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UHERO: How State Shares Transient Accommodation Tax With Counties
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Taxpayer Funded Hawaii Tech Maven Pitches Abject Failure to Silicon Valley Investors
SA: I’d like to introduce you to Bryan Ho. Ho is a 2002 graduate of ‘Iolani School and is the co-founder and former CEO of an energy storage startup called Ballast Energy. I say former CEO because he decided to wind down the company’s operations at the end of 2015. (LINK: Your tax dollars at work.)
“For the first year and a half, neither of us took a salary,” Ho said. (Starve 2009-2010, and then $$$$$.)
Two weeks ago he took the stage at a gathering of Silicon Valley investors known as X: The Moonshot Factory, a source of innovation for Google, at Energy Excelerator Interactive. While each Energy Excelerator company stood up and gave a one- to two-minute presentation with the intent to gain investors’ interest, Ho took the stage with a different agenda.
He stood in front of 150 of the biggest investors in Silicon Valley (everyone from GE to Apple) and told the following story.
“There’s a whole variety of reasons companies fail,” Chung said. “When you look at an investment, you’re looking at people, markets and technology. Sometimes the problem is timing, sometimes it’s technology and sometimes it’s people.”
For Ballast Energy it was the second of the three.
“We were too wedded to our technology,” Ho said. “It was our baby and we wanted it to succeed. Therefore we weren’t critical enough in the early days. … Subconsciously, we were afraid of what we would find if we dug into it.”
As Bryan stood on stage telling this story, the audience of 150 investors, who are well versed in the success and failure rate of startups, leaned forward in their chairs. This was not a pitch and there was no investment opportunity….
“I went into it knowing that I wouldn’t have any regrets, and I was right,” Ho said. (Tax dollars rain from sky.)
The audience erupted in applause. Chung, sitting in the front row, gave Ho a big hug….
related: SEC Freezes Code Rebel: Yet Another Hawaii High Tech Tax Credit Implosion
read … Hawaii Tech Maven Pitches Abject Failure to Silicon Valley Investors
No timetable for TMT sublease review
HTH: The Thirty Meter Telescope’s land use permit isn’t the only thing the state Land Board is being asked to reconsider for the $1.4 billion project.
In April, 3rd Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura officially remanded the project’s Mauna Kea sublease to the panel for additional review.
But a state Department of Land and Natural Resources spokesman was unable to say when that review will occur….
read … No Timetable
Sanders Supporters Urge Hawaii Superdelegates to be more … uh … Democratic
CB: Members of the Democratic Party of Hawaii will submit a request to a rules committee Saturday in hopes of getting more delegates to support Bernie Sanders at the national convention this summer….
The local Sanders supporters plan to submit similarly worded resolutions to the party’s convention resolutions committee this weekend that make several requests, as one of the resolutions explains:
- That the Democratic Party of Hawaii hereby urges our senior elected officials and party officers to cast their ballots to reflect the vote of Hawaii’s caucus voters, and that the State Party Chair account for and adjust the Super Delegates’ preferences to ensure that the votes of the state’s delegation matches the proportional outcome of the Hawaii Presidential Preference Poll; and
- That the Democratic Party of Hawaii calls upon the Democratic National Committee to change its Rules to eliminate super delegates by converting Unpledged Party Leaders and Elected Officials, also commonly referred to as Super Delegates, instead be made Pledged Delegates with respect to their votes, in proportion to the popular vote under the various and respective state Presidential Preference Polls, Primary Elections or Caucuses.
If the resolutions committee adopts such a rule, it will go before party members at the state convention over Memorial Day Weekend at the Sheraton Waikiki.
read … Sanders Backers Dispute Delegate Count
Memorial For Fallen Officers Defaced
KITV: A memorial to honor Hawaii's fallen officers has been defaced, just days before it's set to be dedicated.
It took more than six years of hard work and fundraising to create the Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial, which is set to be officially unveiled this Sunday.
But already, cyclists have used the walls of the memorial as ramps, leaving tire tracks throughout - including over some of the fallen officers' names….
KHON: Law enforcement officers clean memorial after vandalism
read … Defaced
Maui Council Considers Gas, Biodiesel Tax Hike
MN: …members heard testimony on proposed fuel and motor vehicle weight tax rates. The motor vehicle rates will remain the same, but there are proposed increases to all the fuel tax classifications, including a 5-cent hike for gasoline and diesel from 18 cents per gallon to 23 cents per gallon.
The proposed fuel tax rates are forecast to raise nearly $15 million in fiscal 2017.
The tax on biodiesel would climb from 9 cents per gallon to 11.5 cents. The council will revisit the rates when it reviews the budget during its first reading Friday.
read … Tax Hike
Maui Corporation Counsel Discloses Thousands in Gambling Winnings
MN: …Maui County Corporation Counsel Patrick Wong has again reported gambling winnings in his required financial disclosure statement to the Maui County Board of Ethics.
In his disclosure, filed in April, Wong said he won between $1,000 and $9,999 from Harrah's. The range of winnings is less than what Wong reported winning last year, when he disclosed earning between $50,000 and $99,000 in gambling winnings from Harrah's and MGM in Las Vegas.
read … Financial Disclosure