Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Confirmed losses on B.C.’s Olympic Village $230-million and rising

I was intrigued to read this story in today's Globe and Mail by Gary Mason. Given all the numbers now floating around, I hope the city will respond and clarify what the outstanding loan is; how much is owed on the land; what is the sales projection is for the condos; what is the sales projection for the rental building and retail space; what is the projected loss/subsidy for the social/rental housing; what will the loss be on the condos that have now been rented out; what are the estimated carrying costs during the sales period; and what are the fees being paid to the lawyers and receivers. As I wrote in previous posts, I just couldn't believe that the losses would only be $40 to $50 million, notwithstanding the 'heroic efforts' by the current administration.

Lead image

The athletes' village for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games is pictured as construction continues at the site in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday October 9, 2009. (Lyle Stafford for the Globe and Mail)

When reporters left a briefing with City of Vancouver officials last week on the troubled Olympic Village project, there was unanimous agreement on the storyline: losses were now estimated to be in the neighbourhood of $40-million to $50-million.

While still bad, it was a far cry from the dire and pessimistic predictions that had been made in some corners, including this one, that the city’s Village-related deficit could exceed $150-million. But thanks to the heroic efforts of the governing Vision Vancouver party, it looked like the hit taxpayers were going to take wouldn’t be nearly as bad.

As it turns out, the city’s losses will be far worse than many forecast. Because, while officials were telling the media that the city expected to recover all but $50-million of the $579-million owed by defunct Millennium Development Corp. on its construction loan, it forget to mention the nearly $180-million the developer hadn’t paid Vancouver taxpayers for the land it purchased.

So, in fact, the losses on the project will total at least $230-million – that is, if the city is lucky and the stars align just right for the sale of the 340 or so remaining condos.

And that is far from a sure bet. Plus, there are other costs that don’t seem to be calculated into the accounting provided to reporters last Friday, such as strata fees that are accruing on rental units that aren’t yet occupied. There is very likely interest charges that need to be taken into account too, plus fees that need to be paid to the receiver that is managing the project.

But that wasn’t the message the city wanted to deliver on Friday. Instead, city manager Penny Ballem took reporters through a power-point presentation that highlighted the many actions that the Vision-controlled council had taken to mitigate some of the losses on the development.

I have no problem with outlining some of the decisions made to help cushion the blow to taxpayers. But at least be honest about what the final tally is instead of trying to deceive people.

When all is said and done, the Olympic Village will likely represent the biggest financial disaster in the city’s recent history. A responsible government would be completely up front with its citizens about where things stand rather than trying to sweep a nearly $180-million land loss under the mayor’s carpet.

And as I say, the final amount could be much higher yet. Just look at the numbers.

Of the $579-million Millennium owed on its construction loan (which was separate from the $178-million it owed for the land), the city is saying it expects to lose up to $50-million. So let’s round it off and say it anticipates recouping $530-million of the total loan amount.

Of that, it hopes to reap about $70-million from the sale of assets seized from Millennium Development Corp. Olympic Village marketer Bob Rennie recently sold 118 condos for an undetermined amount. But they were smaller units, not luxury ones. Let’s say the average price was $700,000. That would provide another $80-million or so. So now your loan amount is down to about $380-million.

Mr. Rennie has 340 units left to sell to make up the $380-million left. That is more than $1-million a unit. Not a chance in the current market, even if some go for a few million each. And Mr. Rennie is having to sell these units amid dreadful publicity generated by a class-action lawsuit launched by earlier buyers who want out of the Village because of what they insist is horrible workmanship and shoddy design.

And as mentioned, we haven’t factored in ancillary costs such as the receiver’s fees, estimated to be $8-million by some, and other accrued interest costs that could well be in the millions. And we also haven’t mentioned the $65-million in overruns on the social housing at the Village, which many feel should be calculated into any final accounting.

That would push the Olympic Village-related losses close to $300-million.

It will likely be a couple of years before we know how much Vancouver taxpayers got soaked on the Village. But it is far, far more than $40-million to $50-million. And it will likely be north still of the $230-million the losses are now confirmed to be.

It’s too bad the current city government is so insistent on playing politics with the project instead of just giving people the straight goods. There’s no way to sugar-coat this debacle. So why even try?

Monday, April 11, 2011

ram navami sms, ram navami, ram navami sms in hindi

ram navami sms, ram navami, ram navami sms in hindi

Below are few ram navami sms, ram navami sms in hindi, ram navami SMS messages to wish your loved ones:

Ram jinka naam hai,
Ayodhya jinka dhaam hai,
Aise Raghunandan ko,
Hamara pranam hai.

Aapko aur apke Ramnavami Ki hardik subhkaamnaaye

Ram ji ki jyoti se noor milta hai
Sabke dilo ko shurur milta hai
Jo bhi jata hai ram ji ke dwar
Kuch na kuch jarur milta hai.
"Happy Ram Navami".

Sita maa ka dhairya
Lakshmana ji ka tej aur Bharat ji ka tyaag hum
sabko jeevan ki seekh deta rahey
Happy Ramnavmi.

Let us pray sacred mantras, in the praise of eternal savior:
Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram.
Wish you be accompanied with auspiciousness and blessings of Rama Navami

Ram jinka naam hai, Ayodhya jinka dhaam hai,
Aise raghunandan ko, hamara pranam hai
Aapko aur apke parivaar ko Ram Navami ki haardik shubhkaamnaye.
Bajre ki roti, aam ka achar,
Suraj ki kirne, khushiyo ki bahar,
Chanda ki chandni,apano ka pyar,
Mubarak ho aapko
Ramanavami ka tyohar.

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1. Don't compare your life to
others'. You have no idea what
their journey is all about.
2. Don't have negative thoughts
of things you cannot control.
Instead invest your energy in
the positive present moment.
3. Don't over do; keep your
4. Don't take yourself so
seriously; no one else does.
5. Don't waste your precious
energy on gossip.
6. Dream more while you are
7. Envy is a waste of time. You
already have all you need..
8. Forget issues of the past. Don't
remind your partner of his/her
mistakes of the past. That will
ruin your present happiness.
9. Life is too short to waste time
hating anyone. Don't hate
10. Make peace with your past so
it won't spoil the present.
11. No one is in charge of your
happiness except you.
12. Realize that life is a school
and you are here to learn.
Problems are simply part of the
curriculum that appear and fade
away like algebra class but the
lessons you learn will last a
13. Smile and laugh more.
14. You don't have to win every
argument. Agree to disagree.

15. Call your family often
16. Each day give something
good to others
17. Forgive everyone for
18. Spend time with people over
the age of 70 & under the age of
19. Try to make at least three
people smile each day
20. What other people think of
you is none of your business
21. Your job will not take care of
you when you are sick. Your
family and friends will. Stay in

22. Do the right things.
23. However good or bad a
situation is, it will change.
24. No matter how you feel, get
up, dress up and show up.
25. The best is yet to come.
26. Get rid of anything that isn't
useful, beautiful or joyful.
While you practice all of the
above, share this knowledge
with the people you love, people
you school with,
people you play with, people
you work with and people you
live with.
Not only will it enrich YOUR life,
but also that of those around

ram navami sms

ram navami sms
Ram Navami SMS
• Here is the Hoping that your
Life be brighten with the Devine
blessing of Lord Ram
Happy Ram Navami

• I wish Joy, Harmony and
Prosperity on Ram Navami
for you and your Family...
Wishes on Ram Navami

• Wish you be accompanied with
Auspiciousness and blessings
of Ram Navami...

• This day may bring
you Success and Happiness
Wish you a Very Happy
Ram Navami

• May Lord Ram Shower
his blessings on you
and your Family
Happy Ram Navami

• Let us pray sacred mantras
Shri Ram
Jai Ram
Jai Jai Ram
Blessings of Rama Navami
Happy Rama Navami

ram navami sms in hindi - http://hindi.webdunia.com/religion/occasion/ramnavmi/
ram navami greetings - http://greetings.webdunia.com/english/ram_navmi.html

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Further information on the City's OV loss calculation

I have just received a few answers to yesterday's questions re: estimated Olympic Village losses.

1. The loss calculation apparently ignores the outstanding land payment of $178 million. However, it does include repayment of a pro-rata portion of the city's costs associated with servicing the OV portion of the larger Southeast false Creek property.

2. It is not clear how the revenues from the condominium sales are calculated. Presumably they are based on the numbers provided by the appraisers. However, I now read that 20 condominium units that were to be sold, have been rented. It will be interesting to see how the losses associated with these units are being calculated. There are going to be losses since the rents will not cover the unit costs. (They may be offset by increased sales prices five or ten years from now, but this remains to be seen.) Furthermore, the fact is, notwithstanding the initial weekend's sales success, there are fewer sales today than announced after the opening weekend. Notwithstanding the appraisals, it may be that prices may have to be further reduced on some of the unsold units if the project's adverse publicity continues; also although there are some very good units in the two waterfront buildings designed by Arthur Erickson, many of the remaining units have less than desirable plans and outlooks.

3. The loss calculation does not include any losses associated with the social housing. So far, the city has committed approximately $64 million in subsidies, and given that 144 of the 252 units remain empty, additional subsidies will be required.

4. It will be interesting to know what provision is being made for the holding costs, and other related costs.

So will losses be restricted to $40 to 50 million? I don't think we are going to know for quite a while...certainly not before November 2011! However, I do hope the city will share the financial information that was used to calculate its projections so that knowledgeable real estate people can asses what is continuing to be a very political matter!

"Morella" Published 1835

"Morella" is a short story by 19th century American author and critic Edgar Allan Poe.

Plot summary

An unnamed narrator marries Morella, a woman who delves into "forbidden pages" of mysticism. As a result of her experimentations her soul can never die, but her physical form continues to deteriorate. She spends her time in bed and teaches her husband the black arts. Realizing her curse, her husband, the narrator, becomes frightened and wishes for his wife's death and eternal peace. She dies in childbirth but her soul passes into the new baby. As the daughter gets older the narrator notices she bears an uncanny resemblance to her mother, but he refuses to give the child a name. By her tenth birthday the resemblance to Morella is frightening. Her father decides to have her baptized to release any evil from her, but this event brings the mother's soul back into her daughter. At the ceremony, the priest asks the daughter's name, to which the narrator replies, "Morella." Immediately, the daughter replies, "I am here!" and dies. The narrator himself bears her body to the tomb and finds no trace of the first Morella where he lays the second.


The narrator's decision to name his daughter Morella implies his subconscious desire for her death, just as he had for her mother.[1] Morella's rebirth may be her becoming a vampire to wreak vengeance on the narrator.[2]

Poe explores the idea of what happens to identity after death, suggesting that if identity survived death it could exist outside the human body and return to new bodies.[3] He was influenced in part by the theories of identity by Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, who he mentions in the story.[4]

There are a number of possible origins for the name "Morella." It is the name of the Venerable Mother Juliana Morell (1595–1653), who was the fourth Grace and tenth Muse in a poem by poet Lope de Vega.[3] "Morel" is the name of black nightshade, a poisonous weed related to one from which the drug belladonna is derived. It occurs in Presburg, a home of black magic.[3]

Major themes

Poe features dead or dying wives in many of his tales (see also "Berenice," "Ligeia") and resurrection or communication from beyond the grave (see "Eleonora," "The Fall of the House of Usher")."

Publication history

"Morella" was first published in the April 1835 issue of the Southern Literary Messenger, and a revised version was re-printed in the November 1839 issue of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine. The first publication included a 16-line poem of Poe's called "Hymn" sung by Morella, later published as a stand-alone poem "A Catholic Hymn."


"Morella" is the title of one segment of Roger Corman's 1962 film Tales of Terror. The film stars Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, and Basil Rathbone. The film has two other segments named after "The Black Cat" and "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar."

A film of the same name is currently being produced in Oklahoma and Hollywood by Executive Producers Adam Ropp and Ford Austin with the screenplay by Adam Ropp. The cast includes Indie film star Ford Austin, Golgen Globe nominee Tom Sizemore, Academy Award winner Margaret O'Brien, film star Randal Malone, indie icon Marc Wasserman, and the beautiful and talented Jennifer Arcuri. Release date is said to be December 2011.[5]


Sova, Dawn B. Edgar Allan Poe: A to Z. Checkmark Books, 2001.

1.^ Kennedy, J. Gerald. "Poe, 'Ligeia,' and the Problem of Dying Women" collected in New Essays on Poe's Major Tales, edited by Kenneth Silverman. Cambridge University Press, 1993. p. 119. ISBN 0521422434
2.^ Tate, Allen. "Our Cousin, Mr. Poe," collected in Poe: A Collection of Critical Essays, Robert Regan, editor. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1967. p. 39
3.^ Morella
4.^ Campbell, Killis. The Mind of Poe and Other Studies. New York: Russell and Russell, Inc., 1962: 13.
5.^ http://morella.wonderhowto.com/

Haunting of MorellaMorella's All-Nite Spooktacular-Morella's Graveyard TheaterTales of Terror (Edgar Allan Poe's)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Olympic Village shortfall estimated at $40 - 50 million.

Yesterday, I had a call from Global TV asking me to explain why the city is getting 32 properties from Millennium, and what it means for taxpayers. Global sent along some reports that the city had released which are set out below.



Today, I read a story by Jeff Lee in the Vancouver Sun which was somewhat perplexing, so I sent him a note urging him to seek further clarification from the receiver and city. Below is the substance of my note to him.


Let me say I appreciate the fact that the city is providing information to the public through the media and would be pleased if the losses are as low as being reported. However, I think we need further information in order to determine just how likely the $40 to $50 million loss will be, and how it is calculated. More specifically:

Here's the wire copy that was provided to me by Global TV

officials estimated Friday the Olympic village will have a shortfall of between $40-50 million after all the units are sold and the construction loan paid off. That shortfall is the first concrete confirmation that the city will likely not recover all of the $578 million it is still owed by the former owner, Millennium Developments. But it is far better than initial estimates by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson that the city could be "on the hook" for the entire cost of the $1 billion village. And it is better still than the potential $150 million shortfall estimated by some council members and development experts after the city forced Millennium into "voluntary" receivership.

Jeff appears to have copied this wire copy in his story. However, I would like to know where does the $578 million figure come from? Using other information in his story, I calculate the amount owed to taxpayers at $657.9 million ($479.5 for the loan and $178.4 for the outstanding payment on the land.)

1. Jeff's story states the city has sold 118 of the 737 units, implying there are 519 units remaining unsold. In fact, the receiver's report states the city has now sold a total of 403 units (including 118 units sold since the rebranding and launch) leaving 334 sales to partially offset the $657.9 outstanding. In order to know what the real losses might be, we need to ask the city and receiver a few more questions:

1. What is the total revenue estimated from these 334 units based on the total saleable square footage and the estimated average sales price per square foot for the different buildings?

2. What revenues are attributed to the 119 unit rental building and the retail space? (In the past, I have heard a number in the order of $60 to $70 million for both.)

3. What are the estimated holding costs during the sales period which has been estimated at 2 years or longer. I note the city's interest rate is a relatively low 2.5%. However, there are also strata fees, and other costs. As an aside, do the holding costs include any provision for property taxes which otherwise would be payable?

4. I note $5 million is being set aside as a deficiency reserve. How much other money is estimated to be spent to repair deficiencies?

5. How are the social housing units being accounted for? It does not appear that they are included in any of these numbers. However, the cost of these units rose from $65 million to $110 million. The rents are not sufficient to cover the costs. Furthermore, approximately 144 of the 252 units still remain empty. Will any of the social housing costs be included in the calculation of the potential city losses? They should be.

6. Finally, CBC reported that the receiver's fees (including related studies, etc.) will be in the order of $8 million. Is this included in the estimated total loss? It too should be.

While I note the city is now expecting anywhere between $45 million and $67 million from disposal of the other Millennium assets, and I agree that a $40 to $50 million loss would be much better than what I previously estimated, I still suspect that when one looks at the likely revenues from the 334 unsold units, holding costs, the losses on the social/rental housing, and other ancillary costs, the losses to the city will in fact be much more than $40 to $50 million...indeed, they will likely be much more than my earlier $150 million estimate. I hope I might be proven wrong, so it would be helpful if the city can share further information as set out above.