Through a tax, or a fee, or some new onus owed to some millionaire homeowners association, we’re paying for this:
And what is it? Does it “transform” the area? Really?
First of all, let’s play a game of identifying the northernmost, southernmost, westernmost, and easternmost points of San Francisco. If you guess, you’re going to make mistakes.
Hint: They’re all islands, some are mere “rocks.”
All right, in no particular order, here are the answers:
Seal Rock, aka Saddle Rock
North Farallon Islands
How’d you do? Check here.
Now, add up all the San Francisco County land area amidst these points and you’ll get 46.something square miles. Sry.
Anyway, this is wrong:
So that’s your answer, 46 square miles. Oh, you want to round up to 47? OK. No but really you want to round up to 49, you know, for the poetry of it all?
Well, then why not round up to 50, or 100 square miles then?
Of course, back in the day, 49 square miles was a fair guess – 7×7 right? But the problem with that is geography. We were forgetting the Great San Francisco Bight, the part of SF’s northwestern corner that just aint there.
These days, of course, we have the tools to be accurate.
If you asked actual people who live in SF what “experience” they’d like to have next, very few would say an “NFL Experience” and nobody, I mean absolutely nobody, would say an NFL Experience Driven By Hyundai.
When will Levi’s Stadium become so old-fashioned that it’ll get imploded? Pretty soon…
Is there anything wrong with leaving the Golden State Warriors in Oakland?
Anyway, here’s the scene in Golden Gate Park – I can’t imagine this arboreal/sports clothing line program “makes money” for our City Family, but rich like having fun too, and this is one way for them to do it:
What’s next, “Let’s Grow Niners?”
I guess this will close out SF’s attempt to host the 2024 Olympics.
The weird thing about San Francisco’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics was that the local committee was this close to pulling off a terrific plan.
The vote was Boston 15 and San Francisco (and the other two) 0, was it not? That’s not all that close, huh? Or does he mean that the bay area’s bid was sub-terrific, like it was just one unit below being terrific? One can’t tell what the Nevius is trying to say here. San Francisco always was a long shot, right? And if SF got picked by the USOC, then it would have been a long shot to get picked by the IOC. And if the corrupt IOC had selected SF, then there was always the chance of things not working out anyway, ala the inchoate Denver 1976 Olympics. So, was this thing “close” or actually far far away? I’ll tell you, if I were the USOC, I’d tell all the boosters from all the cities how close things were and if I were the spokesmodel for SF2024, I’d tell Larry Baer how close he almost came. (“We were this close Lare-Bear!) But I’m not so I won’t. OTOH, CW Nevius got paid by the Chronicle to publish, more or less, what Nate Ballard wanted published, so here we are. “So close!”
Let’s see a show of hands. How many of you thought a temporary, pop-up $350 million Olympic stadium in the Brisbane wind tunnel was a good idea?
The IOC doesn’t want any more images of white elephants haunting them through the decades. So, in their opinion, which is the only one that matters, pop-ups might be a good thing. As far as Brisbane vs. Oakland is concerned, how could it matter? Our hosting would have ended up costing 5, 10, 15 billion dollars more than the “official” bid, right? Isn’t that the real issue?
More on Oakland:
It would not only have been a terrific solution for the Games — better weather, easy access, waterfront views — it would have penciled out financially.
This is the same Nevius who moved to town and then a few months later determined that the failed America’s Cup would come “without a downside.” But it did come with a downside, or two or three or four, right? Moving on.
And, by the way, don’t think the United States Olympic Committee wasn’t hoping to make San Francisco work. Conventional wisdom was that Los Angeles had the facilities, Boston and Washington had the East Coast bias, but San Francisco was “the sexiest.”
Why does the Nevius use the term “conventional wisdom” here? What does he mean? Is he suggesting that this view wasn’t accurate? I don’t think so. And what’s “East Coast bias?” Have the Summer Olympics ever been held on the East Coast of the United States ever in history? Nope. So there doesn’t seem to be too much bias there. Our Summer Olympicses have been held in the West (twice), the South and the Midwest. So WTF. Now, time zone-wise I can certainly see how advertisers worldwide would strongly prefer the EDT for live events, and that certainly was a factor favoring Boston. And I’ll say, that DC had no chance at all, as the IOC hates DC and all it stands for. And then the Nevius puts quote marks around “the sexiest?” Is this a an actual quote or is it merely the conventional wisdom? Hmmm
So what happened? Well, San Francisco happened. Or more specifically, the Bay Area, and particularly the fractious shenanigans in Oakland, made everyone nervous.
So, nothing happened, right? The USOC did its own polling and figured out that we don’t really want the Olympics here. That’s what happened. I wouldn’t describe that as San Francisco happened since this was and is a known known, right?
Every time someone touted the Bay Area as a location, someone else cued up the video of the Oakland protesters trashing a Christmas tree.
Whoa, Nelly! Is this literally true? Like “every time?” No, so who was actually doing this at all? Like, even once? Is the Nevius aware of the non-disparagement agreements that all the bid cities signed on to? Is he suggesting that somebody from the Boston bid “cued up” some video literally or is this a Nevius tone poem? I can’t tell. Not at all.
As one local Olympic insider suggested: “We are like the hot, crazy girl that everyone wants to sleep with. You never know what you’re going to get when you wake up in the morning.”
This quote is from Nate Ballard but he doesn’t want to own up to it? Weak. I’ll note that Nate Ballard isn’t quoted anywhere else in the Nevius bit. And did Larry Baer’s money go to somebody getting paid to talk about hot, crazy “girls” everybody wants to sleep with? That’s amazing. Anyway, this came from Nate Ballard – prove me wrong! I won’t disagree with the sentiment though. Yes, SF was the most “appealing” bid city, the city that the corrupt IOC would have the warmest feelings for, most likely.
Now make no mistake. It wasn’t just Oakland. Accounts of the years of debate and acrimony over the harmless Beach Chalet soccer fields in Golden Gate Park made the national news.
OK, so what are you saying here, Nevius? That spending money and effort trying to get the Olympics to come here is/was a bad idea, you know, considering? Is that what you mean to say, Nevius?
Nor was it helpful to hear that collecting enough signatures to get an initiative on the San Francisco ballot is incredibly easy.
So, CW Nevius from Walnut Creek doesn’t want the people of SF to be able to weigh in on spending 10, 15, 20 billion on an Olympic-sized boondoggle? Mmmm…
Suppose, for example, an initiative was passed that said no public money could be used for the Games.
Yep, that was what was coming, no doubt.
Would that mean no increase in funding for public transportation, which would be stressed for the Games? Or police and emergency services.
The answer to this question is that it doesn’t matter as such a vote would be more than enough to scare away the corrupt IOC and why would you continue along the boondoggle path after the People voted thumbs down? I mean, what kind of monster would do that? Here’s the thing – this is the IOC:
That’s in terms that CW Nevius, that white, wizened, wine-drinking, Walnut Creekian Downton Abbey fan can appreciate. In fact, the IOC is like 10-15% royal blooded, like literally. The IOC has lots of ideas about how best to spend Other People’s Money on projects to glorify the IOC. But the IOC itself can’t afford to put on the show. That’s why it forces cities to guarantee the games with taxpayer money. There’s no way ’round this. So the IOC will not grant the Games to any city that doesn’t have a guarantee that the bill for the inevitable overruns will get sent to taxpayers. This is the Denver 1976 situation. It doesn’t take all that much to scare away the IOC.
Would we ever be able to get this together? Sure. It’s possible. The timing couldn’t have been much worse this year to put something together.
So, our bid was All About Oakland? I don’t think so. Perhaps this notion is comforting to Larry Baer, but I don’t think so. Perhaps SF bidding on the Olympics is fun, but it’s a bad idea? Perhaps?
But don’t think Boston is a slam dunk to win the international bid.
Who thinks Boston is a “slam dunk?” Where does this come from?
If anything, the anti-Olympics political forces in Boston — there’s a “No Boston Olympics” coalition — are more organized and more vociferous than the little band of naysayers here.
Well, Nevius, the USOC did its own polling and it concluded that the political environment was worse here in SF. The reason why Boston’s citizen effort had a higher profile is that the bid in Boston had a higher profile, for whatever reason. And if a “little band” of naysayers would have had a very easy time winning its no-taxpayer-funds-for-the-Olympics vote, then they aren’t such a little band, right? Maybe SF doesn’t want to pay for the Olympics to come here – is that a possibility?
So now Nevius is rooting for Boston to lose the 2024 Olympics so that we can get the 2028 Olympics – that’s what Larry Baer and Nate Ballard are thinking?
OK fine, but I don’t think that’s going to work either.
CW Nevius should be able to do a better job than this.
“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.