Posts Tagged ‘protest’

Oh, It’s Here! – The Anti San Francisco Olympics Movement Has Arrived – “SF No 2024″ Comes to Save Us Billions

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Here it is, The Letter, from SF No 2024 (TwitterFaceBook):

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.)

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.

Capturekjh copy

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:

Capturegdg copy

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.

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:

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 Never-Ending Vigil: Falun Gong vs. the Chinese Consulate on Geary – Continuing Rain or Shine

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Here’s how things look on Geary during our recent rains…

7J7C0094 copy

…and here’s a 14 year old San Jose Mercury News report on the same group at the same location:

They’ve become part of the landscape on Geary and Laguna. Every morning they wave and say, “Good morning,” to the San Francisco police officer on duty, Xu said. Every evening, they say, “Good night.” They are so familiar with the postal carrier they know when a substitute is walking the route and greet both warmly.

Across the street, a San Francisco police officer sits in his vehicle, reading a paper. The cops hardly think a dozen old people and mothers with kids in tow are a threat to the People’s Republic of China, but as a matter of policy, the police dispatch an officer whenever there is a demonstration in front of the consulate.

The officer on the scene may change, but one keeps in contact with the protesters and the consulate: officer Jeff Roth, the event coordinator at Northern Station, which handles more than a few consulates because the district straddles the Western Addition, Pacific Heights and the Marina.

“They aren’t happy about it, but they don’t really have a say in the matter,” Roth said of the consulate officials.

Other protests — over Tibet and the like — have brought requests from the consulate in the past for police to stop protesters, Roth said. “We’ve explained, ‘Yes, the consulate is Chinese property, but this is America — the protesters have their First Amendment rights.'”

I’ll tell you, it’s not my habit to repost SJMN articles, but this one appears to have gone missing. If somebody can find an official link, please send it my way, by all means. (I hope it’s archived somewhere – it’s a bit surprising to me how it’s been lost in the sands of time after just 14 years.

In the meantime, this is my best guess as to how this article appeared back at the turn of the century:

(more…)

Beach Chalet Soccer Field Turf Protesters, Golden Gate Park – These People are Still Out There – They’re Not Giving Up

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Didn’t we just have an election on this topic just a few weeks ago?

I think so.

Here they are yesterday, still. Defeated, and yet not:

7J7C9868 copy

CALL: Defeat does not exist in this dojo, does it?
RESPONSE: No, Sensei!

Now You Can Protest Your Unfair SFMTA MUNI DPT SFBC Ticket Online – One Weird Trick – Here’s Your Link

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Via SF Bay’s Transportation Writer Jerold Chinn, here’s your link, Baby!

https://wmq.etimspayments.com/pbw/include/sanfrancisco/dispute_request.jsp

It’s New, it’s You. It’s Now, it’s Wow.

Of course, most of the citations handed out by the SFMTA MUNI DPT SFBC (oddly, the SFMTA/SFGov gives a lot of money to our local San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, so it acts as an arm of the government these days. Oddly) are handed out “fairly.” And I would even go as far as to say that most of the tickets protested as “unfair” were handed out fairly as well.

OTOH, there are some SFMTA employees who do bad things – they steal multiple $6 cable car fares each and every day or they say you parked for more than two hours in an RPP zone when you didn’t. And then the official SFMTA spokesmodels bend over backwards to say that no SFMTA employees ever do anything bad ever. EVER!

(And considering how often these spokesmodels get their facts wrong, well … oh well. Bygones.)

Here’s your screenshot:

Capturefsfsf copy

Good luck, Offenders!

“Online Citation Protest

Step 1 of 6

This website allows you to protest one citation at a time.
As part of the review process, you will be allowed to upload 3 documents to help us in our decision-making process.
Do not use your browser’s back arrow to navigate or you will need to start over.

Citation Number: where to find

Per the California Vehicle and Public Utility Code, you may have only one review per citation within the statutory time limits.
While in the process of protesting your citation, additional penalties will not be added to the violation.

Technical Support for Online Services
If you need help or have questions about this service, please complete this form or call 311 (415.701.2311).”

A Pretty Quiet Day at Our Chinese Consulate on the Big Tiananmen Square Anniversary – Just the Typical FALUN DAFA Protesters

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Thusly:

Click to expand

The Empire Strikes Back: Board President David Chiu’s AirBNB Legalization Proposal Gets Opposed by the SFAA, Tenant’s Groups

Monday, April 28th, 2014

A fresh press release:

“NEWS RELEASE: SAN FRANCISCO CITYWIDE COALITION SAYS NO TO PROPOSED CHIU LEGISLATION – Board of Supervisors trying to convert residential housing to short-term rentals

Press conference Tuesday April 29, 2014 Steps of City Hall at 10:00 am

San Francisco — Organizations representing usually divergent interests ranging from tenants to landlords, and from hotel workers to the hospitality industry have joined forces with neighborhood and homeowner associations to oppose legislation introduced by Supervisor David Chiu to legalize the short term rentals of residential property throughout San Francisco.

“In the face of an unprecedented housing crisis, Supervisor Chiu’s legislation to legalize the short term rentals of residential property will only exacerbate the housing crisis. This practice is detrimental to our rent-controlled housing stock”, said Janan New, Executive Director of the San Francisco Apartment Association.

“Our studies have shown that with over 10,000 units of housing being rented out over Airbnb, HomeAway and other websites this practice is having a negative impact on hotel workers and San Francisco’s hospitality industry”, said Mike Casey, President of UNITE HERE Local 2.

“The proposed legislation would rezone the entire city from residential zoning to commercial zoning in one fell swoop. We hear complaints from almost every neighborhood about the detrimental effects of short term rentals on the quality of life of tenants and residents”, said John Bardis, former President of the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods and former San Francisco Supervisor.

“Supervisors Chiu’s legislation would repeal hard won controls on Single Resident Occupancy housing, threatens current affordable housing provisions for over 30,000 permanently affordable units, would transform newly approved “in-law units” into high priced motel rooms and make “below market rate” units lifetime luxury hotels. It is the single biggest threat to affordable housing ever proposed by a San Francisco Supervisor” stated longtime affordable housing advocate Calvin Welch.

“Airbnb and other hosting platforms owe the City millions of dollars in unpaid hotel taxes. It is high time that the City collect these taxes which pay for the arts and vital city services and programs. The proposed legislation does not clearly hold Airbnb and similar organizations responsible for collecting and remitting the hotel tax”, said former Supervisor Aaron Peskin.

All of these organizations are calling for Supervisor Chiu to withdraw his legislation at a press conference on Tuesday April 29 on the steps of City Hall at 10:00 am.”