Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Taber’

Central Subway Boondoggle Update: Government Audits & Oversight Committee Hearing This Thursday

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Well, here it is, coming up at 10:00 AM on October 27th, 2011:

“Hearing on the recently published 2010-2011 Civil Grand Jury report entitled “Central Subway Too Much Money For Too Little Benefit.”

Leave us review why the Central Subway sucks so much:

 It has a pattern of increasing cost estimates.

 San Francisco will be responsible for any cost overruns which could be substantial.

 The addition of a new subway line will add to an existing operating deficit and could stretch the existing maintenance environment to the breaking point.

 There are no plans to address existing problems on the Stockton corridor before project completion.

 There is no effective transfer to the Muni Metro and BART systems.

 It ignores service to the Financial District.

 It ignores current transportation trends

So, the reply from the Central Subway people is that these criticisms are the same old thing. But they’re still valid criticisms, right?

A premature celebration? 

Save Muni will be on the scene at City Hall, looks like:

SaveMuni strongly condemns Mayor Ed Lee’s careless and highly inaccurate response to the Grand Jury’s carefully researched report on the Central Subway

On October 27, the Board of Supervisors Government Audits and Oversight Committee will consider the results of the Grand Jury’s seven month investigation of the Central Subway debacle.  SaveMuni will support the well reasoned conclusions of the Grand Jury’s report and provide new information about the Central Subway and its failings.

SaveMuni will also expose and rebut the MTA’s weak response to the Grand Jury report, which consists mainly of vague generalizations intended to defend the status quo at all costs.   Because of MTA’s and Mayor’s inadequate responses we will call upon the Board of Supervisors to table the matter until such time as the MTA and Mayor Lee have provided detailed and well thought out responses to each of the Grand Jury’s findings and recommendations.

Government Audits & Oversight Committee

Civil Grand Jury Report:  “Central Subway – Too Much Money For Too Little Benefit”

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011, 10:00 AM

City Hall Room 263, San Francisco


All right, see you there!
Ever more deets:
September 17, 2011 – Central Subway Charts:  Compares ridership, costs and trip Times.  Highlights SFMTA’s deceptive marketing practices.
September 9, 2011 – San Francisco City Attorney and Mayoral candidate Dennis Herrera comes out strongly against the Central Subway.
September 9, 2011 – San Francisco Examiner:  “Central Subway federal funds in jeopardy”.
September 4, 2011 – San Francisco Chronicle editorial blasts  Central Subway.
August 31,  2011 – Former Board of Supervisors Presdent Aaron Peskins strongly opposes Central Subway.
August 29, 2011 – summary of how the Central Subway was deceptively marketed to San Francisco.
August 23, 2011 – San Francisco Bay Guardian comes out against the Central Subway.
August 23, 2011 – Wall Street Journal editorial blasts Central Subway.—august-23-2011 
August 18, 2011 – Jake McGoldrick, former Chair, San Francisco County Transportation Authority, announces his strong opposition to the project.
August 14,  2011 – Other Muni improvements.  For a plan for Stockton Street click on Download.  For other Muni improvements click on
July 22,2011 – Cal Watchdog digs into the Central Subway mess.
July 16, 2011 – Judge Quentin L. Kopp blasts the project.
July 1, 2011 – San Francisco Grand Jury Releases Report is released.
 May 9, 2011 – Sierra Club Resolution calling for Central Subway funds to be put to better use on behalf of Muni.
November 9, 2010 – Central Subway White Paper relased

Hey, SPUR – Why Don’t You Take Your Precious Central Subway and Shove It Up Your Ass? A Reasoned Retort

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Let’s check in on the Central Subway.

Comes now SPURious establishmentarian Stephen L. Taber to sneer at those who don’t don skirts and wave pom poms for San Francisco’s very own, quasi-federally funded Subway to Nowhere, or Big Dig II if that prior terms offends. Read his words and a brief retort below.

But first, let’s check in with “Auntie Rose” Pak, who looks like she’s celebrating the Central Subway already:


Now, how much of an exaggeration is this?

“In order to get from Chinatown to the Market street metro lines/BART, you go down ten stories, ride one stop, then you have to go up 10 stories, walk 3 football fields, and then go down another 7 stories and wait for your train.”

I’ll tell you, not much.

Leave us begin:

[I]n San Francisco nothing new has ever been proposed that does not draw opposition just because it is new.

Or, maybe people oppose the corrupt Central Subway because it sucks air, instead of because it’s new? Isn’t that at least a possibility? I think you’re jumping to conclusions, SLT. They call that a dicto simpliciter, don’t they, counselor?

A small band of shortsighted naysayers has emerged with the irrational notion that a subway line would be slower than traffic-choked bus lines and that merely adding more slow buses would solve the problem.

Uh, most sensible people who have looked at the spiraling costs of Big Dig West have concluded that it’s Too Much Money for Too Little Benefit – like the Civil Grand Jury of San Francisco, 2010-2011, for example. Are the members of the Grand Jury “irrational?” Should they, as a group, be hospitalized for mental illness?

They would let the $1.3 billion in federal and state funding be sent to other cities to solve their transit problems, leaving San Francisco without a similar opportunity to correct our dysfunctional transit system for decades to come.

Uh, does free federal money “solve problems?” Really? Sometimes not. You see, what the Grand Jury is worried about is how dysfunctional the rest of MUNI is now. The Grand Jury, in its wisdom, knows all about the free money from Uncle Sucker, but that doesn’t mean that the Central Subway is good for San Francisco.

These opponents have called this project a “Subway to Nowhere.”

Well, that’s a reference to Sarah Palin’s Bridge to Nowhere, aka the Gravina Island Bridge. Now that particular project had mindless boosters as well, just like the Central Subway has SPUR and corrupt Chinatown “leaders.” And the idea of building a Golden Gate Bridge to an island with 50 people on it was a boondoggle too. So why are you bringing this up, dude?

It is an offense to our Chinese community, whose historic Chinatown, a vibrant and bustling commercial and residential neighborhood, is certainly “somewhere” and clearly warrants rapid transit service.

Uh, I think you mean Chinese-American, right, in the parlance of the day, right? And I think you’re being too touchy there, dude. But all right, how about Big Dig II or Big Dig West? I’m an opponent now and that’s my name for your corruption. Does that offend?

Conspiracy theorists argue that the Central Subway is simply the result of a political deal.

Well now you’re talking. Yes, yes, it’s the result of a political deal. Don’t you know? Let’s let John Diaz of the San Francisco Chronicle take over now: “A vigorous debate about the Central Subway inevitably would lead to a focus on interim Mayor Ed Lee’s relationship with ex-Mayor Willie Brown and Chinatown powerbroker Rose Pak, two chief proponents of the project, and their allies who have enjoyed a slice of the contracts to date.” Am I a conspiracy theorist? I don’t know, not generally, like I think Oswald alone when he killed JFK, for example. As far as the CS is concerned, of course there was a political deal – this is common knowledge about town.

But this claim overlooks the real history. The Central Subway was a key component of the “four corridors plan” developed by a citywide citizen’s committee and approved by the voters as part of Proposition B in 1989. 

Doesn’t this 4 Corridor plan go back much farther than that, per the Grand Jury? Are you familiar with the Grand Jury’s recent report? They go on and on about it, FYI. It’s like you haven’t read it, like you haven’t acknowledged it…

Because Muni will retain the No. 30 bus line in order to provide local service, the critics will not have to ride the Central Subway, but can sit on an uncrowded 30-Stockton bus while the bulk of the travelers speed past them underground.

No, don’t you get it, the Central Subway is too much money for too little benefit, right? A few riders will benefit from the CS, but most of the benefit will accrue to the builders and their allies, the Powers That Be. Overall, this subway will be a burden on MUNI. Hey, why don’t we call it Solyndra II?

Stephen L. Taber is chairman of the SPUR Central Subway Task Force, a former SPUR board member and current member of its advisory council. He is a San Francisco native and an attorney at Meyers Nave.

Oh, you’re a San Francisco Native. Well, why didn’t you say so? Now that changes everything. All hail Stephen L. fucking Taber who had the god-damned foresight to be borned in the 415. Withdrawn, forget my reasoned reply.

Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown, San Francisco’s corrupt Chinatown.

Talking Points:

 It has a pattern of increasing cost estimates.
 San Francisco will be responsible for any cost overruns
which could be substantial.
 The addition of a new subway line will add to an existing
operating deficit and could stretch the existing maintenance
environment to the breaking point.
 There are no plans to address existing problems on the
Stockton corridor before project completion.
 There is no effective transfer to the Muni Metro and
BART systems.
 It ignores service to the Financial District.
 It ignores current transportation trends