Boston Olympics, Ver. 2.0, to be announced next month

(L-R) Boston 2024 CEO Rich Davey, International Olympic Committee member Angela Ruggiero, Executive Director of Olympic Planning Sara Myerson and City Liaison John Fitzgerald at Monday's public hearing

Boston 2024 plans to release a major overhaul of its proposed plans for the Olympics next month, group CEO Rich Davey told a City Council committee today.

The revised plan would provide new details about possible venues, housing and other infrastructure, and may include locations outside of Boston or even New England, Davey said this morning, at at a hearing called by Council President Bill Linehan's Special Committee for the Olympics.

The initial plan, which helped Boston win the USOC nod to become the official US entrant for the games, included facilities in parks, such as the Common and Franklin Park, whose advocacy groups either opposed or said they needed far more details on to support.

Davey said his group is continuing to fine-tune its proposal under the International Olympic Committee's new guidelines for hosting more sustainable games - the 2024 games will be the first under this Olympic Agenda 2020.

Davey was one of four participants on the Olympic panel at this morning's hearing, the first of four hearings by the special committee this spring and summer to discuss Boston's bid.

Angela Ruggiero, a four-time Olympic ice-hockey medalist and a member of the IOC, said the sustainability goals give would-be host city's a lot of flexibility to design cost-effective and sustainable games. "The IOC says if you don't have a venue that makes sense, you can put one in another city because that's sustainable," she said. "You can put one in New York."

Davey also mentioned the help of other cities saying, "It could be judicious to allow some cities in Massachusetts or around the U.S. to help boost revenue or decrease loss." Davey mentioned New York and Chicago as examples.

Ruggiero referenced leveraging existing facilities as event venues – college stadiums in Greater Boston, for example – as another way of being sustainable and "changing the blueprint" of the Olympic Games.

Several councilors, however, said they continue to be concerned about the potential costs to taxpayers - despite repeat promises from Boston 2024 that there will be none - as well as issues related to the displacement of residents and gentrification in areas nearest some of the proposed venues.

At-large city councilor Ayanna Pressley said that while she admires taking a leap of faith and thinking big, she does not yet see a specific plan for dealing with displacement issues.

"I believe in the merit and transformative power of sport but I’m just not sure on legacy side of this, what is the plan to get there?" she asked. "We can wrap our arms around the global community but we have to wrap our arms around the people who are already here. I don’t see a plan. If this is an opportunity for us to be a world model when it comes to inclusion and embracing a global community, there is nothing I can point to right now that we are doing that I can say we can scale up to the Olympics. Very good will and good intention, but we need a pointed plan."

Davey and Sara Myerson, Boston 2024's executive director of Olympic planning, assured Pressley a plan is in the works - and answers should start coming soon.

"We're working under the assumption that the city is not going to be contributing any tax dollars to the construction of stadiums or infrastructure," Davey said. Ruggiero noted that this is unique to the United States; many other countries have sports ministries within their national government.

"We're only about 120 days into this," Davey said, alluding to the unofficial Boston bid announcement in January. "We have nine and a half years left - we don't have a moment to lose."

The Boston bid is currently in the "invitation phase," meaning that it has the full support of the U.S. Olympic Committee but has not yet been officially nominated; despite concerns in Boston, USOC officials continue to say they back Boston. After reviewing official nominations, the IOC will vote on a final city in 2017.

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"The revised plan... may

"The revised plan... may include locations outside of Boston or even New England"

Here's hoping every location is outside of Boston and New England.

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No Boston Olympics Meeting Tonight

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If anyone is interested, there is going to be a No Boston Olympics Community Meeting tonight.

The information below is copied and pasted from their website http://www.nobostonolympics.org/5_18_community_meeting

WHEN
May 18, 2015 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm
You can RSVP on their website and doors open at 6pm.

WHERE
The NonProfit Center -- Community Room
89 South St
Boston, MA 02111

See you there. Bring your righteous indignation and angst.

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NO

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You wont!

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Please make a list of demands

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It isn't enough to say NO. We do need some things to be fixed, and we need it sooner than 2024.

Lead with a vision of what we want to get done WITHOUT and Olympics. We DO NOT need to be taken over by a foreign organization to fix the MBTA. We can do it ourselves. We do not need 2024 to fix our crumbling bridges. We can do it ourselves.

Etc. If we need to have a foreign organization to take us over to get stuff fixed, we are well and truly messed up. We need to demand that it be done and replace those who try to stop it. Period.

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Ha!

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Hate to quote Sarah Palin but..

"you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig"

Same can be said about Boston2024.. you can re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic as many times as you want, but the ship is still going to sink.

Why can't these people wake up and realize this? They are losing steam because every time they try 'something new' or release 'new information' it just makes them look worse and worse. Every new page in this 'adventure' becomes another nail in the coffin known as Boston2024.

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Day meetings?

Anyone know why Bill Linehan likes to setup these meetings during the work day?

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Can't tie this to Linehan

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The Council for years have been holding hearings midday. I would say evening hearings are the exception.

Of course, Linehan could change this, but you can't blame him for doing with presidents going back to the blessed man from Readville used to do.

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Doesn't matter

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They don't listen to the regular folk anyway. Any decisions to be made are hammered out long before we give testimony - just like at the BRA.

I'm still willing to keep an open mind about this. Right up to the point where I find out they are opening my (our) wallet(s) to pay for something.

Also - hope everyone noticed that this is Shelagh's byline, not Adam's - kudos and well done.

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What about tax dollars from

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What about tax dollars from the state. If is fine to say that Boston will not spend any extra money, what about the cost override guarantee that the state will be obligated to take on.

I will be for the Olympics if they can guarantee in writing that Massachusetts will not have to pay one dime for this travesty.

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Not limited to Boston

The venues would be spread out through the area - why should Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, Somerville, Medford, Malden, Everett, Chelsea, Quincy, Milton, etc. OR the Commonwealth pay a single penny here?

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Let's parse this phrase

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We're working under the assumption that the city is not going to be contributing any tax dollars to the construction of stadiums or infrastructure

How about working under the assumption that the city is not going to be contributing any tax dollars to an Olympics...then let's work forwards from there. If the national USOC wants to use Boston as the hub of their Olympics bid, then why should the city be put out at all financially? The Boston2024 group isn't the city. So why do they get to nominate OUR tax dollars for anything related to the Olympics coming here? They also have to pitch the USOC on our bid...which they essentially have done. It's the USOC that's going to bring that bid to the IOC for selecting the United States as the home of the 2024 Olympics (in Boston). So, it's the USOC and whomever they have to answer to (hint, it's not ANY level of government...it's their sponsors). So, how about ZERO tax dollars are going to this effort on any level and if the sponsors want the USOC to win the bid, then they damn well better put up the money to get the job done on all aspects of such a bid?

If that means that after the Olympics come and go, the city will have benefited from improvements the USOC and its sponsors had to make in order to successfully pull off the event, then THAT is the way you get our reciprocity into making it a success as a population that has to live here before, during, and after the Olympics run rip-shod across the town.

Where else in the world, what segment of business or life, does the following discussion take place: "Hi, a group of your neighbors wanted to use your entire neighborhood as a block party location for the entire world to descend upon and enjoy for about a month. However, we noticed that your house isn't going to be big enough to party in, so they've agreed to have you build an extension and widen your driveway so that you can fit enough guests for your part of the deal you're just learning about (will mean removing some of those trees right there, please). They'll take care of renting a gazebo for your backyard and they might replant the grass when they leave too. By the way, the area where they install the bar at the back of your yard is going to be sold to your neighbor so he can build a pool for his kids when we're done here. Thanks, the world has agreed and we'll need to be sure to monitor you to make sure you're building that driveway fast enough for us or your neighbors are going to be upset!"

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It's even worse than that, Kaz

I don't have the information in front of me, but IIRC, Boston2024 not only gets to hold taxpayers in MA hostage, but part of their budget includes something like a $600 MILLION payment *to* the USOC. For their "help" in bringing the Olympics to Boston.

The USOC will get this payment whether or not the Boston Olympics are successful, a disaster, a financial travesty, and regardless of whether *any* of the high-falutin' promises Davey and Fish are making right now come true.

So the USOC gets to force a party on us for foreign dignitaries and royalty, makes us foot the bill, and then gets $600 million for their trouble.

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Yes, that's correct

I understand that it isn't like the City of Boston has to come up with $600m up front... but Boston2024 would, and would hopefully get more than that to be able to keep for financing their own projects.

But we don't know if they will. 2024 is years away, and who knows if another 2008-like economic downturn will happen and sponsorships dry up. In fact, if you look at Boston2024's "budget" that they've shared with the public, the expenses are matched precisely by expected revenue from licensing and other revenue sources. It's amazing that those two numbers line up precisely, and that there are no details shared about exactly where that revenue is coming from and how certain it is.

What we do know is that the $600m payment would be due the USOC regardless of whether Boston2024 makes any other money from any other revenue sources. So should revenues dry up, the USOC walks away with the cash and returns to Colorado, while the local taxpayer foots the bill for the discrepancy from Boston2024's vague and highly optimistic budget and the actual revenues. Oh, and that also assumes that the costs don't go up. Because we know that large projects never go over initial budgets.

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This is astute, I'm borrowing it!

"Hi, a group of your neighbors wanted to use your entire neighborhood as a block party location for the entire world to descend upon and enjoy for about a month. However, we noticed that your house isn't going to be big enough to party in, so they've agreed to have you build an extension and widen your driveway so that you can fit enough guests for your part of the deal you're just learning about (will mean removing some of those trees right there, please). They'll take care of renting a gazebo for your backyard and they might replant the grass when they leave too. By the way, the area where they install the bar at the back of your yard is going to be sold to your neighbor so he can build a pool for his kids when we're done here. Thanks, the world has agreed and we'll need to be sure to monitor you to make sure you're building that driveway fast enough for us or your neighbors are going to be upset!"

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Yes? Every meeting of the

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Yes? Every meeting of the City Council has a period at the end for public comment and testimony. I think Linehan even asked the IOC/2024 people to stay to hear today's public offerings.

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Community members could

Community members could testify but had to sign up in advance on a sign-in sheet. Four people spoke: three against, one in favor.

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NoBostonOlympics.org

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Aka Occupy Boston 2.0.

And yes, its mainly ALL the same people, and non of which are actually FROM here.

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Right

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Based on hair color and eye color comparisons? Okay.

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No it's not r/o

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I'm a free market capitalist to the core and I mocked the Occupiers every day when I walked by them to and from my job in the financial district. I strongly support the No Boston Olympics organization. I'm from Boston but I live in Quincy now. Is that close enough? I mean, after all, they do want to use my city to host some events so it affects me personally.

As for these guys being Occupiers? I'm not sure. For one thing, they are from here.

No Boston Olympics Volunteer Co-Chairs:

- Chris Dempsey, Brookline
- Liam Kerr, Boston
- Kelley Gossett, Boston

Read this article to find out where they're from, a bit about their backgrounds and why they don't want the Olympics here

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2015/04/02/they-just-don-...

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Bain consultant and DFER, a front group for hedge fund mgrs

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Chris Dempsey used to work in government and more recently as a management consultant at Bain.

Liam Kerr runs a front group for hedge fund managers in NYC called Democrats for Education Reform. They pitch charter schools to investor friend peers as an investment you can double your money in 5 years. Revenue streams include taxes budgeted for public education and tax credits from the government, which means they don't have to pay taxes on their new income.

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Good. Nothing's better for

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Good. Nothing's better for fighting scummy, selfish, greedy people than some of their own ilk.

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Hey buddy

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You should take your own advice. Google Kelley Gossett, not from here, now lives in JP and was one of the original organizer of Occupy.

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I'm a free market capitalist

I'm a free market capitalist to the core and I mocked the Occupiers every day when I walked by them to and from my job in the financial district.

Aren't you clever?

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Call me Pro-No Boston Olympics and Pro-Occupy.

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I support what No Boston Olympics is doing.

I supported what Occupy did, too.

They made people realize the federal government will loan the banks $3/4 of a trillion of our dollars, when they needed it in order to be solvent, and they convinced our government not to provide a comparable bail-out for homeowners affected adversely by the same financial crisis and resulting recession. The banks own the US Senate and Citizens United had only made it worse.

Occupy changed the debate. Now we're talking about why 80% of Americans have had no wage growth for 30 years while the top 1% get 95% of all new income. They made people consider what we could accomplish if 99% of us could agree on common interests.

Actually, I see Boston2024 as a similar question. Tell me, did anyone ask you if you wanted to invest in and profit from #Boston2024 or just whether you'd loan out your city and pick up the tab for cost overruns?

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That's probably not even

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That's probably not even intentional. Any search with "Boston Olympics" in the query probably triggers a Google adwords display.

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Yes, nothing says

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Yes, nothing says "sustainable" like burning fuel to travel the 400 miles from Boston to an event in New York and back.

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This is Boston:

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forget about burning fuel, we're hoping by 2024 to have buses that don't burn themselves.

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Walkable?

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Everywhere is walkable, if you have the time--Steven Wright

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I tried watching the hearing,

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I tried watching the hearing, but the speech by the IOC member made it unbearable.

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It's all about Baker.

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Baker wants the Olympics.
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/05/13/baker-demands-swift-action-o...

Governor Charlie Baker, increasingly impatient with the lack of detail in Boston’s troubled Olympic bid, is warning that organizers need to articulate a more complete venue and finance plan by early next month.

Baker voiced his concerns at a private meeting with his top campaign donors at the Taj Boston hotel Tuesday, where, one attendee said, “he was in a blunt mood.”

Boston 2024 will give Baker his fig leaf.

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Magician Charlie

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I wonder who he plans to dump the debt for his patronage party on this time?

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Don't forget DeLeo.

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He appears to be seeing how the wind direction is shifting. The Baker oligarch gaggle is of divided counsel.

The Finance and Insurance oligarchs are wary of the thing while the Real Estate and Construction moguls are eager to embrace it. The Hospitality biz is salivating but then they are feckless sluts anyway.

And the academic poobahs are doing what they do best, furnishing ready made excuses for everyone.

The latest shifty shuffle is more Kabuki. If the 10 pound crap pile didn't fit in the last 5 pound Boston bag, does anyone familiar with this place really believe a new magic bag will be produced where none was known to exist?

By the way. there is a very astute attorney who blogs as Hester Prynne.

http://hesterprynne.net/2015/03/18/dear-boston-2024-just-be-yourselves/

She was among a group of four regulars at Blue Mass Group who were invited to an hour long session with Walsh and Joyce Linehan regarding 2024 and the only one in the gaggle who was unmoved by the fawning.

Her posts on 2024 are valuable gems.

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EB3?

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EB3?

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You read my post wrong

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As one of those BMGers who you suggested wilted after visiting the mayor, try again.

The post I wrote on BMG after seeing the Mayor was one I had mostly written before seeing the Mayor (as I pointed out in my blog).

Furthermore, I set conditions in which I could 'get behind' a Boston Olympics, which is very different than actually getting behind the Boston Olympics.

If the IOC and USOC want to put it in writing that they'll pay for everything, agree to make special exemptions so Boston can use the marathon and charles river regatta routes, use Foxboro for the opening ceremony instead of building a $800 million + stadium that serves no purpose after the Olympics, and change the structure of Boston 2024 so anyone can join (so it's not just of and by the .1%) and make all meetings fully transparent and open to the public... then we can talk about having the Olympics.

We all know that's not going to happen, but we may as well make those conditions of our support, to make a statement that democratic, global cities are no longer going to participate in a race to the bottom.

I thought I was being pretty transparent in proposing a poison pill that the IOC could never get behind, even if it would be Boston-friendly, but if people mistook that for flip-flopping from having one meeting with the mayor... my apologies. I like the mayor, (full disclosure: I doorknocked for him) and find him a whole lot more competent than anyone in Boston 2024, including the version 2.0, but as well-intentioned as I think the Mayor is on the Olympics.... I also think he's wrong on this.

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The best part of Boston 2024?

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Getting to watch Bostonians do what we do best: be cranky, cynical, negative, and sarcastic about every damn thing!

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I see how this plays out

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Councilor Jackson or a close ally of his is named to a leading role in Boston2024. Other groups are also bought out. There's a payment for each constituency, and next thing you know, it's a done deal....

Councilors also raised questions about affordable housing and diversity in hiring and contracting.

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Locations

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You mean they might not actually make the long distance swimmers compete in the Charles.....

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