Remember, Things Go Better With Butane:
Posts Tagged ‘san jose’
“I truly believe this will advance our long-term interests,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said. “We believe that San Francisco’s 2024 vision of the Olympics is 100 percent aligned with our priorities as we see them today, both as a city and as a region.”
Yeah, sure, hook Ed Lee up to a lie detector and you’d see that he actually believes this statement. Except that it’s not true. Unless he thinks that the 2024 Olympics are worth $10 billion or so of cost overruns. Some would benefit from those overruns but most would not. This process of exaggerating benefits and minimizing costs is what got us in trouble with the disastrous, expensive, deadly, scandal-marred America’s Cup, which, of course, San Francisco declined to repeat.
And I can’t help but think that “2024 vision” sounds a lot like Vision Zero 2024*, another promise that hasn’t a chance in the world of coming true.
“Our mantra really is, ‘Can we host an Olympics and leave the Bay Area better off for having done that?’ ” Strandberg said. “If we can’t, you should hold us to the standard. That’s what we think about every day as we lay out our plans.”
How on Earth would we be able to hold Mr. Strandberg “accountable” post 2024, when we’ll be billions and billions over $4.5 billion? How much skin does he have in the Game? Not much, not much at all.
“It’s not relevant to include Games that were put on by sovereign states like Russia or China and compare them to how you would do something in the United States,” he said. “We’d never look at the Chinese economic system or the Russian political system and say, ‘That’s how we do it here.’ So, why would we assume that is how we would do an Olympic Games here?”
(Sovereign states? Is that some kind of insult? Not really. I wonder what phrase he’s thinking about when he says sovereign state.) In any event, the better comparisons are with London 2012, which overran by about $10 billion and Chicago 2016, which would had overrun by a similar amount. Or Greece? Can we talk about Greece? No, all right. And the reason to include Russia and China has more to do with the IOC, which has a real problem dealing with democracies.
So that’s the SJMN bit. It’s well-written, by Elliott Almond and Mark Emmons
Moving on, to SF Moderates, which used to be called Plan C, which used to be a right side of the aisle political group for gay property owners. It’s expanded its membership lately, but it’s still decidedly on the right side of SF’s political aisle. Begin:
But what if we could defy the naysayers and make it happen? Mayor Ed Lee has initiated the effort, emphasizing that the $4.5 billion price tag will come from private donors. I learned from the Miracle on Ice and from the 2010 Giants and Ashkon that you don’t stop believing just because someone says you can’t win.
So why didn’t we sign up for another America’s Cup? Perhaps the naysayers were absolutely correct? Yep.
The issue for anti-Olympics lobbyists appears to be possible cost overruns, which have averaged over 200 percent per Olympics according to a recent study. The assumption is that taxpayers will be on the hook for the extra $9 billion in average cost overruns. That’s a fair concern.
Oh OK, well, yes, that’s the “concern.”
The requirement is a guarantee of public money to cover cost overruns. There are ways to deal with that if the final bill is the sole concern.
Uh, no there’s not. Are you talking about cost overrun insurance from that Aon company? That’s never going to work. If everybody thinks the taxpayers will be on the hook for $10 billion, then the premium for such a policy would be about $10 billion, right? And if it’s not, then it has a host of exceptions and deductibles and caps and then let’s have future taxpayers pay off the bill.
But, let’s consider another view. There are private donors ready to pump in $4.5 billion into our local economy. How often does that happen? If we say no to this money, are we in a better position to reduce poverty or curb homelessness?
Yes, without the 2024 Olympics, we’ll be in a better position. Were you born yesterday?
While the anti-Olympics lobby eagerly points to the America’s Cup as proof that the Olympics will be bad for San Francisco, what about the San Francisco Giants?
But that stadium was privately financed, right? The IOC would never allow a privately-financed 2024 Olympics.
I hope it doesn’t get derailed by another just say no campaign.
No no no no no. This deal will never work out in the long run. Let’s hope San Francisco loses tomorrow.
*With an admirable goal, but it’s never going to happen. Transportation deaths are a people problem, not an infrastructure problem. Fundamentally.
Hilarious: SF Olympics Boosters Register “NoSF2024” URLs to Suppress Debate – But Opposition Simply Uses “SFNo2024” InsteadWednesday, January 7th, 2015
Oh man, this is something.
So, local Olympics boosters are more or less contractually obligated to register URLs like SF2024.org if they want to have any hope of having a costly Sumer Olympics come to town in 2024. But they went further – they went and registered URLs that could be used by citizen opposition to having an expensive Olympics come to town.
I’ll tell you, Boston citizens use NoBostonOlympics.org without any interference from the Boston boosters. But SF boosters registered NoSFOlympics .org and .com because they didn’t want the USOC in Colorado Springs to see the opposition.
Isn’t that sad?
Anyway, they must have registered a bunch of URLs, cause look, they also registered NoSF2024 and other names they could think of. See?
But they didn’t think to register SFNo2024.org and so that’s what the citizens ended up using.
And now guess what site all the USOC people are looking at now?
So what was the point of all this registration fooforall?
2024 Olympics Roundup: San Francisco “increasingly looking unlikely” – USOC Appears Skittish About Local OppositionTuesday, January 6th, 2015
Well, here you go:
A decision on which American city will be chosen to bid for the 2024 Olympics is set to be announced on Thursday (January 8) but it is increasingly looking unlikely that it will be San Francisco.
Bay Area activists have formed a coalition opposing a bid for the Games, which is sure to be a factor when the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is due to meet at Denver International Airport to choose a city from a shortlist which also includes Boston, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.
The SF No 2024 Olympics group, which includes SEIU Local 1021, San Francisco activist Tony Kelly, and former San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly…”
And now you ask, “What about Boston – they have a bigger citizen opposition movement, right?” Maybe so, but the one that the United State Olympic Committee frets about over in Colorado Springs is San Francisco’s. Let’s get the update from last month:
“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. Public opposition in San Francisco is expected to be substantial.”
Does the USOC similarly cite the fractious political atmosphere or the public opposition in Boston? No, not at all.
Hey, do you know that the USOC has been conducting opinion polling of bay area residents? Yep. So the USOC knows on its own about the dangers of playing piñata with the giant hornet’s nest that is San Francisco politics.
This political risk is a bigger factor than, say, where are we going to build the big stadium, right? Right.
And you know what else the USOC is up to these days? It’s scouring the Web looking for public opposition to pop up in Frisco. So if, let’s say, a tiny local blog has a new post about, say, mounting opposition against hosting the 2024 Olympics, look who comes a running, all the way from Colorado Springs, 80903:
So it doesn’t matter what spinmeister Nate Ballard tells anybody, the USOC has its own independent information.
And what did the USOC find just recently? They found SF No 2024 Olympics. Ouch.
And speaking of the Internet, look who’s paying Google to get at the top of your search page when you search for something like “No SF Olympics.” That’s right, it’s Larry Baer and all the other Olympics boosters:
Is this an effective use of Larry’s money? IDK.
And speaking of wasting Larry’s money, what’s up with this?
WTF to that. Did Nate Ballard just trick Heather Knight here? I can’t tell. And what’s “a” front-runner? Like top three out of four? So, odds-wise, LA’s got the best shot, then Boston, and then SF and so only poor, poor DC isn’t a front-runner? OK fine. But IRL, SF is not the front runner and SF is not a front runner.
And hey, did you know that Olympic Dreamers, the Olympics Movementarians bought up URLs like NoSFOlympics so that the citizen opposition wouldn’t be able to use them? Yep. They did this at the end of October. But the opposition simply used SFNO2024.org instead, right? So, the dreamers end up looking like assholes and there was zero percent chance that this scheme would work. (Let’s hope the person who reg’ed the URLs for cheap didn’t send a bill to Larry for $5000 marked Opposition Suppression.)
Hey speaking of Larry Baer, his name is mud in the all-important South Bay, right? You know, where the Bay Area’s biggest city is, right? Take a look:
“Consumer tip: Do not start saving up money to buy those tickets for a 2024 Bay Area Olympics just yet. In fact, by my estimation, odds are 99-1 against the games ever happening here. Admittedly, those are unscientific odds. They are based solely on my four decades of covering the Olympic landscape. The actual odds could be much worse.”
And then, what, would San Jose residents get to vote on their participation? And Oakland too? How would we divvy up the overrun risk? It seems like an impossible task.
This just in: an artist’s conception of the dartboard in Larry Baer’s den:
Poor Chris Daly!
So, the Dream is dead. (Or if you paid Nate Ballard enough money to switch sides, he’d come up with something like, “Just like Sean Penn, SF2024 is a Dead Dream Walking.”)
And really, we shouldn’t compare our bid with those from autocracies like Russia (Sochi) or China (Beijing). I mean it would be impossible to spend more than $40 billion on the 2024 games in America. No no, the proper comparisons are with London 2012 and Chicago 2016. Let’s take a look.
London 2012, like SF 2024, had an initial bid of $4 billion something. Then it overran like a son of a bitch, something on the order of $10 billion. So, for SFGov officials to claim that the London Games ended in “surplus,” well, that’s just a fantasy. If London is the modern-practices lodestar, then would SF overrun by a similar amount?
And then Chicago. Well, the Mayor there also said he wouldn’t put taxpayers on the hook, but then he changed his mind when he finally figured out that the IOC insisted upon the taxpayers of Illinois being on the hook. Was Mayor Daley lying? That’s your call, but there was no way that the no taxpayer money commitment was ever going to happen. And then the Mayor of Chicago tried to fix things with an insurance policy from Aon? Yep. The problem with that was that the innocent taxpayers were still on the hook IRL. Oh, the policies had big deductibles and they had low caps? Well, how would that that have helped? And now, SF wants to use Aon for the same purpose? OK fine, whatevs.
All right, that’s your update.
(You know, what the Olympic Dreamers should do is make the case that it would be worth $10 billion in potential overruns to have the Olympics here. That would be the honest approach…)
“New Generation Nikkei Fund” Aspires to Save All the Japantowns in America – SF Launch Event at Ozumo, July 22, 2014Friday, July 11th, 2014
All the deets here.
Envisioned by the next generation of stakeholders of the Japanese American community, the New Generation Nikkei Fund (NGNF) strives to:
- Foster a culture of giving and volunteerism amongst Japanese American and Asian American young professionals
- Enhance collaboration and communication amongst Japantowns and existing Nikkei communities at large
- Support Japantown or Nikkei community based organizations with a grant(s) and a new generation of donors
Join us for happy hour at Ozumo restaurant in downtown San Francisco on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 from 5-7pm to celebrate the launch of the New Generation Nikkei Fund in San Francisco!
Looking for a quick, easy way to do some good and make an impact in your community? NGNF is all about connecting community non-profit organizations serving our Japantown communities with the next generation of community supporters. Come find out how with a minimum donation of $25, you can make the deciding votes to fund programs and non-profit organizations that serve San Francisco’s Japantown.
We’ll be hosting a happy hour where you can meet our committee and learn how to join our statewide movement to support the future of our San Francisco and San Jose Japantown and Los Angeles Little Tokyo communities, all while enjoying appetizers and drinks and mingling with other NGNF donors. The happy hour has also been made possible with the support of Nakayoshi Young Professionals.”
Click to expand
“We welcome all women riders of different age groups, ethnicities and backgrounds. We are a tight knit group of women who support each other on and off the road. Requirements are only that you display a desire to ride, be trustworthy, respectful toward all our other brothers and sisters and define this sisterhood to be an addition of your already existing family.
We do have a prospecting period which has been put in place for us to get to know you and you to get to know us. This lifestyle and Sisterhood may come easy to some but not to all.
As women we encourage other women to get out there and ride, have fun, get to know one another and expand your circle of friends.
The Vixens also spend a lot of time together not just riding but with our families doing other things off the road such as camping, days at the park and special holidays. This is not just a club, it’s our family.
So regardless of your interests if you enjoy riding we welcome one and all to join us. We ride all the time and whether 2 of us, 4 of us, or all of us you can bet we are having fun and that’s what it’s all about! “