Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco Chronicle’

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

UPI Reports That SF Has Already Submitted Its Secret 2024 Olympics Proposal? – Also, a Big USOC Meeting in SF on Dec 16th

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Oh, the San Francisco 2024 Olympics bid committee has already submitted its technical proposal to the United States Olympic Committee? Well, that’s news to me. Check it:

Boston, Los Angeles, other US cities vie for 2024 Olympics

So what was the proposal? Oh, it’s a secret? OK fine.

You know, there’s no way that the IOC will agree to have the 2024 Summer Olympics come to the Bay Area without the Bay Area being on the hook for all the inevitable cost overruns, right? That could be ten or twenty billion dollars, right? What’s that, we shouldn’t worry about these matters – we should “rest assured” until the inevitable bill comes? Isn’t that bassackwards? I think so.

And what’s this, the United State Olympic Committee is coming to town for a big meeting on December 16th, 2014? This is news to me as well:

The four cities will make their final presentations to the committee in San Francisco on Dec. 16.

Isn’t this kind of thing kind of newsworthy to the people of the Bay Area?

Anyway, all this seems like a big deal – you’d think Bay Area media people would be covering this issue more…

 

What San Francisco Chronicle Writer CW Nevius Gets Wrong About Our Bid for the Corrupt 2024 Olympics

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Here’s the latest from The Nevius – once more unto the breach, my friends, once more:

Olympic insiders dish on S.F.’s bid for 2024 Games - We’ve been talking to some Olympic insiders — nobody likes to gossip like Olympic insiders — and they’ve been sizing up the chances.”

Who’s “we,” Nevius?  Is this nosism, the Royal we? Why do you do that, Neve? (Oh, I’m sorry, why do you guys do that, Neve?) You all should stop doing that, all of you, Neviuses.

The good: There is definitely a strong interest in bringing the Games to the United States. 

I don’t exactly know how juicy this “gossip” is – I think it’s more like common knowledge, right? And considering what the IOC has done to a bunch of cities over the years and decades, I don’t see how this non-gossip could be categorized as “the good.”

The bad: San Francisco’s quirky politics may make organizers nervous. “San Francisco could put something on the ballot,” the staffer said, “and you’ve got Denver all over again.”

OK, so what are you saying here Neve? The short-sighted politicians of Denver and the rest of Colorado made a mistake back in 1970 and that mistake got corrected by the Voters, the sacred Voters, right? Check it: “The IOC had long asserted that it wouldn’t hold the games in Denver unless public money was available to help foot the bill, so unless the people of Colorado would change their minds, the Olympics were going elsewhere.” So isn’t Denver 1976 an example of The Good? I cry foul.

Joke if you will about the proposed pop-up stadium on what is now a landfill in Brisbane, but there is a case to be made that a temporary facility is a sensible option.

The only person in the world to have joked about Brisbane as a stadium location is you yourselves, CW Nevius. FYI. IRL, the venue of this venue is the least of our concerns. IRL, with billions and billions of OUR MONEY, it would be a LEAD PIPE CINCH to make Brisbane work as an olympic stadium. For ex, they could put a roof on it, right?

Beijing’s iconic Bird’s Nest stadium is now called the Empty Nest because it isn’t being used.

As the saying goes, if you start disassembling your “pop-up stadium” four weeks after the Opening Ceremony, all you’re doing is shooting a white elephant. How is that an improvement?

Our insider says, “San Francisco is the most European city,” which plays well with IOC delegates.

“Our insider?” Your (the Plural Your, of course, Emperor Nortonevius) headline promised insiders. And SF is “the most European city” EXCEPT for fucking Berlin, Paris, Hamburg. Rome, St. Pete and all the other European cities what are in the running for 2024.

If San Francisco has one, I couldn’t find it.

Well, here it is – it’s SF2024.Org. Can you find it now, Neviuses?

The Central Subway will be ready by then…

Oh, is that the very same subway what “makes you wince,” Neviuses? What’s that, you know it’s the largest pork barrel project in ‘Merica currently, but you want to maintain your access with the current political Establishment so you say nice things about it now? OK fine. I can’t imagine how the Central Subway would make any kind of difference to the 2024 Olympics, but anyway.

Hey Nevius, weren’t you a big big fan of the America’s Cup coming to town? Weren’t you all:

Holding the America’s Cup race in San Francisco is a wonderful opportunity without a downside.”

Yes you were. But there was a downside, huh? And then you started rooting for the other side and you wished a good riddance to the Cup and now it’s off to Bermuda in 2017. Don’t you see how wrong you were about the America’s Cup? Yes? No? Oh, you’ve already picked up your pom-poms and moved on to the Olympics?

OK fine.

Coyote Warnings are Out Again in Golden Gate Park – At the Conservatory and Academy – But Don’t Say, “Clever Girl!”

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

I’m not sure when CW Nevius SF Coyote Hysteria hit its peak – I think it was a year or two after he moved to town, so it must have been a year or two ago. Here’s a sample, where the SF newcomer uses the term “we” as if he were a long-timer:

Simple-Minded San Francisco Chronicle Writer CW Nevius Considers Urban Coyotes Dangerous and Pit Bulls Harmless

So how many people have been nipped at by San Francisco coyotes since the Era of Alarmism? How about zero? Compare that with the number of people hospitalized from dog attacks over the same period.  Mmmm…

Anyway, there are more signs than usual on the East Si-iiide of the park these days:

7J7C7507 copy

And here’s some mockery of these now-famous coyote signs, from back in the day

248714970-copy1

Oh My Gosh, It’s a Mash Letter from France: “San Francisco, La Grille Sur Les Collines / The Grid Meets the Hills” – Mapping SF

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Via famed bay area mapmaker Doug McCune comes word of a book from 1999:

San Francisco, la grille sur les collines / the grid meets the hills (English and French Edition) Paperback – June 17, 1999, by Florence Lipsky ISBN: 9782863640777

Oh Ma Ga! I missed this one, both in 1999 and in 2010, when a mini-review appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle:

‘Grid Meets the Hills’ shows terrain shaping S.F

Take a look at these scans from 99% Invisible, a “tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world.”

And here’s a peek from the Google Books.

Check it, it’s Vallejo and Jones:

Click to expand

I’m going to get this book and read through it…

What Mayor Ed Lee Is Doing Tomorrow: The “HSBC Made for Trade” Tour – Hey, Is Trade Good or Should We “Buy Local?”

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

The “HSBC Made for Trade Tour” is blowing through town tomorrow – sked below.

Observations:

- So “trade” is good? I thought we were supposed to “buy local?” I don’t have a beef against international trade myself, but I’m a little surprised to see SFGov participating in this trade love-fest.

- Isn’t the Bay Area Council Economic Institute now discredited owing to the recent America’s Cup fiasco? I think so. And yet here there are popping up as if nothing at all is wrong. Here you go, this BACEI report was a laugh riot: The America’s Cup: Economic Impacts of a Match on San Francisco Bay. Check it, potential “economic benefits” of “$9.9 billion,” whatever that meant. And a “fleet of super yachts” was supposed to motor through the Panama Canal and then shower riches upon us in some sort of Build It And They Will Come aquatic cargo cult. Hey! Perhaps the BACEI could gin up a report for how great the 2024 Olympics would be for us – wouldn’t that be a nice encore?

- And isn’t our Chinese Consulate the Locus of Espionage for Northern California? I think so. Or name me a better one, gentle reader? Anyway, here they come, as if nothing’s a matter.

Here you go, here’s the pitch:

HSBC Made for Trade is a national conversation with leaders in business, government, industry and academia about the role of global trade in today’s economy. This national tour looks at the contribution of the international flow of goods, services and capital to the U.S. economy, and the opportunities for American businesses brought about by global trade.”

And here’s tomorrow’s agenda:

Program Agenda

Financing The Future
The Palace Hotel
San Francisco, CA
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

11:00 a.m.
Welcome 
Steve Bottomley
Head of Commercial Banking, North America, HSBC

11:05 a.m.
Innovative Policy Approaches To Support Globalization
Deputy Assistant Secretary Ted Dean
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration

11:15 a.m.
Trade In The Bay Area: Investment And Global Financial Flows
Introduction by Steve Bottomley
Head of Commercial Banking, North America, HSBC
Moderated by Andrew S. Ross
Business Columnist, San Francisco Chronicle
Dr. Sean Randolph
President & CEO, Bay Area Council Economic Institute
Additional commentary from:
Deputy Assistant Secretary Ted Dean
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
Debra J. Lodge
Head of RMB FX Business Development, North America, HSBC Global Markets
Xia Xiang
Economic and Commercial Counselor, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, San Francisco

12:00 p.m.
Keynote Remarks
Introduction by Steve Bottomley
Head of Commercial Banking, North America, HSBC
The Honorable Edwin M. Lee
Mayor, City of San Francisco

12:20 p.m.
Lunch Served
Marlon Young
Chief Executive Officer, Americas, HSBC Private Bank

12:40 p.m.
Panel Discussion: How Bay Area Businesses Are Fueling The 
Future Of America
Introduction by Marlon Young
Chief Executive Officer, Americas, HSBC Private Bank
Moderated by Jim Wunderman
President and CEO, Bay Area Council
Benedict J. Bowler
Treasurer, Matson, Inc.
Lisa Peschcke-Koedt
Vice President, Global Tax and Customs, Cisco Systems, Inc.
Johan Nystedt
Vice President and Global Treasurer, Levi Strauss & Co.
Dan Shapero
Vice President, Talent Solutions, LinkedIn

1:25 p.m.
California And The Business Of Trade
Introduction by Marlon Young
Chief Executive Officer, Americas, HSBC Private Bank
Kish Rajan
Director, California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

1:35 p.m.
Closing Remarks 

SFGate Knows Me All So Well: “YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE … THE 10 BIGGEST BOOTIES OF 2014″ – Boo-tay, Boo-tay, Boo-tay!

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

It’s come to this – my history of clicking on SFGate has finally come to this:

Click to expand

I love boo-tay (We Love it)/

Asiana Air Crash Update – Reviewing KTVU TV’s “Sum Ting Wong” Fiasco from 2014 – TRIGGER WARNING: Speculation

Friday, January 24th, 2014

1. So KTVU, the way to make up for your error is to disclose what occurred, IMO. The way NOT to do it is to air “Success Makers*” featuring “Survivor” winner Yul Kwon interviewing other notable Korean Americans. This tit-for-tat, Black-Eye vs. Feather-in-the-Cap, yes-but-is-it-good-for-the-Jews accounting system is a big fat joke and everybody knows it. If you all want to air this kind of “aspirational” bullcrap at 7 AM on a Sunday morning, well then be my guest, but you don’t need to commit the U.S. Media Blunder of the Year 2013 first, right? One thing has nothing to do with the other, IRL. You can throw a bone to the Asian American Journalists Association whenever you want, right? Why connect the two?

2. OTOH, KTVU, if you want to go through the pretty much pointless process of sending out take-down notices hither and yon so that certain people, certain older, out of touch people, can see that you’re trying to placate them, well, at least that makes more sense than Success Makers.

3. So, KTVU, what happened? Your viewing public is confused. And rightly so, since you’re hiding your own story from them. Some think that you all got punked by another TV station as payback for all the crowing you were doing about your Asiana coverage up to that point. Others think that some low-level KTVU employee made a joke and then things got out of hand. But that’s not what I heard.

4. My theory. Some aviation buff from the Midwest, let’s say in Illinois or a neighboring state, posts on a regional forum that the names all the pilots have just been revealed: “Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk,” and “Bang Ding Ow.” This joke just sat out there for a day or so and then it started getting repeated on other boards and Twitter and the like. A retired pilot, somebody that KTVU had dealt with in the past, came across the names but didn’t get the joke. So he earnestly passed the names along to a contact at KTVU and that’s what got the ball rolling. Do you want a guess on who that person is? Well, my WAG is a former United Airlines pilot who’s now living in a leafy East Bay suburb. Someone who is older. He’s younger than my grandmother, who would not have gotten the joke either, but old enough to have grown up in a more sober-minded era. (That’s an era where a kind of blue-collar, single-income fam could actually afford to buy a Brady Bunch kind of house on an ironically-named street just before it massively appreciated.)

5. So then, the KTVU crew runs the names by a Chinese-American(?) woman who  doesn’t wonder why all the Korean pilots have Chinese-sounding names? (NB: If you don’t have a Kim, a Lee, or a Park in there, then something might very well be suspect.) And the news reader lady, who, after all is pretty much mindlessly reading the Teleprompter, pronounced one of the names as Fook instead of Fuck and boy aren’t we clever to not make that mistake

6. I’ll tell you, it’ll take a long time before a carrier like Asiana has four Chinese national pilots on one of its widebodies. OTOH, there were a heck of a lot of Chinese passengers on the Korean plane. Why’s that? Well, I’ll tell you, one of my former co-workers flew to South Korea last year just before the SFO disaster and this person specifically avoided using the two big Korean carriers even though it cost hundreds more to do so. Why? A strong mistrust of South Korean aviation safety. So, a Chinese carrier, Taiwanese, American? Sure, but not Asiana. One assumes that Asiana had pretty low fares in the summer of 2013…

7. So KTVU, as long as your happy, huh? You had a problem, you dealt with it, you fired some people, you paid off some settlement(s) for firing some people, you aired an aspirational TV show to several thousands of viewers and that’s that. What this all reminds me of is what the San Francisco Chronicle went through after it posted DIARY OF A SEX SLAVE, which was a major investment in time and money.** Boy, that one really hit the fan. After this similar kind of backlash, the Chron agreed not to syndicate the series, which prolly cost the Chron big bucks I’m guessing. Oh well.

8. Anyway, KTVU, that’s what some people might be thinking, but not saying. Try to focus on what’s correct, not what’s confirmed, you old MSM dinosaur you. The way you handled this mess is a bigger problem than the initial mess itself is what I’m saying. Go and sin no more. And I’ll tell you, the FAA / NTSB gets an A+ so far for the accident investigation. It’s like a WHAT WENT WRONG SO WE DON’T DO THIS AGAIN kind of thing. Why doesn’t KTVU do the same kind of thing so we can all benefit?

*”I’ll be hosting a special on KTVU tomorrow night after the 49ers-Seahawks game. The show is called “Success Makers” and I profile/interview four Asian American trailblazers, including Gideon Yu (president of the 49ers and former CFO of Facebook) and Daniel Dae Kim (star of Lost and Hawaii 5-0). Their stories are fascinating, and notwithstanding the painfully rusty host, the show is actually pretty eye-opening.”

**The problem was that the important parts were single-sourced. (“Typical college student?” Please.) IMO, that was the real prob with it.