Posts Tagged ‘org’

SMILES EVERYONE! The United States Olympic Committee is Coming to SF Nov 24th or 25th – A Secret “Private” Meeting

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Smiles everyone, smiles. Why? Because we all need to look our best when the United States Olympic Committee road show beauty contest comes to town on either Monday, November 24th or Tuesday, November 25th, 2014. If we “win,” there’s a good chance that we’ll end up with the 2024 Olympiad.

I was thinking we were overdue for a visit and it turns out we were:

“The USOC has already vetted LA, and was due in DC Wednesday. San Francisco will be visited early next week.”

And who will meet with Scott Blackmun and the USOC, that get-fresh crew from Colorado Springs? IDK, it’s a secret! And certainly you yourself, Gentle Reader, ARE NOT invited, ’cause it’ll be a “private” meeting. Of course, you’ll be “invited” to pay for any “overages” (typically, they run into the eleven-figure territory) but that will come down the road a bit.

And where will they meet? IDK, it’s a secret! Oh well.

These IOC people could be anywhere around town and/or the bay area, so make sure to smile at any and all tourists you see.

Now here’s the thing about smiles and here’s why democracies just aren’t into the Olympics all that much anymore, here’s an actual demand from the corrupt International Olympic Committee:

IOC members shall be greeted with a smile when arriving at their hotel.

This is the kind of greeting the Olympics road show beauty contest people want:

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Of course, the USOC isn’t corrupt the way the IOC is, but the question is why we’re even considering hosting the 2024 Olympics in the first place.

Shouldn’t San Franciscans have a vote on this matter? Mmmm…

Shouldn’t smart, skeptical people be invited to this meeting instead of just having the naive boosters who are happy to be on Another Committee? Mmmm…

San Francisco 2024 Olympics Roundup: Reaction to Today’s Big Push in the Pages of the SF Chronicle

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Well, today’s the big day for the bid to have the 2024 Olympics in the Bay Area.

San Francisco puts in chips for 2024 Olympics by John Coté

1. Obviously, an Olympics in the bay area would be good news for the San Francisco Chronicle. Obvs. I mean, that goes without saying, right? See the editorial below. I mean, they learned us this in Economics, case studies of media support for Olympics past.

2. What’s this?

“We have a lot of reverence for the Olympics … but there may be some ways to modernize the Games or do it a little differently,” said Giants President and CEO Larry Baer…

Sounds like Larry’s been looking at opinion polls. You know, Lare-Bear, the other option is to simply let authoritarian regimes host them from now on.

3. Gee, I really think “improvements” should be in quote marks here:

“Plenty of uncertainty remains, however, including whether improvements to housing, transportation and other infrastructure are worth the cost of hosting the Games.”

4. Is this right, our we still in the first inning?

Baer acknowledges that their effort is still in “the first inning,” even after a months-long exploratory process that included meeting with U.S. Olympic officials in July.

I’d say we’re in the seventh inning stretch. This contest will be all over in a month or two. After that, the only question will be whether America gets the Games in 2024.  This “first inning” stuff is spin spin spin.

5. Here’s the start of some nice OTOH grafs:

“It looks more and more like a boondoggle,” said Andrew Zimbalist, economics professor at Smith College in Massachusetts and author of the upcoming book “Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and World Cup.” “It’s a very difficult calculus to make work for you,” Zimbalist said. “The modern Olympics costs billions and billions of dollars to host. The recent evidence we have is that it does not increase tourism, even during the Games.”

6. But this part here is false:

Private funding from international corporate sponsorships, ticket sales and local sponsorships would cover operating costs that Baer projected at about $4.5 billion.

How does John Cote know that operating costs will be covered? He doesn’t.

7. And what a coincidence that our budget and Boston’s are exactly the same! Who’s cribbing from whom?

Boston has a similar cost projection of $4.5 billion for hosting the 2024 Games, a number Zimbalist dismissed as “a nonsense figure.” “They don’t know what they’re talking about,” Zimbalist said.

This is a nice, strong statement. One would expect the cost overage to run from something like 200% to 500% – something in that territory.

8. Uh, the America’s Cup was a “boon” to which industries?

Last year’s America’s Cup was a boon to certain businesses but…” 

I can’t think of a one, honestly. A “boon,” really?

9. Here we go:

Olympic bid leaders aren’t touting the Games’ economic benefits, but rather the ability to rally a region around tackling some of its major problems — transportation and housing — while improving San Francisco’s marginalized southeast corner.

So, if we want to help black people in the southeast, why don’t we simply give them the $4.5 billion and be done with things?

10. And here’s your stinger:

“Olympians,” said Cribbs, “are just ordinary people who do extraordinary things.”

 Sometimes, I suppose. Other times, it’s like this:

Moving on… to this:

OPINION – Solid start to Bay Area bid for 2024 Olympic Games – San Francisco Chronicle

11. Whoo boy:

At the top of the list is a pledge that they will not be asking for any direct public subsidies in what is expected to become a $4.5 billion venture if San Francisco were to become the first U.S. city to host the Summer Games since Atlanta in 1996.

Didn’t we just through this with the America’s Cup? Who’s pledging that there will be no public subsidies? This is laughable.

12. Whoo boy redux:

“We’re trying to take all the lessons learned, not just from other Olympics but what we learned from America’s Cup,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, adding, “We’re going to be smart about it.”

This is what everybody says every two years. What makes 2024 different?

13. Whoo boy redux II, Electric Boogaloo:

This region’s diversity, appeal as an international destination and leadership in technological innovation would make it a perfect fit for an Olympic Games — as long as it’s done our way, with sensibility and sustainability. The framework of this fledgling bid is very encouraging

The Olympics in the Bay Area would be good for some and not good for others. The Chronicle says we should do things “our” way, but we’re following the well-worn path of countless others. Any “sensible” Olympics proposal from the bay area would get rejected by the IOC, so that option’s not really on the table, now is it?

And here comes CW Nevius, a bit off-message:

Bay Area’s Olympic dreams focused on landfill near Candlestick by C.W. Nevius

14. Ah, Nevius. Let’s watch him beg for access right here on Twitter. A bit unseemly, IMO. And then he goes on about the weather / climate. That’s the least of our problems, right?

15. Remember that stuff from Larry Baer up above about us being in “the first inning?” Forget all that:

It could work, but it would need buy-in — and soon 

I’m not sure why the Neve is so negatory on Brisbane. I think it could “work” as well as any other location.

Anyway, for some reason, the boosters picked today to have a Big Push in the Chronicle.

We’ll see how it goes.

Onward They Charge:

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Boston and D.C. Just Had Private Meetings with Olympic Officials – Will SF Have One Too Today or Tomorrow?

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Or perhaps next week?

Check it, Boston just had its big meeting with the USOC, and DC had its yesterday.

What comes next on the list? SF and LA, right?

Now look at how many people were involved with this process in Boston two days ago.

If something similar were to happen in San Francisco, we’d have leaders from Stanford, UCB, UCSF, UCOP, ETC, and a bunch of Mayors from all over the bay area, gathering to meet with USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun.

I’m thinking our meeting will have a lot fewer people, as it’s still a secret, AFAIK.

And also, we seem to far behind Boston in terms of a public conversation.

The bogus I’m-the-Mayor-and-I-was-skeptical-at-first-but-now… pivot has already occurred in Boston a while back. Given the reputation of the Olympics process these days, the best way for the PR people promoting this coming fiasco to handle things is to have a kind of campaign like THIS IS NOT YOUR FATHER’S OLDSMOBILE or THAT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE A BUICK.

Anyway, it doesn’t look like the Public, La Raza, will be involved in this process anytime soon.

Oh well.

Why is the Threat of Getting Stuck with the 2024 Olympics a Big Deal in Boston, But a Nothingburger in SF? Plus, a Female CW Nevius!

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

The possibility of America hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics is the talk of the town in Boston these days.

And there’s a lot of activity coming out of Los Angeles as well.

And look, Washington DC too.

But in San Francisco, there’s nothing like any of that.

Why?

I don’t know why the conversation in SF is so far behind.

I mean we made it past a bunch of other cities to get to the Final Four, but has there been anything discussed regarding a cost estimate? Like how many tens of billions of dollars it will cost us?

Nope.

This is a mystery to me.

There are all sorts of possibilities…

The danger is San Francisco getting the nod from the USOC and then the USOC beating out all the other OC’s of the world and then bam, the Bay Area will be hosting the 2024 Games.

What are the odds of that? IDK. Some Boston boosters appear to be very confident, but others say that the choice will end up being either LA or SF.

So it could be that San Francisco JUST ISN”T THAT INTO IT?  But then why have we made it this far along the process already and why is a/the web guy for the San Francisco Giants spending so much time on the clock building out the inchoate official 2024SF bid website? Would it be for the sake of the next effort, for 2028?

Mmmm…

All right, now I promised you a Female CW Nevius and here she is, poms poms in hand. Of course, she is supporting the Boston bid and CW Nevius is supporting the San Francisco bid, but they’re completing their assigned roles in exactly the same way. (BTW, am I a “naysayer,” a hater who wants to hate on people’s fun? Well then, how do the boosters look to me? A bunch of vapid cheerleaders who are unafraid to get mixed up in all the Olympic corruption, the bribery, the pay-offs, the reduction in tourism and who are unafraid to spend tens of billions of Other People’s Money on the off chance, perhaps five or ten percent, that things will all work out, don’t you believe in THE DREAM?)

Anyway, I know/ there’s something going on/ there’s something going on/ there’s something going on, but I just don’t know what it is…

Olympocalypse Now: The Time to Kill the 2024 San Francisco Olympics Idea is 2014 – New “NoSFOlympics” Site is Live

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Here are the Four Horse People of the Olympocalypse, these are the ringwraiths who recently rode to Colorado to promote the idea of inflicting the Olympics upon the San Francisco Bay Area in 2024:

apocalypse3 copy

Read all about it at the new No SF Olympics website and NoSFOlympics Twitter. (I’ll tell you, Boston is way ahead of us this go-around. Its official pro-Olympics site is extensive and the concomitant NoBostonOlympics site / Twitter account are similarly active.)

Is it a probability that the Olympics will come to the Bay Area in 2024? No, not at all. But certainly it’s a possibility.

Remember the failed America’s Cup? It had an organizing committee as well, and you’d bump into its members all over town – how proud they were. You’d see them at Costco #144 in SoMA – so what are you working on these days, well I’m on the America’s Cup Committee and… So proud they were! And then they ended up costing us eight figures in cashola after all the promises and reassurances evaporated, after the team that got caught cheating won anyway, after a poorly-designed and/or poorly-maintained catamaran killed an Olympian.

And yet they thought they were Doing Good For San Francisco.

It’s the same thing now with the Olympics except we’re looking at an eleven-figure loss instead of just an eight-figure loss – the impact could be a thousand times worse.

You know, these people just seem to like Doing New Stuff. For instance, here’s Larry Baer hanging out a half-decade back at the debut of the failed UFL. Did he run away from this questionable venture? Oh no. He was quite interested in this quixotic attempt to compete against the NFL. Why? Because it was Something New.

Who knows, maybe the San Francisco Bid Committee will shut down operations next week. OTOH, maybe it will launch its website and there will be a big push, all of sudden, after flying under the radar with people saying, well, I don’t even know if this is a good idea in the first place.

The citizens of the Bay Area should be prepared for both possibilities.

Yelp Fraud: New Stow Lake Boathouse a Huge Success in Golden Gate Park, But Old Regime Just Can’t Let Go

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

[UPDATE: Bagdad by the Bay just looked into things.]

Well, everything’s going great at your new and improved yet-pretty-much-the-same-except-for-the-food Stow Lake Boathouse in Golden Gate Park.

Here’s what it looks like these days:

Click to expand

Just check the Yelp for early reviews. They’re almost all highly positive.*

But what’s this? Some “brother” from Oakland, “Les. L,” is not happy, not one bit! He’s the only Yelper giving a less than positive review.

I’ll allege that Les is not some youngish dude from Oakland, but rather a wealthy, white, preservationist-minded, NIMBY-mentalitied, real-estate-obsessed, highly-opinionated woman of a certain age who lives in the West Bay.

Let’s check it out her one-star report:

“What happened to the cool local people that worked there?”

Um, this is an improbable start to a Yelp review. Gee, maybe they busy themselves with sock puppetry on Yelp these days, just like you, “Les L?”

“Everyone we saw was white, which is weird for SF. We drove over from the East Bay to rent boats with my 2 kids and my mom.”

Oh what’s that, Les? There’s not enough flava for you over here in the West Bay? That’s funny? Did you know that all the people behind the old boat house and the Save the Boat House Coalition are white, or pretty much? What were you expecting?

“The kids couldn’t reach the pedals in the boat we rented. How’s that? It’s for kids, right?”

The old boats, the ones sold off for $500, maybe they were inappropriate for adults? Maybe the kids can just come along for the ride? A paddleboat is a paddleboat, pretty much.

“After a unhappy boatride, my mom tripped on the crappy stairs in front of the boathouse. She was bleeding, the kids were crying, and no one bothered to help us.”

What were you unhappy about, Les? That Bruce lost his lease? It happens. Or you were unhappy because there were too many Whities about?

“An old man sitting on a bench helped us and said the boathouse was just taken over by a New Mexico chain. We won’t be back.”

More improbability. Oh well.

Oddly, Les L., straight outta Oak-Town, also has a big beef with Chicago Title Co. in lily-white Campbell, CA, the wealthiest(?) part of the South Bay.

And, oddly, “his” dentist, with whom “he” also has a big beef, is clear all the way in the burbs of the West Bay.

On It Goes…

*Perhaps too positive. “Ashley c.” is a another one of those Yelp fraudsters, it would appear.

Stow Lake Boathouse Update: Open for Business – New Paint, Slow Pace, Room for Old People – Photos

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Well, lots of things are pretty much the same these days at the Stow Lake Boathouse, which was reopened by the new tenant on Wednesday, October 12th, 2011.

See? 

Click to expand

Check the new photo gallery – it’s quite complete.

But, here’s something new. It’s a sign in honor of boathouse founder Mr. Cal Tilden & the McLellan* Family, 1946-2011:

(Quite civil to post this sign, if you ask me.)

Get more deets via Aaron Sankin - here’s Huffington Post San Francisco going long-form on this issue: Stow Lake Boathouse Fight: A Battle For the Soul Of Golden Gate Park. Or there’s this here, if you want to click through the lengthy history over the prior months and years…

Le mise-en-scene:

If anything, the pace of life is even slower than that of the era of the prior tenant. Nobody’s hurried at all. And there’s more room, more benches for “old people” to lollygag about.

And here’s your new Boathouse Dog, which is from a better supplier and which is being sold at a cheaper price:

Yes, pink popcorn from Wright’s:

All the players:

And what’s this, new paint, finally, after all these years? These guys started working on Wednesday:

So there you have it.

*Yes, that’s a rapping raven, a confabulating corvid at the end of the first video, calling for a boycott of the boathouse.

Presenting Your Stow Lake Boathouse & Cafe “Restoration Time” Menu: $3.25 Hot Dogs, $6.95 Sustainable Tuna Salads

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

At long last, it’s here. It’s the interim menu for our Stow Lake Boathouse & Cafe.

Is this menu too foo-foo yuppie for you? Is $3.25* too much for a Let’s Be Frank grass-fed beef** hot dog?

As always, You Make The Call: 

Click to expand

*Well, I’ll tell you, that’s cheaper than what the former tenant was charging. Here’s some more from the clinically-absurd SaveStowLake.org crowd:

“Seniors will no longer be able to gather freely at the boathouse. Prices will be more than doubled on all food items. Middle class and low-income families will be driven out of this spot that is designed to be for all…not just the wealthy.”

I’ll tell you, everything that the Save Stow Lake people have predicted has turned out to be shrill, alarmist bullcrap. JMO.

** These snappy dogs are loaded with flavor, not junk! Using premium cuts from cattle raised on pasture in California (naturally high in healthy Omega 3 fatty acids!) and organic spices, we’ve crafted a delicious dog that’s lower in fat, calories and sodium than conventional franks. No nitrites, nitrates, hormones, or antibiotics, ever.”

It’s Official: The Stow Lake Boathouse & Cafe Will Open Wednesday – And Here are the New Boats

Monday, October 10th, 2011

[UPDATE: Rachel Gordon has the deets of Opening Day right here.]

I don’t know, if I had an expired lease with the City and County of San Francisco and they asked me to leave by a certain date, I think I’d leave by that date. But the former tenant at the Stow Lake Boathouse doesn’t roll that way, so he kept on running the place, overstaying his lease, defending an eviction action through the drier $pring and $ummery tourism months. The result is that the new tenant is taking over in Autumn, in the rain. O.K., did that help San Francisco? No.

Also, the old tenant charged $25 per hour for paddleboats and $20 for rowboats until he got caught, even though the contracted rate was for $20 and $15 per hour. O.K., did that help San Francisco? No.

Oh, and the workers for the former tenants left little surprises for the new tenants haha. O.K., did that help San Francisco? No.

Oh, and the trial pitting the former tenant against all of us is skedded for March 2012.

Moving on…

Your new Stow Lake Boathouse & Cafe will open on Wednesday, October 12th, 2011, rain or shine, boats and food. It’s official ‘n stuff.

Meet your new fleet:

1. Electric boat – lead-acid type batteries, like from Your Father’s Oldsmobile;

2. Paddleboat – Captain and First Officer/Stoker facing forward with two passengers facing rearward;

3. Rowboat

Click to expand

And actually, the forecast is for Cloudless Skies on Wednesday, so you’ll be richly rewarded if you skip out of work to see the soft opening.

See you there!

Rain Delay: Our New Stow Lake Boathouse and Cafe Won’t Be Opening This Week – How About Next Week?

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Well, it seems that rain has delayed the planned quick fixes to our historic Stow Lake Boathouse, so don’t expect it to open by the promised October 6th deadline. The place is a ghost town right now.

Oh, and there were a few unanticipated electrical issues in the kitchen too.

Oh, and a little while back there was a hole in the Stow Lake levy that cropped up right near the boathouse during the long-planned repaving job for, among other places, the Stow Lake area and a good section of JFK.

Oh, and the swan boats, well, you’re going to have start a petition to get those any time soon. But they’ll have plenty of regular, non-avian-themed paddle boats.

In any event, work proceeds. Get all the deets on the new and official website.

Click to expand

And if you want to rent a bike in Golden Gate Park, you’ll need to go to the new vendor:

ParkWide Activities LLC

You’ll find them operating behind the bandshell in the Music Concourse betwixt our de Young Museum and California Academy of Sciences.

Their Grand Opening will be next week but they’re open for business now, even during these rainy days.

Bon courage, SLBH and ParkWide.