Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More Olympic Village Thoughts

To the Editor - Re: Olympic Village way over budget - Province Oct 7/08

Imagine that.
Another Olympic mega-project with a fixed completion date, and assurances
from the government that it will be completed "on time, and on budget".

"We don't see that there is a risk with taxpayers". Millennium's Athlete's

"Risk will be transfered to the private partner". Canada Line (P3).

(The Trade and Convention Centre.....and so on)

Both projects are grossly over budget, with Canada Line by all accounts at a
BILLION dollars over the budget that was cheerfully and firmly stated as
"not a penny more" by TransLink.

The City owned land at 2nd and Cambie was not in the original RAV proposal,
but it was sold to Millenium at a price well over market value, and soon
became the site for the Athlete's Village/Shopping Mall.
Recently it was discovered that Canada Line, like Millennium, had also
invested it's surplus
operating funds in sub-prime backed paper - and lost it.

According to reporter Jeff Nagel, "ABCP investments were backed by U.S.
residential mortgages but suddenly stopped trading last summer when the U.S.
real estate market began
to melt down and heavy mortgage defaults began.

Individual Canadians, corporations and agencies (pension funds) have $33
billion tied up in ABCP that so far can't be redeemed."

Gordon Campbell, who once worked for Millennium, agreed to bail Canada Line
out with $56 million - just like that. Is this just the beginning?

Of course, it was Premier Gordon Campbell, after the failed 2nd round of
voting on the RAV/Canada Line project that said "the Province will assume
the overall responsibility for completing the RAV project".

Sounds a lot like the "doomsday plan" for the City to step in and fund the
project as well. And just like TransLink, these decisions are being made
behind closed doors.

Peter Ladner wrings his hands, and calls this situation "distressing", as if
the writing was not on the wall on his watch.
Something else that is distressing is losing your personal life's work due
to the negligence of a government funded and driven project, as the small
businesses all along the Canada Line have. The precedent this abuse of power
is setting is an ugly one.

Where is the "doomsday plan" for the families along the Canada Line?

Gregor Robertson is calling for a "transparent process. The public has a
right to know".
Millennium could not - or is that, would not - be reached for comment.

I wonder how much taxpayer money, and pension funds Fortress Investment
Group has in sub-prime backed paper? I wonder how many other government
projects are tied up as well.

This Liberal government has failed the people of British Columbia.

Susan Heyes
3190 Cambie Street
604 687-0721

Had to Share This...Had to...

Johnny Depp's Pirate bounty

Johnny Depp is to earn $61 million to appear in the fourth 'Pirates of the Caribbean' film, the highest upfront payment in film history.

(BANG) -

Johnny Depp is to earn $61 million for the fourth 'Pirates of the Caribbean' film.

The staggering sum is the largest upfront payment in film history and will see Johnny, 45, move to the top of Hollywood's rich list - overtaking Will Smith - when he reprises his role as Captain Jack Sparrow.

A source said: "It's a hell of a lot of money for one movie but there's only one man who can play Captain Jack Sparrow - and that's Johnny Depp.

"Pirates just wouldn't be the same without him, so they were more than willing to smash the record books to land Depp again. He's been the star of the show every time."

Earlier this year, Will was named the highest earning actor in Hollywood by Forbes magazine after he grossed $76 million in one year.

However, Johnny's new deal will see his earnings soar to $137 million.

The source added: "He's laughing all the way to the bank. Not only is he probably the biggest heartthrob in Hollywood, he's now going to be the richest."

Johnny's co-stars in the first three films in the franchise, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, are unlikely to appear in the latest installment.


In this evening's McCain-Obama debate, we can look for at least these three elements:

- Who will say something useful and constructive - if such is possible - on the economy and the desperate need in America for decent jobs?

- Who will envision a new welcome role for America on the world stage?

- Will the vicious personal attacks be abandoned in favor of policy?

Famous Last Words

"We don't see there is a risk with taxpayers."

This gem follows this headline:

Olympic Village way over budget

Athletes' housing already faces extra expenses of $60m to $65m

Read the Province story here, and then count the days till the penny drops.

Let me give you a hint.

This $1 Billion city project in False Creek East is based on the stability of a New York hedge fund.

I may Have to sell the TV

I just saw something so horrifying, so unwholesome, so frightful I can only wonder why it is allowed on television at 8 in the morning.

You may not want to hear this. Warning...

What I saw was...


Yes, and to add to the terror, one of the Trudeau boys and Raymond Chan and apparently hundreds of adoring fans cheering and weeping with the sheer joy of Liberal togetherness.

You may think, "Oh Dave, this was merely an early morning nightmare. Open your eyes, it will all go away."

Let me assure you...nobody calls me Dave.

And I actually saw this.

Perhaps the demons who manipulate TV screens created all this in a photo-lab, I don't know.


Chuck 'n Bruce