Posts Tagged ‘protests’

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

BOMA Members Advertise on Craigslist for Strikebreaking Janitors – $18 Per Hour – Huge SEIU Protests in the Financh

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

These days, in the Financial District of San Francisco, it’s the BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco) vs. the SEIU (Service Employees International Union Local 87).

Seems that it’s contract negotiation season for area janitors, don’t you know.

So you’ll find hundreds of workers loudly circling target buildings, marching around, for example, the 101 California, yesterday.

You know, like this: 

Click to expand – the cops seemed to be cool with marching on the sidewalk, but union members wouldn’t have been allowed to just stand around, apparently

But you know, some building owners have a Back Up Plan, you know, the plan to hire replacement workers at $18.65 per.

Here’s yesterday’s ad from the Craiglist:

We are accepting applications for temporary janitorial positions in San Francisco. The work involves replacing our current work force at commercial office building throughout downtown San Francisco due to a possible labor dispute with the SEIU- Service Employees International Union. 

The rate of pay is $18.65 per hour. Typical shifts are from 6:00pm to 2:00am. The length of temporary employment is unknown at this time.

JOB DUTIES INCLUDE BUT NOT LIMITED TO:
Vacuuming
Remove trash and recycling.
Cleaning and stocking restrooms
Dusting surfaces
Spot cleaning carpets
Follow all job site safety regulations

REQUIREMENTS
Ability to work 7.5 hours on your feet
Ability to push and pull up to 25 lbs.
Ability to work independently or in a team environment
Must be 18 years or older to apply
If required, must be able to pass a criminal background check”

On It Goes…

OccupySF: Is Capitalist and Mayoral Candidate Joanna Rees Part of the 99% or the 1%?

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Here’s the news from Dan Schreiber:

Occupy SF gains support from Joanna Rees

And here’s how close the 99% will ever be able to get to her abode (assuming they don’ t want to risk getting tased with extreme prejudice).

Don’t tase me, bro: 

Click to expand

[And once you make it past the security guards, you’ll still have to deal with the legacy of this street’s famous restrictive covenants.]

Actually, some of the 99% get paid what I assume to be something close to minimum wage to carry signs and otherwise sing the praises of Joanna Rees. And you know who pays for that? The taxpayers of the City and County of San Francisco, for some reason:

Somehow this all makes sense…

MUNI’s Dog-Killing Tom Otterness and BART’s Lying Linton Johnson: Advice for Unpopular Millionaires

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Hey Tom Otterness! You’re rich, right?*

So why not take the $750K that MUNI or the SFMTA or the Central Subway has granted you and spend it on animals, like donate it to a shelter for abused dogs or something?

That would serve to make your apologies more real.

And then you could put this issue to bed and then you could more easily get contracts in the future.

Hurray!

Hey Linton Johnson! You’re rich, right?*

So why not take part of the $170k+ per year pay package you cost BART and use it to reimburse the $872 you had billed to the taxpayers for those two SUVs that nobody even used?

Wouldn’t that be fair?

Hurray!

*If not, you should be, right? You make a lot of money, considering, right? 

I Love Big Brother: Check Out This Orwellian Video from BART on the YouTube – What’s BARTtv?

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Here it is, direct from BART:

BART Customers React to Protest Plans

Highlights:

“There are a multitude of groups … flying in from all over the country. They want to do surprise attacks, basically, on BART riders.”

“…but for outsiders to come in…”

“And if that happens, would you be mad at BART or the protesters?”

“At the San Francisco Embarcadero Station, Mark Jones* reporting, for BARTtv.”

(Boy, this one is more maudlin than a CW Nevius column.)

So really, BART,  there were all these people flying in from all over the country to do a protest at the Civic Center station last Thursday?

Really?

*Formerly (currently?) an AFTRA Shop Steward and transportation reporter for KRON4 TV.

San Francisco Marks 20th Anniversary of Tiananmen Massacre with Candlelight Vigil

Friday, June 5th, 2009

This was the scene last night in Chinatown, where people turned out with their candles to mark the 20th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre.

All photos by Whole Wheat Toast. See more at the Toasted Blog.

Portsmouth Square, San Francisco:

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The Goddess of Democracy:

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Tiananmen Massacre Anniversary: All Quiet at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

There doesn’t appear to be a whole lot going on to mark the 20th anniversary of  the Tiananmen Square Massacre (aka June 4 Incident, aka “6-4“) around San Francisco today so far.

This is the scene at the sometimes-busy Chinese consulate in the Western Addition – barricades are ready to be used if needed.

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Appears as if there’ll be a candlelight vigil in Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square at the Goddess of Democracy statue around 7:30 or 8:00 PM tonight.

Candlelight vigil 4th June at 8p at Portsmouth Sq, Chinatown, San Francisco re: Tiananmen Square”

Here she is, the GoD, being ignored last year by Mayor Gavin Newsom in all the excitement leading up to the international Olympic Torch Relay fiasco of 2008. (Don’t look forward to any more of those international relays – they’re cancelled forever by the International Olympic Committee due to actions from the Sacred Flame Protection Squad, etc.)

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June 4th is being remembered in San Francisco, but it doesn’t seem to be that big a deal at this point. Here’s one account from Tiananmen, in the virtual pages of SFGate:

Our eyes locked. He was attractive in a stern sort of way, with wide-set eyes and a strong, dimpled chin. He was probably four or five years my junior. We looked into one another’s eyes for a few seconds, our limbs locked in this aggressive parody of a dance. I had an absurd memory of senior prom…” On it goes.

Anyway, it looks like Chinatown will be the venue for the biggest 6-4 observation in town today.

An Unexpectedly Large Turnout for San Francisco’s Anti-tax Tea Party

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

A large crowd appeared in the Civic Center area today to take part in San Francisco‘s 2009 Tea Party Protest. People gathered in front of City Hall and then took it over to the old Federal Building. Denizens of S.F. mostly just ignored this event – the vast majority of these folks live in the Bay Area but not actually in San Francisco.

A few “they terk our jerbs“-types were about, but not too many. And a few Men in Black (and/or dark grey) tried to crash the party, so it seems. Andy Wright offers her thoughts here.

The crowd as it looked early on. I’m estimating 500, all told (“more than 400″ per Amanda Vergel de Dios over at SFSU’s Golden Gate Xpress, and “maybe 500” from Carla Marinucci at the San Francisco Chronicle. Bingo! That’s some good estimating right there.):

“$$ Golden Gate Objectivists $$” promoting AynRandCenter.org. O.K. fine.

The ThunderPower Thun-350 megaphone was not up to the task today. Many could not hear the speakers.

In front of Nancy Pelosi’s office:

The Old Fed Building:

United States of France:

“Illegal Alien (sic) Cost Taxpayers Trillions.” Don’t tread on me:

Obamanomics: Chains we can believe in:

Posing:

A ringleader, leading the parade like the Pied Piper:

Not a fan of Goldman Sachs:

Scikle and hammer:

A Cal alum against pork:

Tri-pointed and raccoon hats were the order of the day:

Teabags everywhere.

Luckily, a “REPORTER” was there. The other side of the paper hat ring had the word “MEDIA”

To Be Continued?