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Sunday, April 26, 2015

CORRUPTION GETS A SPANKING IN SANTA CLARA.........

I GUESS MAYOR MATTHEWS FOUND OUT WHAT'S ITS LIKE TO GET BITCH SLAPPED.....


49ers no match for Santa Clara Youth Soccer League

April 24, 2015 Updated: April 25, 2015 10:00pm
Deputy Fire Marshal Craig Anderson keeps an eye on meeting attendees as they enter Santa Clara City Hall on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 in Santa Clara, Calif. Soccer fans and community members rallied together to speak their mind about the 49ers potentially turning a community soccer field into a parking lot for the Levi's Stadium. Photo: James Tensuan, SFC
Photo: James Tensuan, SFC
Deputy Fire Marshal Craig Anderson keeps an eye on meeting attendees as they enter Santa Clara City Hall on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 in Santa Clara, Calif. Soccer fans and community members rallied together to speak their mind about the 49ers potentially turning a community soccer field into a parking lot for the Levi's Stadium.
The San Francisco 49ers got a big slap-down at the hands of the pint-sized players of the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League the other night, but it’s the team’s friends at City Hall who could be facing the political penalties for the botched play.
“It was not the Santa Clara way,” said Levi’s Stadium supporter and former MayorPatricia Mahan, referring to the effort by the Niners and Mayor Jamie Matthews to turn the town’s youth soccer fields into VIP parking for the high rollers at the team’s new, $1 billion-plus playground.
Matthews and the 49ers had been shopping the plan around privately for weeks, and were hoping to push a deal across the goal line by next season that would have the team lease the fields from the city for $15 million over the next 39 years — plus a 20-year option.
Acquiring the 11 acres of fields adjacent to the stadium has been a goal of the 49ers for the past year. Initially, the team offered to rent the fields’ parking lot on game days. When the soccer league rejected that, Niners executives went to the city — which owns the land — with an offer of $15 million up front, plus $3 million to the local school district to build three new soccer fields so the kids could play there.
In return, the Niners would have been able to pave over the youth league’s fields and obtain rights to develop the property down the line.
But when the ball was snapped, the play broke down.
“These kids have grown up with social media, and they are really, really smart,” said Councilwoman Lisa Gillmor.
The first attack was an online video parody aimed at team owner Jed York, called “Jed the Millionaire,” which four young soccer players sang to the tune of the old “Beverly Hillbillies” theme song (www.standupforsantaclara.com).
“It went viral,” Gillmor said. Then “they hit the phone trees, Facebook — I mean, you are talking about a group of kids and parents who are really well organized.”
The parents took special pains to note that the November election campaigns of Matthews and Councilmen Dominic Caserta and Patrick Kolstad were handsomely financed by 49ers executives.That played into a larger feeling among critics that the council is overly friendly to developers in general.
Put it all together, and it added up to a council chambers filled beyond capacity Tuesday night with aggrieved young soccer players and their parents. It was a news event made to order for TV, which of course turned out in force.
Santa Clara City Hall is packed with attendees to hear about the fate of a community soccer field near Levi's Stadium on Tuesday. Soccer fans and community members rallied to speak their mind about the 49ers potentially turning a community soccer field into a parking lot for the Levi's Stadium. Photo: James Tensuan, SFC
Photo: James Tensuan, SFC
Santa Clara City Hall is packed with attendees to hear about the fate of a community soccer field near Levi's Stadium on Tuesday. Soccer fans and community members rallied to speak their mind about the 49ers potentially turning a community soccer field into a parking lot for the Levi's Stadium.
“I think the words they heard the loudest were 'referendum’ and 'recall’ if they passed the deal,” said Councilwoman Teresa O’Neill.
The quarterback sack came at the end of public testimony when Gillmor and O’Neill refused to go into closed session to consider the deal and instead demanded a full public vetting. That effectively killed any chance it had of passing.
“Whether it’s the 49ers or someone else, the fields are still going to be prime land for development,” said Mahan. But she also echoed what others are saying: There needs to be a plan, and if the land is sold, it should be at full market value.
Matthews did not respond to requests for comment.
Niners spokesman Bob Lange said the team would “continue to explore other avenues with our community partners to expand our support of youth sports and add to the public’s experience at Levi’s Stadium.”
Now there are three: Former state Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro has joined the race to replace outgoing U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2016.
Del Beccaro, a real estate lawyer in Walnut Creek, said he plans to run on a platform that includes a nationwide flat tax, the repeal of California’s high-speed-rail bond and a comprehensive water program.
“Obviously, there has been a lack of leadership on the water issue,” Del Beccaro said. “The point is not whether the drought has been brought on by climate change or who or what caused the change. The point is we need to get to work and do what we can to fix the problem.”
As for the flat tax, Del Beccaro said, “Californians deserve to have a tax system that favors everyone, not just the rich.”
Del Beccaro joins GOP Assemblyman Rocky Ch├ívez of Oceanside (San Diego County) and Democratic state Attorney General Kamala Harris as announced candidates.
Staying home: Despite publicly encouraging his fellow Catholics to attend, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone decided to skip Saturday’s rally in Washington against same-sex marriage after hearing from a small cadre of trusted advisers, sources say.
Cordileone had been a star speaker at a similar gathering in June, sparking condemnation from a number of local politicians and gay-rights groups.
Since then, there have been mounting tensions inside the archdiocese — punctuated by that full-page ad in The Chronicle the other day in which more than 100 prominent local Catholics called on Pope Francis to replace Cordileone.
Upshot: Cordileone’s camp feared a second trip to Washington ahead of Tuesday’s oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on the constitutionality of anti-same-sex marriage laws would only invite more troubles on his home turf. Possibly even a repeat of the ugly scene last year outside archdiocese headquarters when protesters tried to deliver 30,000 signatures asking Cordileone not to attend — and were locked out.
It’s an image the archbishop would just as soon avoid, especially after the recent fuss over dousing the homeless with water outside St. Mary’s Cathedral.
San Francisco Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross appear Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. Matier can be seen on the KPIX TV morning and evening news. He can also be heard on KCBS radio Monday through Friday at 7:50 a.m. and 5:50 p.m. Got a tip? Call (415) 777-8815, or e-mail matierandross@sfchronicle.com. Twitter: @matierandross

Thursday, April 23, 2015

WOW! THIS REALLY MAKES ME FEEL GOOD TO BE A SANTA CLARAN...............

Sorry, Santa Clara; this is the San Francisco Super Bowl

April 22, 2015 Updated: April 22, 2015 3:52pm4

Greetings from Super Bowl City. Oh, and you, too, Santa Clara.
The official super-hype machine cranked up this week for Super Bowl 50, which is so big that it has transcended Roman numerals. Basically, the announcement was that San Francisco will have the parties, fan zone, network headquarters, tourists, sold-out hotel rooms and buzz.
And Santa Clara gets the fuzzy end of the pickle.
We kid, of course. Santa Clara gets to host the actual game, which I’m sure will be epic for the Bay Area. In fact, I am prepared to go way out on the end of the goal posts and say it is entirely possible that that the Raiders and the 49ers could actually meet in this Super ... sorry, I thought I could get through this without cracking up.
So no, that’s not going to happen.
But the reality is this is going to be a San Francisco Super Bowl with a four-hour stopover in the South Bay for a ballgame. Which is exactly the way the NFL wanted it.
The league has always wanted to expand its pool of Super Bowl cities. After all, they can’t hold them all in New Orleans or Miami, which have each hosted 10 times. The consensus was that the league loved the 1985 Super Bowl in the Bay Area — right up until everyone arrived at Stanford Stadium and realized the restrooms were Porta Pottis and the seats were bleachers with a small plastic cushion.
The common agreement about that one-shot bowl was: loved the parties, hated the stadium. So now that the 49ers have built a state-of-the-art ball field — although the stadium grass still seems to need a reboot — the theory is that if this goes smoothly, we’ll be put in the rotation and get our Super Bowl on every seven years or so.
Event is beyond huge
Which is just dandy. But don’t get cocky, San Francisco. We know that we’re used to tourists. In 2013, for instance, 16.9 million visitors came to the city, spending $9.4 billion. So this is just an Oracle convention on steroids, right?
Not quite. This is beyond huge. At its peak viewing time, last year’s game drew a TV audience of 120 million viewers, according to NBC, which made it the most-watched event in TV history.
But what’s really changed after 49 years of Super Bowls is pre-kickoff week. That’s where the city is going to be ground zero.
“It’s become like a national convention for the game of football,” said Hall of Fame 49er Ronnie Lott at this week’s press conference.
The media session was to show off the design for “Super Bowl City,” at Justin Herman Plaza, which is touted in the press release as one of the “centers of energy” for the week. Personally, I thought it looked pretty much like Justin Herman Plaza with better signage, but this is no time for nitpicking.
At one time there was talk of shutting down Market Street from Yerba Buena Gardens to the Ferry Building. That’s not going to happen. But fair warning, the NFL Experience fan fest will be at Moscone Center. Based on attendance of 165,000 at last year’s Experience in Arizona (at $35 a pop), it will be humming.
It is likely that thousands of fans will stroll from the Embarcadero to Moscone daily, turning Mission and Market streets into a weeklong promenade. Joe D’Alessandro, president of San Francisco Travel, says his agency is expecting more than 1 million tourists for the week.
No rooms at the inns
Whoops, guess you’d better book a hotel room for Uncle Dave, right? Too late. D’Alessandro says they’re all full, some 35,000 rooms. Unlike the World Series, where an event lands abruptly in town at the end of the season, this is all about advance planning.
And here’s another factor. Host network CBS is going to set up its open-air broadcast center at the Embarcadero, with the Bay Bridge as a backdrop. If Santa Clarans were annoyed when regular season 49er games featured shots of crooked Lombard Street and the Golden Gate Bridge instead of South Bay highlights (insert your snarky quip here), wait until they see the week of Super Bowl coverage.
One more thing. The media headquarters will be at Moscone West, which means an expected 5,000 media types downtown. Sure, they’ll take a bus to the media sessions and the always informative “media day” at the stadium, where players will be asked penetrating questions like: “If you met Bigfoot, what would you tell him?” (Actual question from the 2014 Super Bowl.)
But they’ll be back here for dinner, parties and general beverage hoisting, all of which are San Francisco specialties. Expect lots of “Postcards from the Left Coast” dispatches, and even if they get some of it wrong, it will still be good brand-building for the city.
All in all, a case could be made that this will be the biggest international event, sporting or not, ever hosted by San Francisco. Technically this is the second Super Bowl here, but, as Lott (who played in that 1985 game) says, that seems like eons ago.
“At this point,” he said, “it’s like it was televised in black and white.”
It is going to be a weeklong extravaganza, a whirl of parties, celebrities and global media coverage. And then there’s going to be a game. In Santa Clara.
C.W. Nevius is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. His columns appear Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. E-mail: cwnevius@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @cwnevius