source: Scuttlebutt Sailing News
America’s Cup: New figures increase loss incurred by San FranciscoPublished on February 10, 2014
Preliminary figures released in December showed the event had cost taxpayers at least $5.5 million, but that number did not include expenses for the Port of San Francisco, a city department with its own budget funded by rent revenue from its property, not taxes.
The Cup had a net cost to the port of $5.5 million, and its cost to the general fund, the city’s main spending account, was revised upward to $6 million, for a total city loss of $11.5 million, according to a new report by the Board of Supervisors budget and legislative analyst.
The report also found that 517 San Francisco residents were employed in 2013 through contracts with race organizers, known as the America’s Cup Event Authority.
A wrap-up economic impact study by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute released in December found that the event created 2,863 jobs, down from original projections of 8,840 jobs. That study also found that the event, which stretched over roughly three months, generated at least $364 million in total economic impact. That figure rises to more than $550 million if the long-planned construction of a new cruise ship terminal, which the regatta served as a catalyst to finally get built, is factored in.
The latest analysis, requested by Supervisor John Avalos, comes as the Mayor Ed Lee’s administration has reached an impasse in negations with software billionaire Larry Ellison’s Oracle Team USA sailing club about hosting the next Cup in 2017.
Russell Coutts, who heads Ellison’s sailing team, recently said the organization is looking at five U.S. locations as possible host sites, including San Francisco, San Diego and Hawaii. The winner of the Cup gets to determine the location and boat type for the next regatta.
Among the team’s objections to San Francisco’s offer to host the event a second time are paying rent for the venue space that was provided last year and being compelled to pay union rates for labor, some involved in the negotiations said.
The report from Budget and Legislative Analyst Harvey Rose’s office, though, specifically calls for the city to charge rent if it hosts the Cup again and to ensure the event authority complies “with local hire and prevailing wage requirements for all events covered by the agreement.”
Updated: Mon, Jan 13, 2014, 9:31 am
Uploaded: Fri, Jan 10, 2014, 1:54 pm
Palo Alto fires Mitchell Park Library contractorCity to look for replacement contractor after terminating its agreement with Flintcoby Gennady Sheyner / Palo Alto Weekly
The Mitchell Park Library and Community Center was empty on the afternoon that the City of Palo Alto terminated its contract with Flintco Pacific Inc., the contractor hired to build the library. Photo by Eric Van Susteren
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After years of construction errors, insufficient staffing and threatened lawsuits, Palo Alto on Friday terminated its contract with Flintco Pacific Inc., the contractor responsible for construction of the new Mitchell Park Library and Community Center.
In a letter to Flintco CEO Tom Maxwell that cites "historically poor performance and failure to make adequate progress toward completion," City Manager James Keene directed the company to discontinue all work on the project and prepare to hand over control of its subcontracts to the city. The move means that Palo Alto will now be looking for a new contractor to finish the project, a process that Public Works Director Mike Sartor said should take about two months. After the new contractor is in place, it should take another few months to complete construction.
The project kicked off in September 2010 and was scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2012. The latest complication means the earliest the new library will open is this summer. Sartor said that after the new contractor is hired, the company will be charged with fixing Flintco's mistakes and putting the finishing touches on the building complex on Middlefield Road. Though the library and community center have been more than 90 percent complete for some time, Sartor told the Weekly, much of the work will have to be redone. The work list includes about 2,000 items, he said, mostly minor things like crooked pavers and aluminum sashes that need to be replaced.
Sartor estimated that once the new company is hired, it would take about two months to do the work, provided it devotes "full resources" -- 50 to 60 people per day -- to the project.
"We didn't think Flintco had the capability of completing the job, particularly with the quality that we expected," he said.
The city's tension with Flintco had been building up over time but reached its climax in November, when the contractor missed its latest deadline. In March 2013, the company had indicated that the building would be completed by November 2013, a deadline that has come and gone with little progress. Flintco had stated in early November it would obtain a "temporary certificate of occupancy" for the library building by Nov. 27, which would allow staff to start moving in. That had not happened, prompting the city to issue a notice of default on Dec. 4. The notice gave Flintco 10 days to "cure its defaults" and come up with a full plan for completing the project. According to Keene, Flintco failed to do that and the plan it supplied has been insufficient.
"The latest completion plan submitted by Flintco omits critical tasks, continues to lack subcontractor coordination and contains little detail to permit the City to track and verify progress," the letter states. "In addition, Flintco has claimed a rate of progress in clearing repair and completion items that is greatly exaggerated, and continues to report items as completed that are not complete."
In late December, Palo Alto officials met with Flintco representatives and the company's surety and announced their intention to terminate the contract unless a plan is presented showing that the project will likely be completed by late January.
The plan offered by Flintco on Dec. 23 failed in that task. According to Keene, it was "deficient in numerous respects, including the failure to consider the coordination of trades, failure to take into account significant contract requirements for completion, and the expectation that a punch list would only take one day to prepare." Palo Alto and Flintco officials also clashed over which items are really "complete," with Flintco claiming that the extra work was a result of design deficiencies and the city accusing the company of mischaracterizing the status of completion. In late December, city officials told Flintco's surety, Zurich American Insurance Company, that it didn't seem likely that the company would complete the necessary work on hundreds of items without outside assistance and that if it didn't increase its staffing, its contract would be terminated.
Keene's Jan. 10 letter to Flintco states that Flintco's assertion that the project has reached completion "is yet another of many instances in which Flintco has demonstrated an unwillingness to accept responsibility for its own failings."
"Flintco has broken so many promises to get this Project finished that it has lost all credibility with the City," Keene wrote.
The Mitchell Park Library and Community Center is the largest and most expensive project in a $76 million bond to renovate the city's libraries that voters approved in 2008. Earlier this week, as he was recapping the city's 2013 accomplishments, Keene referred to the project as "an extreme disappointment" but stressed that it is "almost completed" and pledged that it will open this year.
Sartor said in a press release that despite the disruption, "we are confident that a new general contractor will be able to finish the project faster and with better quality than if Flintco had stayed on the project."
The company's sureties now have 60 days to find a new general contractor. If that doesn't happen, the city would hire its own replacement contractor and charge Flintco and the surety, according to the city's announcement of the contract termination.
Keene has requested that Flintco's sureties meet with the city on Jan. 13 to discuss "what action will be undertaken by the sureties to fulfill their obligations under the performance bond." The City Council is scheduled later that day to discuss potential litigation relating to the Mitchell Park project.
Online Editor Eric Van Susteren contributed to this report.
Read the Full article at sfgate.com
America's Cup cost to S.F. more than doubles
Expenses for port added in new budget analysis / Preliminary report didn't include expenses for port
San Francisco's red ink from the 34th America's Cup doubled Monday, with updated figures showing the city lost $11.5 million hosting the event.
Hiring goals, union rates
The event authority met the goal of having 50 percent of the new hires on its contracts be San Francisco residents in 2013, but not in the area of temporary installation work, where only 87 of the 252 people hired to set up grandstands and other structures were from the city, the report found. No information was available for two preliminary races in 2012.
The issue became a political flash point for the Local 22 Carpenters Union, which picketed for weeks outside City Hall and race organizers' offices.
The event authority also failed to pay union-level wages as it had agreed to do, a city audit showed, and was assessed more than $400,000 in back wages. The city also is still trying to verify the number of local small businesses that got some of the 328 event authority contracts. So far, it has found six with a special certification from the city verifying their status as small businesses, according to the report, but there may be more.
That wasn't good enough, said Avalos, the progressive supervisor who commissioned the report.
"Harvey's report shows that the event authority and the Lee administration are really committed to the 'trickle' in 'trickle-down economics,' " Avalos said. "Given the cost to the city and failure on commitments to small businesses and local workers, I'd say it wasn't worth it."
Chaffee Zoo ground breaking ceremony for the African Adventure exhibit. The project is on about 18 acres and valued at nearly $55,000,000.00. Harris Construction is the General contractor. Funding came from Measure Z which will be back on the ballot soon. The new exhibit will house African lions, elephants, cheetahs, rhinos and meerkats.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Hoover Elementary School is getting a second chance at life. Nestled high in the hills on the border of Burlingame and Hillsborough sits a campus with breathtaking views of the peninsula and the bay. Hoover was opened in 1931 and remained an integral part of the Burlingame School District until declining enrollment forced it to close in 1979. It sat vacant until 1988 when the district, looking for much needed funds decided to sell the entire campus to the Shinnyo-En Buddhist Order. It was a Buddhist temple until 2010 when the property was put up for sale by the Monks because they had outgrown it. At that time, Burlingame School District was running about 250 students over capacity throughout it's other elementary schools and the Board decided to take action. The district bought the campus back with bond money and plans were quickly put in place to renovate the entire facility as much of it had fallen into disrepair. Signatory General Contractor Alten Construction has been working on the project for about a year and a half with the help of several union sub contractors such as Starke Structures who is doing much of the wood framing. It has been a major undertaking as many of the existing buildings have been torn back to bare bones and most of the slabs have required serious retrofit work as well. To complicate matters, underground springs and unstable soil have been problems but nothing that the Alten Team has not been able to overcome. The finished product will retain much of the historical charm of the original architecture while integrating all of the modern safety and technology attributes of a modern elementary school. When it is completed, it will be the first "new" elementary school built in Burlingame in 50 years. With Union Carpenters performing the work, it is sure to last another 100!
UBC Carpenters are building churches in San Mateo and neighboring Burlingame!
Our members are reaping the rewards of a sudden influx of church related projects on the Mid-Peninsula. At Saint Matthews Catholic School in San Mateo, SC Builders has just completed concrete footing and slab-on-grade work for a new 25,000 square foot gym and just up El Camino Real at The Episcopal Church of Saint Matthew Day School, Herrero Contractors is well under way on Saint Matthews Hall, a building that will house classrooms, a library, a science laboratory as well as an underground gym and will ultimately increase the size of the school by 50%. Further north in neighboring Burlingame, Gonsalves and Stronck is building a new parish center at Saint Catherine of Sienna Catholic Church and School. These projects are a great indicator that the economy is picking up steam and it is always refreshing to see our strong relationship with the religious community rewarding our signatory employers with the work.
The Encampment prepares young people to be informed, responsible and effective global citizens through experiential learning and living in a diverse, democratic community.
The summer program is the heart of the Encampment. It is a true experience in democracy where young people who would otherwise never meet.
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Sacramento City Clerk rejects arena subsidy measure from ballot By Ryan Lillis
Published: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 - 10:05 am
Sacramento City Clerk Shirley Concolino has decided to reject a June ballot measure seeking voter approval of subsidies for sports arenas, citing multiple legal issues with the petitions circulated in support of the measure.
Concolino told the groups behind the ballot measure this morning the petitions were “noncompliant with the California elections code and the Sacramento City Charter and are therefore insufficient” to qualify the measure for the ballot. Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork (STOP) and Voters for a Fair Arena Deal had collected 22,938 signatures from registered city voters in their attempt to qualify the measure for the ballot.
“I’ve never seen a petition with as many flaws as this one,” Concolino said.
The clerk said there were nine different versions of the petition. Wording differences in some of the petitions were minor, but others contained “substantial” variations, she said.
None of the petitions contained an enacting clause, a passage required by state elections law that notifies signers of petitions that the measure in question would become law if passed by voters.
Concolino said signatures were gathered on petitions that omitted an entire paragraph from a notice of intent the measure’s supporters filed with the clerk. In their notice of intent – which notifies the city that a petition is going to be circulated – STOP made reference to the city of Stockton’s arena. But 6,719 signatures appeared on petitions that did not include that reference.
Another 105 signatures were gathered before STOP filed its notice of intent.
In another misstep, when the proponents of the STOP measure published their notice of intent in the Sacramento Observer newspaper, they omitted their names and signatures in the publication, the clerk said.
Concolino’s decision sets up a likely legal battle. She said she has briefed the city attorney’s office on her dismissal of the ballot measure and has been told it can be defended.
Call The Bee’s Ryan Lillis, (916) 321-1085. Read his City Beat blog at www.sacbee.com/citybeat.
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/24/6098755/sacramento-city-clerk-rejects.html#storylink=cpy