La mise en scene from Mission looking south:
Cranes = money, for certain people, right?
La mise en scene from Mission looking south:
Cranes = money, for certain people, right?
Hey, is this new, this OPINION header for Shadow Mayor / professional SFGov lobbyist / San Francisco Chronicle columnist Willie Brown, you know, for his columns? IDK.
Anyway, check it:
“What a mess. The public and the press love to slam Gov. Jerry Brown and me for holding up the building of the new span, but in hindsight, maybe we should have held it up even longer.
“On the subject of the bridge: I was at the ceremony Thursday night commemorating the light show on the western side going dark for repairs. Speaker after speaker got up and praised the lights, praised the generous folk who made them possible, praised the generous folk whose money will bring them back next year — and not a single person referred to the span by its proper name: the Willie L. Brown Jr. Bridge.
“I was crushed.”
1. Somebody held a ceremony to turn off some decorative lighting project on part of a historic public works fiasco? OK fine!
2. And is Willie serious here? The proper name of course is the Western Span of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge, right?
3. And I think the NAACP got things wrong here, because it’s properly called a span and not a bridge. So even though the new bore of the Caldecott Tunnel is a tunnel itself, ’cause it certainly meets the definition of a tunnel, we call that bore a bore. That’s why we would call the so-called Willie Brown Bridge the Willie Brown Span, except…
4. Except nobody that calls it Willie Brown anything IRL. We call it the western span, to distinguish it from the eastern span. I mean, what does he want, does he want the Cosco Busan to come back and hit the delta tower of the western span and spill 50,000 gallons of bunker fuel again so that headlines will read “Container Ship Strikes Willie L. Brown, Jr. Bridge?”
5. Speaking of which, that expensive tower on the eastern span is merely decorative, meaning that it wasn’t necessary, right? We don’t need big ships going under the eastern span, right? Meaning that we should have gone the cheap and easy route of retrofitting what was already there or gone with the cheaper, easier “freeway-on-stilts” option. Willie now seems to be trying to blame his massive bridge failure on others. Moving on…
6. To this! Here’s Willie’s sandwich board from when he was shilling for renaming the entire length of Third Street to honor … the honorable Willie Brown, natch:
7. And then there was the time back in the 1990’s when Willie had a push to rename SFO, the whole thing, not just a terminal, after, wait for it, Willie Brown, of course! No no, not Harvey Milk, me, Willie Brown!
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.
Well, no it’s not. Add together all the land of San Francisco County, even including all the landfill and the Farallones and Alcatraz and even including the slivers of islands we only have small parts of, like Angel Island and Red Rock Island and Alameda Island, all of it, is only just 46 point something square miles.
Don’t you people know that?
So 7×7 = 49, yeah sure, that’s a good start, but what about the Great San Francisco Bight? (Or bite, either way.) A big part of our Upper Left is missing, right?
So you’re the great cheerleaders for the City and County but you don’t even know what it looks like, right?
Is this pedantry what I’m committing? Well, you tell me, babe. Hey, let’s talk about the other Mayor who got appointed by Mayor Willie Brown – let’s hear something from Gavin Newsom:
“We can sue – we’re a 49 square mile city, founded in 1849, by the 49’ers. The city [Santa Clara] can’t take the name 49’ers.”
Well leaving aside the facts that SF wasn’t founded in 1849 and it wasn’t founded by 49’ers (who actually lived far to the east of SF in 1849), and that some 49’ers settled in Santa Clara as well, leaving all that aside, we’re not a 49 square mile city, right? So that shouldn’t be a any part of a legal argument about where any NFL stadium should be, right? Until at least one of our Mayors gets things right, this pattern will continue. Right?
(And check the video – if that’s what he’s like post-“rehab,” what was he like before?)
Anyway, how about Get Your Kicks in the 46, you know, instead? I’m sure our NikeTown would like that one. Or, rounding up, you could go with Shopping Heaven in the 47?
Oh, and the other thing is that telling people to only shop in the county where they reside, which is more or less what we’re doing here, is a baaaaaad idea for a tourist town like Frisco.
Oh, and another thing is, gee, is this kind of feel-good thing effective? No, but you’re trying to throw struggling boutiques a bone? OK. But with stuff like this?
Having breakfast/lunch/dinner @__________, my favorite place to #shopdine49
I’m making a difference by shopping and dining in the 49 this holiday season #shopdine49
I support local businesses and I love my neighborhood. #shopdine49″
Why would a normal person follow any of these suggestions?
“…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.
“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.]
£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:
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.
This is how the
Christmas Holiday Tree in front of San Francisco City Hall was lit at night back in the aughts:
Via Steve Rhodes, who, like Visa, is Everywhere You Want To Be.
Do you see a problem? All those gaudy lights in the tree offended certain rich white ladies of San Francisco! They felt all that colour was “not appropriate.” So they imposed their values on the RPD, as they are wont to do, and RPD spent five figures to correct the “problem.”
So that left us with this:
Except this lack of color just wasn’t jazzy enough for other certain people.
So then came this:
So, the colors came out of the tree in front of City Hall and they went into City Hall itself.
Were these changes “improvements?”
No. But that’s what they were called at the time.
Here’s Willie Brown (Mayor of San Francisco, 1996 to Present) going on about:
The problem with that is that Paris only has one (1) sister city and it’s not San Francisco.
They even have a saying about this:
Only Paris is worthy of Rome; only Rome is worthy of Paris.
Ergo, San Francisco is not “worthy” of being the Sister City of either Paris or Rome.
Sorry, Mayor Brown.
The fact is that Paris is in an exclusive sister-city relationship. It’s an “elaborate cultural partnership,” as they say.
Now, here’s our real relationship with The City of Light. We’ve signed a few of these things:
“Pacts of friendship and cooperation signed by the City of Paris.”
Which, IRL, is rien de bien grave* (no biggee).
All right, TTFN. But remember:
Always Never Have Paris.
*Paris, France is pals with just about everybody:
2011: Sao Paulo, signed an amendment to the Cooperation Agreement of 2004
2011: Rio de Janeiro
2011: Ramallah, signed a pact of friendship and cooperation inauguration, the Garden of Nations, a bust by French sculptor Emile-Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929), including Ramallah to Paris
2010: Tel Aviv-Jaffa
2009: San Francisco
2009: Rio de Janeiro
2007: Phnom Penh
2004: Sao Paulo
2003 St. Petersburg
2001: Porto Alegre (joint statement)
2000 (updated in 2004): Washington
1999: OVA (Arab Towns Organization)
1999: Buenos Aires
1997: St. Petersburg
1996: San Francisco
1956: Rome (Twin Exclusive)
Believe it or not, Mayor Ed Lee is saying that DiFi is giving “enthusiastic support” to the Assembly campaign of David Chiu. Check it:
“I am proud to join U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein … in giving David Chiu my enthusiastic support.”
Now IRL, here’s DiFi herself on President Chiu’s Airbnb legislation from October 20th, 2014:
I’m thinking no, DiFi’s residual support of David Chiu, if any, against David Campos sure aint “enthusiastic.”
Read the news and turn the pages. Moving on…
Hey, speaking of Airbnb, check this out, from San Francisco’s biggest corrupt non-profit org:
“On October 6, Supervisor Jane Kim’s persistence and the last-minute intervention of Mayor Ed Lee ensured that legislation legalizing tourist rentals in San Francisco will have teeth.”
The problem with this, or I should say just one problem with this, is that Ed Lee could have simply not signed the legislation, right? There was no need for any “intervention,” right?
I don’t know how seriously people take all these shenanigans. We’ll see, soon enough…
When I first heard the neologism Chief Resilience Officer, I figured things out pretty quickly – I thought about earthquakes in the 415, fine.
And then I thought, “What’s the angle? How does this concept put money into the pockets of the members of San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown’s political faction / machine?”
And I couldn’t think of an angle, so I thought maybe this could be a rare case of SFGov just trying to do its job, you know, sans politique.
And then I looked into it and came away mostly disappointed. I’ll tell you why below.
But you reporters out there should get on this new CRO business – it’s terra incognita, locally. [UPDATE: Whoops, I missed this one.]
So here it is:
And here’s his headshot:
And here’s the rah rah SFGov, born-and-raised blather, redolent of Supervisor Mark Farrell:
“I am unapologetically pro-San Francisco. Four generations of my family currently live here and I love this city. San Francisco’s work regarding resilience has been substantial. This work has been developed by the community just as much as it has been by City Hall.”
Is Dude running for office? It sure seems that way. But IRL, SF is the most corrupt big American city west of Chicago, so how does that square, cadre? STRIKE ONE. Moving on…
And oh no, SPUR! Is Dude a member of SPUR, that infamous outfit responsible for Urban Renewing the Fillmore, you know, because it was the trendy thing to do at that time? Take a look:
“San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR) released a report called ‘Resilient Cities’ a few years ago, which has become the roadmap for resiliency planning in San Francisco.”
Turns out that Dude is a card-carrying Member of SPUR. STRIKE TWO.
And what does this Brownie-you‘re-doing-a-heck-of-a-job-type job pay? Like how many hundreds of thousands of dollars per year? The answer is two:
“Total pay & benefits: $183,397.91.”
More or less. I mean, that was Dude’s pay package last year when he was only Director of Earthquake Safety, so you gotta figure he’s gotten a big bump to go along with the new CRO title, right? What’s that, not really? He’s still just another SFGov MANAGER IV but now with a shiny new title? OK fine, it’s old wine in a new bottle. Let’s call that BALL ONE.
But what’s this, IRL what you are actually is a long-time, politically-connected “building permit consultant and expediter?” Mmmm… STRIKE THREE!
Speaking of which:
|OTELLINI PAUL MR., INTEL CORP., CEO, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94123||-||$51,800.00|
|OTELLINI PAUL MR., INTEL CORP., PRESIDENT, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94123||-||$2,000.00|
|OTELLINI PAUL, INTEL, CEO, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94123||-||$1,000.00|
|OTELLINI PAUL, INTEL, CEO, SANTA CLARA, CA 95054||-||$40,000.00|
|OTELLINI PAUL, NONE, RETIRED, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94123||-||$50,000.00|
|OTELLINI SANDY, N/A, RETIRED – ATTORNEY, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94123||-||$25,900.00|
Which then yields this. [Welcome to Scion Country Safari, Africa USA.]
So, Brownie, bring on the earthquake-related ruckus, bring on the blather, the Newspeak, fine. Maybe you’ll be appointed Supervisor, and then maybe Mayor, someday.
But be sure to count your lucky stars, to say your prayers every night to Thank Goodness you live in a town where Scion/Expediter is a career path…