A fine use for Larry's fine art

Golden samurai from the Edo era

A loyal reader contacted us with a great suggestion to solve all the fundraising problems of the America's Cup.

This summer, it turns out, will be about more than racing for the city's mega-billionaire yacht-race king. The Asian Art Museum's latest program guide notes that from June 28-Sept. 22, the museum will host "In the Moment: Japanese Art from the Larry Ellison Collection."

The museum will present "works from the rarely seen collection of Larry Ellison, owner of cup defender Team Oracle USA. The exhibition introduces about 80 artworks spanning 1,300 years. Included are works of the Momoyama (1573-1615) and Edo (1615-1868) periods." According to the Metropolitican Museum of Art, "this period was characterized by a robust, opulent, and dynamic style, with gold lavishly applied to architecture, furnishings, paintings, and garments."

Oh, and it's worth noting that the Momoyama and Edo periods were also marked by the dominance of brutal warlords who claimed much of the nation's wealth while most subjects lived in dire poverty.

At any rate, I'm sure the stuff is nice. Beautiful, even. And pricey. Bet a philanthropist of Ellison's stature could auction off just a couple of those 80 pieces and raise enough to pay off the entire AC budget deficit. Eh, Larry?



Or is that somehow magically different?

Posted by anon on Feb. 22, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

But do tell what you will be donating, anon...besides hot air.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 23, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

as what he is recommending to others, even if that is only a few dollars. It shows that he can walk his talk.

I am donating nothing, but then I am not the one telling others what they should and should not do.

Posted by anon on Feb. 23, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

Why should Tim pay for something he doesn't even want? Ellison wants this thing. He should find a way to pay for it.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 23, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

and that is the rationale for the city and it's occupants to invest in this.

But of course what this is really about is Tim wanting this, that and the other, but always wanting somebody else to pay for it.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 25, 2013 @ 8:26 am

Let's call your statement what it is. In fact the opposite is usually the case when cities give rich people sweetheart deals. When cities give away money to rich people, rich people generally get richer, and cities generally lose money one way or another. I mean... duh! Larry Ellison knows he never got rich by giving stuff away. These guys run rings around amateurs like Ed Lee.

Or maybe not... when politicians give away free stuff to rich people, they may impoverish their constituents, but they do often manage to enrich themselves in the process. Willie Brown didn't become a multi-millionaire by the proverbial going to school and working hard. So there probably are a few crumbs in it for Ed Lee and his cronies... campaign cash, plum positions on corporate boards later, to repay him for his "service." Corruption in America runs deep.

Who knows why Ed Lee did it -was it corruption or plain stupidity? Who knows. I just know that it's a raw deal for the rest of us

Posted by Greg on Feb. 25, 2013 @ 9:08 am

hold onto the cachet that world-class cities aspire to. SF has never held the Olympics, for instance, altho LA (twice), Atlanta, Montreal and even St. Louis have hosted them.

These events attract many visitors and, more importantly, wealthy visitors, land they spend money here whichc reates jobs and increases tax revenues.

So yes, why not invest in success, rather than the usual SFBG habit of worshipping failure and celebrating losers?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 25, 2013 @ 9:20 am

Victor Matheson, a professor of economics, in a NY Times op-ed:

"Economists generally find that local organizers and sports boosters routinely exaggerate the benefits and underestimate the costs of hosting major events such as the Olympics. As a path to riches and long-term economic development, most Olympic hosts have been sorely disappointed. For example, while Salt Lake City’s hotels and restaurants were packed during the 2002 Winter Games, other businesses not directly related the event, like department stores, suffered significant losses in sales. Overall, economic activity the region actually fell during the Olympics."

Robert K. Barney, acting director of the International Center for Olympic Studies at the University of Western Ontario:

"Long-term benefits are another matter. Civic pride aroused from such an endeavor is fleeting and the monuments built for the spectacle in the form of stadiums and sporting venues shortly become little more than ghostly reminders of once glorious days. In point of fact, the historical record of long-term benefit from Olympic-related sports facilities is one indelibly burdened by maintenance and operation costs that rise well above user fee revenue."

Andrew Zimbalist, a professor of economics at Smith College:

"The evidence from past Olympic Games *hardly* suggests that there’s a resounding economic gain from being the host city. Montreal’s 1976 Olympics left the city with $2.7 billion of debt that it finally paid off in 2005.

The Barcelona Organizing Committee in 1992 broke even, but the public debt incurred rose to $6.1 billion. Similarly, the Atlanta Organizing Committee in 1996 broke even, but the bottom line there is not encouraging. An econometric study using monthly data found that there was insignificant change in retail sales, hotel occupancy and airport traffic during the games. The only variable that increased was hotel rates — and most of this money went to headquarters of chain hotels located in other cities.

"The Sydney Organizing Committee in 2000 also reports breaking even, but the Australian state auditor estimated that the games true long-term cost was $2.2 billion. In part, this was because it is costing $30 million a year to operate the 90,000-seat Olympic Stadium.

"When Athens won the right to host the 2004 games in 1997, its budget was $1.6 billion. The final public cost is estimated to be around $16 billion — 10 times the original budget! Meanwhile, most of the Athens’ Olympics facilities are reportedly underutilized. Maintenance costs on the facilities in 2005 came in around $124 million and, reportedly, there is little use of the two Olympic soccer stadiums."

Posted by And the rich make out like bandits on Feb. 25, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

Rather, let's settle into a mediocer loser mentality. It fits this city so much better.

Posted by anon on Feb. 25, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

... which I knew intuitively but was too lazy to look up. The trolls are left with no answer except to take another one-liner potshot. They never let facts get in the way of a good meme... which is why I didn't bother. But it's good that someone did.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 25, 2013 @ 8:37 pm

San Francisco is already a great city. It is already a tourist destination.

Greedheads may slaver at the prospect of making killings in the context of Olympic-inspired economic turmoil, and rabid reactionaries get palpitations when they anticipate the greatly increased police activity that would accompany such an event, but no local in their right mind would consider the Olympics a good idea.

The only one really good thing about this AC debacle is that it will ensure that the ridiculous claims made by future Olympics boosters will be more likely to be taken in their correct light.

Posted by lillipublicans on Feb. 25, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

for the reasons mentioned. The Olympics just gave wrestling the boot, you know that sport, one of the original Olympic sports? The Olympics is going the way 70's trash sports.

It could be done on the cheap here, but once any of the bay area cities hired someone to sweep the streets for the Olympics they would never be off the payroll/pension plan. The thousands hired would all have lifetime SEIU jobs in the post Olympic department.

The Bay Area would come off a little better than other spots where people fell for the line and built all sorts of crap for no good reason.

In the area there are a fair amount of stadiums.

Cal. Stanford, the new niner one, ATT, Candlestick, San Jose state, and various other smaller venues. No need to build fantastic garbage.

Posted by matlock on Feb. 25, 2013 @ 10:54 pm

America’s Cup costs to San Francisco were foreshadowed~

'According to last year’s analysis by the Board of Supervisors’ budget and legislative analyst, the estimated costs The City will incur stand at $40.2 million. The Port of San Francisco is also pouring $21.9 million into the effort, $3.7 million of which does not come with long-term, noncup benefits.

'That means even if private fundraisers hit their $32 million goal, San Francisco could come up short. And it doesn’t look like that goal will be hit; the money has purportedly dried up at $14 million.

'Also, much of that was a hand-me-down from race organizers, described to SF Weekly last year as an “$8 million payment from [race organizers] characterized as an advance on future sales to be derived from a revenue-sharing split on sponsorships.”

'Private fundraisers tasked with offsetting The City’s costs were afforded wiggle room in the lengthy contract, which says they must merely “endeavor” to raise the $32 million.

'“Not one cent” in private funds is guaranteed, budget analyst Harvey Rose said in November 2010. “So there’s no guarantee whatsoever we’ll get that $32 million.”

'In February 2012, city Controller Ben Rosenfield said, “If they don’t raise the money, it’s on The City.”'


Posted by And the rich made out like bandits on Feb. 26, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

and interesting. You cannot be miserable all the time and if SF wants to remain a "world class city" then it needs to host events like this.

Nobody comes to SF to see poor, homeless people pissing in the streets.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

Taxpayers left holding the bag after cost overruns & revenue shortfalls. Is this the type of risk you're willing to foist on everyone? Did you even read down to the last couple of paragraphs in that piece? Here you go:

"The budget analyst in 2012 estimated that if private fundraising stalled around its current take, San Francisco stands to lose some $11 million. This, however, is assuming $20.3 million in hotel taxes from visitors who will supposedly inundate The City."

"That may not happen, in which case the added costs on city services such as police and Muni would be lower, and thus San Francisco would lose less money. Of course, a lower attendance figure would lessen the event’s promised billion-dollar impact on the regional economy."

Hmm... $11 million to "do something good." Tax increase anyone? Since when do the rich think like that? (or for that matter, the middle class?). What will be the real costs to SF taxpayers. Closed libraries? The end of after-school programs? Pot holes, anyone? Or is it the extra overtime for cops that gonna make this city "world class"?


Posted by And the rich made out like bandits on Feb. 26, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

If you ask me whether SF should throw 10 million at the America's Cup or into some idealistic non-profit scheme to create moral hazard for the homeless, I'll choose the former every time.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

Jeeze Tim,
Can't you give the guy a break? He wrecks his boat, 'er, whatever you call that thing. Then we're about to have a sequester, so he won't have an income stream based upon snooping on our private affairs. Next thing you know, someone might look at his books...

It's tough to be a billionaire.

Posted by David Grace on Feb. 22, 2013 @ 6:12 pm

Oh, it's tough to be a billionaire
bilking the city of every last dollar
oh yeah, it's tough to be a billionaire
just makes me wanna hollar

Posted by Guest on Feb. 23, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

Including envy and jealousy.

Posted by anon on Feb. 23, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

"If one well-written poem would evoke more admiration from people, from the nation, than a bright-red Ferrari, people would stop stealing and begin writing." ~Andre Vltchek

Posted by fille rebelle on Feb. 23, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

Your usual kneejerk response is kind of slow today, trolls. What gives?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 23, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

"Daly's true goodbye gift to this city — apart from inspiring a Donkey Kong revival — was countering former Mayor Gavin Newsom's Ahab-like drive to land the America's Cup and ram through a high-priced deal before decamping to his new job in Sacramento.

"In doing so, Daly undermined an inferior pact centered on Pier 50, adjacent to AT&T Park on the central waterfront. Upfront city losses alone on that deal were subsequently pegged at some $58 million, with nearly that much again probably gone over the coming decades via land giveaways. The arrangement now in place, headquartered at Pier 27, lessens the land handed to Oracle CEO and yachting billionaire Larry Ellison from 35 to roughly 20 acres. Shrinking the Cup's footprint — largely by taking Pier 50 off the table — will save the city a considerable sum. Under the northern waterfront plan, San Francisco is expected to lose around $12 million in the near term — but that money could be made back, and then some, down the road.


"I will give real credit to Chris Daly for raising the cost issues of the central waterfront option," says Chiu, the subject of Daly's ire. Chiu, who contends Daly "blew up that deal," continues: "The conversation Supervisor Daly started absolutely helped save the city money." Sans Daly, Supervisor John Avalos says, "I expect we would have had a really bad deal go through." [...]

"The misgivings Daly expressed publicly...were those a number of his colleagues harbored privately — or would come to, once the numbers were vetted. Crucially, it was Daly who tasked the Board of Supervisors' budget analyst to reveal those sums.

"While numerous City Hall officials have told SF Weekly that Port of San Francisco staffers were appalled by the push to give away huge swaths of the central waterfront to Ellison, Port officials were publicly onboard with the initial plan. San Francisco, it turned out, needed someone who didn't give a damn about his political future. Someone unaffected by the pageantry of hosting a world-renowned sailing spectacle. Someone immune to the giddy contagion of America's Cup fever. Someone to serve as a civic party pooper who'd hammer the bottom line. In short, San Francisco needed an asshole — and one with clout.

"Daly was qualified for that."


Posted by And the rich made out like bandits on Feb. 26, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

Hi, thanks for sharing

Posted by dog trainer on Apr. 11, 2013 @ 11:32 pm