Big Money in Boca? PPP Loans

Six companies in East Boca received Paycheck Protection Program loans as high as $10 million including nationally known law firm Boies Schiller Flexner. But the largest loan package in Boca may have gone to the Federation campus in West Boca.

Full details on over 900 companies in Boca – including many doctors, lawyers and restaurants – who got PPP loans are available to paying subscribers below.

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Governor DeSantis Press Briefing in West Boca

By: Benjamin Schiller

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis hosted a press briefing inside of the Home Depot in West Boca Raton on Friday. DeSantis spoke about hurricane preparations in the state and updates surrounding COVID-19.

During the approximately 40-minute press briefing, DeSantis announced that Home Depot and Publix would be opening three coronavirus testing sites each in the parking lots of their stores across the state. The Home Depot on Glades Road and 441 opened their station on Friday.

Photos by Benjamin Schiller

DeSantis said, “We’ve been able to do 10,000 tests a day at the drive-thru testing sites across the state.” The governor also added that everyone who needs a test could get one, either at a drive-thru testing site or a walk-up testing location.

As of this morning, DeSantis said more than 100,000 people in long-term care facilities had received a test, ranging from staff to residents. The governor also mentioned that “Florida has more deaths in the 90-plus years of age bracket compared to the 65-year-old and younger age bracket” due to COVID-19.

Governor DeSantis hosted his press briefing inside of the West Boca Home Depot to inform the South Florida community of an above-normal hurricane season beginning on June 1st. The governor praised the idea of going to local hardware stores until June 6th to pick up supplies during the tax-free holiday week for disaster preparedness supplies.

DeSantis welcomed Director Jared Moskowitz of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Aronberg, and Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer to address the media for a total of ten minutes.

After the local leaders spoke, Governor DeSantis opened the floor for questions. One reporter asked the governor about the contact tracing of coronavirus. Governor DeSantis mentioned that the Florida Department of Health has done a “sufficient” job, but said, “contract tracing doesn’t do it all” due to the number of people who may be asymptomatic to the virus.

Following the back and forth between the media and the governor, DeSantis said he is optimistic that the SpaceX launch will take place on Saturday at 3:22 P.M. and plans to attend with President Donald Trump. DeSantis also said he is excited for the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando to host the remainder of the NBA season.

The first-term governor said that Florida would be ready to host the Republican National Committee’s Convention in late August if asked by President Trump to do so. DeSantis cited President Trump’s frustrations at North Carolina for not committing to have a full arena for the convention due to COVID-19 concerns. Governor DeSantis expects an answer from the president within the next week.

Desantis thanked Home Depot for their support and the gift of a special apron at the end of the briefing. As DeSantis walked outside to his motorcade, he was greeted with a mixture of cheers and boos from employees and shoppers.

Home Depot notified local stores across South Florida last night of the governor’s press briefing. Most employees in the store for the press conference were managers and long-time staff members of Palm Beach County and Broward County stores. One employee said it took them “several hours” to set-up the backdrop of the briefing with hurricane supplies and close-off store isles.

The store remained open for the general public, despite Governor DeSantis speaking inside of the entrance closer to the garden section of the store. Approximately 25 members of the press were located inside of the designated press pool, with more than 50 people, consisting of shoppers and store employees, gathered outside of the small space.

Everyone in the store wore a mask and was given a complimentary squirt of hand sanitizer.

Storyful Scam: Copyright Claims on Youtube

I received a message from YouTube about a bogus copyright claim on one of my videos. The incident smacks of copyright troll behavior.

The claim identifies itself (above) as coming from “Storyful Managed.”

This is about a video I made breaking down and analyzing the details of Tiger Woods’ DUI arrest in Jupiter back in 2017.

The claim was resolved in my favor after I disputed it. As such the details of the claim are now hidden from me by YouTube. Before that it did not provide a lot of detail but indicated that the supposedly copyrighted material was around 20 minutes into the video.

The only content in this video is me talking, sometimes with my face and mostly me talking over a lot of clips from the police dashcam video. Police dashcam video is public record and is not copyrightable.

There is nothing in this video that could even remotely look like it belongs to any copyright holder other than me. The message indicates the video was identified by Content ID. This means there was some kind of computer analysis that connected my video with a video uploaded by Storyful.

Storyful has had a partnership in the past with Google and YouTube, and has a YouTube channel with over 100,000 subscribers. As a result of that, I doubt YouTube will hold Storyful accountable.

For an interesting post about a similar experience someone else had, see this article on PetaPixel.

The deeper problem with this is that many people will not dispute these bogus copyright claims. The genuine publisher may not be paying full attention, may be scared or intimidated, or may just not be comfortable completing the dispute process. As a result malicious players like Storyful end up getting revenue from the videos by making these bogus claims.

I’d like to hope that complaints like mine would get noticed and YouTube would hold Storyful accountable for making this bogus claim. But I doubt it.

Elon Musk: Tesla Terawatt Tale

Elon Musk mentioned plans to expand annual Tesla battery production to 1 or 2 terawatt-hours. This bit of the presentation was ignored by nearly all media coverage, but it represents yet another example of bold thinking in Musk’s companies.

Responding to a retail investor question about the upcoming battery and powertrain investor presentation, Musk said:

For battery day, we’re going to do a comprehensive review of cell chemistry module and pack architecture. And a manufacturing plan that has a clear roadmap to a terawatt hour per year. The time for this is probably is about six months like maybe February or March next year. Show and tell.

Tesla investor call, roughly 25 minutes in

Later in the call responding to a question about battery sourcing, Musk went a bit further:

To some degree Battery Day will be kind of like a Master Plan Part 3 … How do we get from kind of in the tens of gigawatt hours per year to multiple terawatt hours per year. … That’s a pretty giant scale increase, increase of sort of roughly 100. Like if we’re at … 30 to 35 [gigawatt-hours] or something like that. And how do we get to like 2 terawatt hours a year? Which is like two orders of magnitude increase.

In order to really make a fundamental shift in the world’s energy usage and really transform things to a sustainable energy future, if you’re not in the terawatt-hour range … it’s a nice news story, but it’s not fundamentally changing the energy equation.

Roughly 49 minutes into the call

Even for those who closely follow Tesla, this is an audacious idea, simply stunning.

Tesla is planning not just to double or triple its battery production, and not just increase it by a ten times, but they’re aiming to produce more than 50 times as much battery storage, presumably in a short time frame.

Total global production capacity of these kind of batteries is less than 300 gigawatt-hours per year. It is growing fast already with projections that it may increase to a terawatt-hour a year by sometime in 2023 or 2024. Tesla appears to be shooting to produce double that much fairly soon.

A terawatt-hour is 1000 gigawatt-hours. A gigawatt-hour is 1000 megawatt-hours. A megawatt-hour is 1000 kilowatt-hours (kWh). The Tesla Model S 100D has a battery capacity of 100 kWh, while the standard range Model 3 has 50 kWh. So a terawatt-hour would be enough for 10 million high-end Model S cars or 20 million Model 3 cars a year.

Recently Tesla acquired a battery company called Maxwell Technologies. Their “dry cell chemistry” approach may allow Tesla to both reduce the cost per kWh of battery production, increase production volume, and increase energy density. In other words they would be making more batteries which hold more charge, and it would cost less to do so.

There has been a lot of talk in the media about Tesla facing increased competition from traditional carmakers offering new electric vehicles. This misses one of the biggest challenges those carmakers face – getting adequate batteries at a reasonable cost.

This also ignores a large second purpose Tesla has for its battery production – energy storage. Tesla is not just a car company. They sell Powerwall for homes and Powerpack for companies and utilities.

The Powerwall 2 stores 13.5 kWh. Powerpack 2 stores 210 kWh.

Projects like the Hornsdale battery will become easier and cheaper to build, making them even more profitable.

Update: Musk responded to a tweet about this.

Fitting with the comments in this article before he said that, an important purpose of producing terawatt-hours worth of batteries is for stationary storage like Powerwall and Powerpack installations.

So while Wall Street analysts focus on quarterly numbers, long term investors see huge growth for Tesla in the not too distant future in both cars and energy, along with positive environmental change for the world.

*Warren Redlich is the admin of an Elon Musk fan club group on Facebook and is long Tesla.

Tesla and Misleading Media Myths

Those who follow Tesla in the news face an ongoing barraging of misleading information in the mainstream media about the company and its competition. One of the most prominent myths lately is that Tesla faces a demand problem. This is absurd.

This just reared its ugly head yet again with yesterday’s Washington Post article. Another in a long line of hit pieces on Tesla, this one repeated the nonsense that Tesla suffers from demand problems: “demand from Chinese and European consumers hasn’t materialized as planned.”

Meanwhile author Faiz Siddiqui trumpets the “well-reviewed” electric SUVs from Jaguar and Audi, as well as “mass market” EVs like the Chevy Bolt and Nissan Leaf. Siddiqui failed to notice the stunning lack of demand for these cars.

I was curious to see how they’re doing, and started by checking with my nearest Jaguar dealer, which is in Fort Lauderdale.

They have an inventory of 26 I-Pace vehicles. That’s in just one dealership. There’s another 15 sitting in Palm Beach and more in Miami, Naples, Fort Myers, Orlando and so on, all within 200 miles of West Boca.

By comparison, I looked on the Tesla website to check Model X inventory. There are exactly ZERO vehicles in inventory within 200 miles of my home zip code.

Tesla sold 1375 of the Model X in May. That’s more than Jaguar sold of the I-Pace so far this year (data from InsideEVs). Jaguar has so many I-Paces in inventory it suggests they can’t sell them.

I also checked the Chevy Bolt. We have a Chevy dealership only a few miles from our house. It’s not pretty.

They’re offering massive discounts on the Bolt. Why? Because no one is buying them. The Nissan Leaf is such a dud our local dealership in Coral Springs doesn’t appear to be selling them. I can’t find it on their website.

The real demand story in the electric vehicle market is that EVs from other brands do face a demand problem.

We’ve written about Tesla before and the coming transportation revolution. The EVs from most car companies are well behind Tesla on the technological front, especially when it comes to self-driving features, but also on performance, range, and more.

Siddiqui also writes:

Tesla’s competition will accelerate as automakers including Volkswagen, Porsche, BMW, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz begin to unveil their premium electric vehicles in coming months, buoyed by the known quantity of their brands, existing manufacturing expertise and huge dealership networks.

Starting with the Volkswagen brand is odd after the huge hit the brand took from their diesel scandal. Porsche does not have a “huge dealership network” with fewer than 190 dealers in the US. It’s far from clear why a dealership network is a plus in the modern world. Tesla’s network of over 1500 charging stations is far more important for those buying electric cars.

The vaunted manufacturing expertise of these companies is focused on internal combustion engines. Tesla has far more expertise with electric vehicles.

Getting back to demand, Tesla has sold 57,000 cars in the US through May, more than twice as many cars as Porsche’s 25,000 and also more than Volvo’s 40,000. Globally Tesla sold more cars than either Porsche or Jaguar in the first quarter of 2019. The Model 3 is easily outselling gas powered competitors from BMW, Mercedes and others, and the second quarter is projected to be far bigger for Tesla than the first quarter.

The biggest hurdle for Tesla is battery production as Elon Musk himself recently noted. They’re working on it and it sounds like they’re making progress. This is also a problem for other car companies trying to make electric vehicles. They have to get batteries too, and unlike Tesla they don’t make their own. Oddly the media rarely talks about how difficult and expensive it is for other companies to get batteries for their EVs.

Most likely the media will continue to attack Tesla and spread FUD – fear, uncertainty and doubt. But EV buyers have already figured them out, and investors won’t be far behind.

Disclosure: The author owns stock directly in Tesla and Honda, and effectively in most car companies through equity mutual funds. He also owns a VW sedan.