-after motivational speaker on topics ranging from handling failure to dreaming big, as well as a master at building leadership skills, a key goal of all GirlVentures’ programs.

Another inspiring highlight of the breakfast will be several GirlVentures’ graduates sharing their own poignant stories of friendship, determination and courage.

About GirlVentures:

GirlVentures is dedicated to empowering pre-adolescent girls from diverse ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds to develop and express their strengths. Girls explore themselves and their world through a Leadership Progression Model of challenging outdoor experiences such as camping, sea kayaking, and rock climbing. GirlVentures offers after-school and summer programs for girls entering middle school and high school, and encourages risk-taking in a safe and supportive environment. GirlVentures is committed to helping girls sustain the self-confidence that they risk losing during their teenage years. Innovative programs, which have served 3,000 Bay Area girls in the past 14 years, are designed to help each participant discover and sustain her true self. Girls develop and express their strengths by coming together with other girls and women mentors to work and play, try new things, solve challenges and resolve conflicts. The GirlVentures’ Leadership Progression Model is aimed at building on the leadership skills girls learn in each program as they enter a new grade.

Is It “Nearly Impossible” to Ride the Justin Herman Plaza Zipline? No, No It’s Not

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Per NBCBayArea, our Justin Herman Plaza Zipline is “nearly impossible to ride” owing to its popularity.

And yet, almost 1000 souls enjoy its charms every day. Mmmm. It wasn’t impossible for all those people to ride, right?

(In other news of the day, here are NBCBayArea’s random photos of Playboy bunnies and Hooters Restaurant employees. That’s got to be pure gold, trafficwise, in’nt.)

The Impossible Dream?

Hangtime by Justin.Beck

Are we saying to get there way early in the day? I think that’s what we’re saying.

Irregardless, NBC’s accounts of when people got into line and when they were able to ride that day (if ever) are enlightening. And, agreed, it’s probably not a good use of time to drive all the way up from San Hoser just to try to go for a 20-second zip.

Zoom zoom.

What It’s Like to Ride the Fantastic Justin Herman Plaza Zip-Line – Merci Beaucoup, Canada!

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

The totally-free Justin Herman Plaza Zip-Line is a smash success this afternoon. Here’s the 1080p video you’ll want to see, or just take the short tour here.

It’s all a part of the British Columbia Experiencecheck the photos.

But this zipline is leaving on April 18th, 2010, so don’t delay.

Get on down there. This could be you:

Clicque to expand

But first, you’ll need to wait in line next to the abysmal Vaillancourt Fountain, sign a waiver, and get harnessed up.

Today’s mise-en-scene. From the left: the temporary Peter Pan (opening April 27th!) tent from England, the temporary zipline tower from British Columbia, and the permanent(?) Vaillancourt Fountain from the bowels of Hell: 

You’ll ascend the 80 foot tower and encounter a friendly Canadian guide at the top. If you need a pep talk, you’ll get one:

You’ll soon be steadying your nerves by glancing at your jump buddy…

…and then you’ll be off, into the wild bleu.

Sisters doing it for themselves:

Can you see the nervous giggles? There’s your team bonding right there.

And this is what it feels like. Everything zooms by with a quickness, and there’s a loud buzzing above your noggin. Some people go upside-down even.

And they’ll totally let you bring a camera to make your own YouTube:

You owe it to yourself to try.

Don’t dissappoint lovely Ashleigh. She brought her Olympic Gold all the way down here just so you’d consider Vancouver as the starting point for your next vacation:

via Amy Widdowson

See you there!

Are You Brave Enough to Climb This Tower to Ride the Justin Herman Plaza Zip Line?

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

[UPDATE: I had the guts. Will you?????]

Will you have the guts to climb this temporary tower (80 feet tall!) down near Embarcadero Station to earn the right to tell your friends you rode the Justin Herman Plaza Zip Line?

Just asking.

The fun starts tomorrow, April 8th around lunchtime and it’ll stay all the way ’til April 18th, 2010.

via Josegee

The latest:

The zip line will start from a launch tower 80 feet off the ground and will carry users 680 feet to a 30-foot-tall landing tower. The zip-line will be free to the public and open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through April 18. Thursday’s launch event is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. and will include performances by the Le-La-La Dancers, an aboriginal dance troupe from Vancouver Island.”

See you there!

Urban Zip-Line Coming to San Francisco! Zoom 680 Feet Over Justin Herman Plaza for Free

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

[OMG, they’re here putting up the tower. It’s actually happening. Oh Canada! UPDATE: It’s here!]

Those people in British Columbia, they like to have fun. So, in order to get you to think about taking your next vacay up in the Great White, they’re going to install a 600 680-foot-long zip-line* in Embarcadero Square and run it for eleven days starting April 8th, 2010. And, assuming you meet their physical requirements (it looks like I’ll qualify, but 280-pound Epic Bearded Man Thomas Bruso probably won’t), you’ll be able to harness up and go for a 225-yard ride FOR FREE.

Imagine zooming over the giant white tent they’re constructing for Peter Pan (opening April 27th!) at neighboring Sue Bierman Park. You can fly, Wendy, you can fly.

Justin Herman Plaza Zip-Line! Justin Herman Plaza Zip-Line! Justin Herman Plaza Zip-Line!

You’ll also be able to look down over this $1000-a-day monstrosity. (Try not to tell our friends from western Canada the actual name of “Vaillancourt Fountain.” Shhhhh….)

Justin Herman, as captured by the talented David Yu

See you there April 8th. (Can you already visualize people using their iPhones to Tweet about how long they have to wait for their free rides? I can. If not for our generous Northern Cousins, this kind of thing should cost about $100 American (or Canadian, don’t think there’s much diff these days)).

Zoom zoom.

*Aka flying fox, foefie slide, zip wire, aerial runway, aerial ropeslide, death slide or tyrolean crossing

When: Thursday, April 8 – Sunday, April 18th 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. What: The British Columbia Experience, featuring: – Free 600 ft. Urban Zipline: Open to the Public. Note: There are no age restrictions, but guests must weigh more than 65 pounds and no more than a maximum of 275 pounds. The ride will be free of charge.  Where: Justin Herman Plaza at Embarcadero Square, San Francisco, California”

 

BC EXPERIENCE’ IN SAN FRANCISCO TO PROMOTE TOURISM

“VICTORIA – One of the most popular activities during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is heading to San Francisco as part of an exciting tourism marketing campaign, announced Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts. From April 8 to 18, a 183-metre (600-foot) zipline will be set-up in Embarcadero Square in San Francisco as part of the BC Experience showcase. The showcase will feature the Whistler-based Ziptrek Ecotours zipline, free public dance performances by the Le-La-La Dancers – a world-renowned Aboriginal dance group – an interactive video display featuring videos and beautiful images of B.C., a 3-D art installation and an updated version of the “You Gotta Be Here” advertising campaign in subway stations throughout the city.“We’ve just finished hosting the largest and most successful celebrations in the world and the zipline in Robson Square was obviously one of the most popular public activities during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games,” said Krueger. “We want to bring that excitement to San Francisco, a city that is one of our key markets for attracting new travellers, to show people the diverse range of travel experiences they can find in B.C. and invite them to visit.”The Canadian Tourism Commission is also hosting their annual US Media Marketplace in San Francisco April 12-14, at which over 150 US-based travel writers and editors will meet with Canadian tourism representatives.To help launch the BC Experience, two gold-medal winning Olympians, Canadian ski cross racer Ashleigh McIvor and US speed skater Shani Davis, will be among the first to try the zipline and participate in a public autograph signing.As a result of the Olympic marketing campaign, the number of Americans in the target demographic considering a leisure trip to B.C. has nearly doubled. This increase represents nearly nine million more potential U.S. visitors. Approximately 14 per cent of US visitors to B.C. come from California.The BC Experience is part of a post-Olympic North American consumer marketing campaign that will use online advertising, social media and search marketing to reach potential visitors. The campaign will reach out to consumers who have already expressed interest in travel to B.C., and present customized offers based on their interests.The campaign will focus on a range of experiences, including golf, food and wine, and outdoor adventure to create a greater depth of interest in experiencing B.C.’s tourism products.”

For more information on B.C. tourism opportunities, please visit www.HelloBC.com.

Leaving the final words with Alex P Keaton - in re: British Columbia, “You Gotta Be Here.”