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  • Fairway - An Update And Thoughts On Deal Structure  [View article]
    So I said to the coffee roaster in Paramus this morning that the French roast isn't dark enough and he said to me, "TOUGH". Alrighty then. I will take my business elsewhere and sell my shares as well. This region needs to understand how west coast operators can come in and kick their asses; like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Starbucks and Nordstroms. It's called good customer service. I lived in Seattle for decades but I'm from New Jersey. I know what I'm talking about. If I say that ain't no French roast, that's good feedback. And if somebody can't say thank you when they take my money, I notice that too. Fairway lost a friend in me today and I'm telling everybody.
    May 9, 2015. 11:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Strong Future Growth Prospects Earn Fairway Group A Bullish Thesis  [View article]
    I know the coffee business very well. I've been living in Seattle for decades and I remember when there was one Starbucks. I was a health inspector out there and went in to hundreds of places. I have a degree in food science and in general a coffee connoisseur and I know what a proper roast looks like. I have a thousand dollars worth of coffee equipment on my counter top so for around here at least, I'm pretty serious and in a science guy kind of way. This morning I'm in Paramus, I'm out of beans, I never let them go over ten days old and I say to the guy that his French roast isn't dark enough. It's supposed to be a dark roast just a click lighter than Italian and not the light/medium that they sell. It's way off, enough to where I can't buy it for espresso so I told the guy who roasts it and here's what he said. "TOUGH". As it turns out, I'm going back to Rutgers this summer and I'm enrolled in their EHP course and if I ever get the opportunity to inspect a Fairway store, they're going to see what tough is. If they think that they can talk to a customer like that offering valuable quality feedback, they at the very least lost a friend and I have a long memory. Luckily I bought my shares off the lows, just 4.19 so I'm still in the money but based upon my experience, I'd rather shop Whole Paycheck since they actually train their people in proper customer service.
    May 9, 2015. 10:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Ucore Isn't Telling You About MRT  [View article]
    That's hackenZAC to you Jiggs. So you're not buying those test tubes even with two labs verifying the contents. That's what I call skeptical. I'm just defending my investment thesis and my natural default is to mostly take things at face value unless otherwise flagged. I'm satisfied at what I'm seeing in the glass and what they reported so far. Any further confirmation is fine and appreciated if it puts the concerns of others to rest. Trust but verify. I can't believe that I'm quoting Reagan. Since you've had all that rarefied air in the halls of power, what do you think of McKenzie's lobbying skill set? I don't know if Juneau has a K street but I've never seen ducks lined up better for a mine build. Have you? I know the telcom executive type and I just can't hold his style against him. I'd rather have a tech entrepreneur at the head than a geologist especially when there's an opening for new technologies like we're seeing here. He brings fresh eyes in my view.
    Apr 27, 2015. 01:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Ucore Isn't Telling You About MRT  [View article]
    Your inability to "get" an explanation and your being otherwise unable to formulate a plausible one in your mind has no bearing. Maybe it's just one of those win-win, synergistic, gestalt kind of things? ie. it's good for both of them, a 60/40 split and UCore takes the marketing end. It comes down to paying customers. You seem to think that sales happen by osmosis, the old build a better mouse trap adage. If MRT is such the shizz, why didn't the better capitalized REE, MCP, TAS etc or "the Chinese" grab it? That's not how things necessarily work. SPE/MRT for metals processing is an opportunity still waiting to be seized. Why do you think guys leave their cushy DOE/university jobs and start labs in their garages? UCore put up the money and commissioned the work first. Why others better capitalized didn't, you're just going to have to ask them if you're unable to surmise a reason for yourself. Why so cheap? That's the difference between money and money up front. Those 16 test tubes of separated rees, UCore paid for those. Anybody in the business could have but didn't but that doesn't follow your procession of logic towards something fishy. We all like to think that we subscribe to that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is philosophy but the word 'probably' is a long way from 'always' and you continue with innuendo, this time, "why didn't they hold out for more if the thing works so well?". I'm sorry that you're not seeing the bridge burning that you're doing here Ben with the something shady is going on here attitude. You are correct but only in stating the obvious. Today we have no process proving pilot plant and you're skeptical. OK but you probably just pipe down and wait like the rest of us.
    Apr 26, 2015. 11:44 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Ucore Isn't Telling You About MRT  [View article]
    Dr Hammen: this is the second time I have seen you call MRT scaling skepticism a "red herring" so along with Dr Izatt saying essentially the same thing, why doesn't Ben Kramer-Miller and the rest believe you? If there's two people in the world who would know, it's you. To my thinking it would be pretty much linear scaling to nothing very large in the end and certainly nothing like an SX plant in cost and complexity. Perhaps you could riff a little on the matter and explain where the sticky wickets might be.
    Apr 22, 2015. 11:38 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Ucore Isn't Telling You About MRT  [View article]
    LOL GeomegA. I knew electrophoresis wouldn't scale up the first nanosecond I heard that they were going that way. What's next, thin layer separation in very tall tanks of acetone? Ridiculous. Mrt, not so ridiculous. It's legit. It won a Nobel Prize you know.
    Apr 21, 2015. 03:49 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Ucore Isn't Telling You About MRT  [View article]
    Rhodia has an SX legacy to defend. It's a truer statement to say that "new technology CAN be a red flag" but new technology is also the basis for entirely new ways of doing things. Selectivity in what to buy and what to dismiss is key to any futurist investor or analyst worth his salt. Ucore and IBC separating the entire suite at 99% recovery is not merely an interesting alternative. It's much bigger than that and a guy like you should be quicker to realize it. How is a 99% pure complete suite at 99% recovery hyperbole? Those are numbers and they mean something. Dismiss them at your own loss. It's something to crow about and crows remember for a long time people that throw rocks at them.
    Apr 21, 2015. 02:03 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Ucore Isn't Telling You About MRT  [View article]
    As far as I'm concerned, facts beget logic so as an interpreter of technology for investors, some of us are better than others. It's specious to make blanket statements of truthiness such as "new technology is a red flag" and expect it to be received as logic or fact when it's merely an opinion. Everybody has one of those but so what?
    Facts, if you have the selectivity to recognize them, speak for themselves. I saw the test tubes and I accept the verification of their contents. Those test tubes are powerful evidence of achievement, landmark history really. That's my interpretation and I am invested accordingly.
    FYI for those of you who might be less aware, SPE and MRT are essentially the same technology so it's not really a new avenue with the other being abandoned but rather an evolution on the same avenue, just a different and more experienced vendor. Ucore's PEA with only 77% treo pls using SPE has a capex of 221 million $US and there's no reasonably logical reason that MRT, a similar gravity flow through of columns with beads and ligands won't be of similar cost if not less considering that they've now achieved 99% hreo pls with the 99% recovery. If you could Jack, please confirm, Ucore and IBC has achieved 99% plus purity of the entire suite of rare earths from Bokan ore at 99% recovery. If true, this is nothing to sneeze at and my understanding is that there is high confidence by those most in the know that it will scale up. I'm grateful for the lead scientist on the project adding his thoughts as well as your own. There's gold in these comments sections.
    Apr 21, 2015. 01:21 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Ucore Isn't Telling You About MRT  [View article]
    LOL. It looks like Dr Izatt won't be returning your calls either Ben but I hope that you now realize that "shameless promotion and rhetoric" around here is mostly your own. You don't understand the magnitude of the achievement and even with the horse's mouth chiming in, you still have your smarmy come backs parsing opaque phraseology like "making progress" over actual scientific fact with actual independently verified test tubes of the stuff that proves it for anybody with actual eyes connected to an actual brain. The now exorcised devil in the details is at the bench level and the scale up as the world's leading authority on applied mrt for metals recovery says, it is not a big deal; it's off the shelf chemical engineering that they've done many times before. As for McKenzie promoting his company; it's called marketing. That's business and that's how it succeeds. Considering the size of the achievement I don't feel that he's been particularly evangelistic under the circumstances, your sniffling about it aside. You called Jim McKenzie dishonest but I think that shoe fits you better or to be more charitable, perhaps it's just your ignorance now set straight assuming that you're receptive to it. Thank you Dr Izatt for countering this piece of rubbish. Your credibility on the subject is beyond reproach.
    Apr 21, 2015. 10:13 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Ucore Isn't Telling You About MRT  [View article]
    LOL! McKenzie is definitely not returning your phone calls. Speaking of far from neutral rhetoric, the biggest question that I'm left with after reading this screed is your agenda. Besides your Kanye like incredulity of Beyonce losing again at the Grammys, you should also disclose that you're long rival junior trer. As for mrt, they proved that they can do it but as for the numbers crunching all the way to feasibility, we'll just have to wait and see. I'm long uuraf and the proof of stock picking is in the share price Mr Analyst.
    Apr 20, 2015. 01:21 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • '60 Minutes' Tackles Rare Earths  [View article]
    Conceding price deck erosion, there are important mitigating factors. First, the supply glut due to the Chinese crack down is drying up and prices for dysprosium are heading back up, not creeping but spiking and there's no reason based on supply and demand fundamentals that they won't continue to recover. China does not produce enough dysprosium to meet their own demand never mind the ROW and their export of dysprosium MUST diminish in the coming months and years. Second, lease back financing by the State of Alaska should reduce the CAPEX due to savings on interest payments. Third, new technology allows for much greater PLS concentrations. It was just 77% treo in Ucore's PEA but now they can achieve 99% hreo PLS. That's a big difference. Fourth, the price of petroleum has tanked and if you know Alaska, fuel is a big overhead expense for everyone. Fifth, three miles of new drill core that haven't been calculated in to a new resource and mine life estimates yet. Ergo, I would argue that even with today's price deck that the project is viable and that your contention of negative NPV for all juniors especially Ucore is all wet. In my opinion, Bokan is some of the lowest hanging hree fruit in the world. If you open your thinking of what the idea of "currency" is you'll realize that it's not the money that they get for the dysprosium but rather it's the dysprosium itself and demand for it will trump everything. The DoD is not in business to make money. They spend money and they'll spend to ensure their supply. Spreadsheets aren't the only "fundamentals" to be looking at here but that seems to be your approach which would if followed lead you right in to a loser investment like "high grade" gwmgf/gwg. Price decks are far from everything that figure in to the equation so check your math. You have your variables wrong.
    Mar 24, 2015. 12:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • '60 Minutes' Tackles Rare Earths  [View article]
    My understanding from studying solid phase extraction spe and molecular recognition technology mrt is that they're virtually the same thing, just from different vendors with one of them having a deeper bench of experience so "abandonment" isn't the right way to describe the Ucore switch. It was an evolution of the same technology track and it's far from a back to the drawing board situation as you imply. As for the 60 Minutes report, any story that doesn't ask which ones and makes blanket statements on all 17 of them just isn't going to get the analysis correct. Focus on dysprosium and you'll be able to filter down to the best bets such as companies like Ucore, Texas and Tasman. The US doesn't need Molycorp but they do need Ucore. If Molycorp has the rare earths we need then why are they going bankrupt? The answer is that they don't have the right ones. In you want to invest in rees, pick a company that does have them, the rarest and priciest of the rare earths especially the magnetic ones. dysprosium, terbium and neodymium.
    Mar 23, 2015. 07:42 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fairway Group On Track To Recover After Displaying Negative Performance  [View article]
    Writing from Paramus where we have a store and I've checked out the original on the upper West side and a new concept store in Nanuet. I have a BS in Food Science and my work experience has brought me in to many retail food operations mostly in the Seattle area. I'm an east-west coast hybrid so I can tell you how high quality service allowed the success of companies like Nordstroms and Starbucks and I will tell you this much, who ever takes my money had better say "thank you". As for the stores and concept, I like FWM and have shares that I bought strictly by chart when the bottom was in. Their numbers disappointed and I expected a crater but it was just an intraday bear trap. Here are some things that they should do; They should loss lead on some items. I almost never see a super deal on anything that trumps Shop Rite. Their bakery which is quite good could crank out dollar baguettes for example. They should separate their coffee roasting and combine with a cafe concept to compete with Starbucks. In Nanuet they have a greatly expanded self serve ready to eat section obviously in a nod towards their Whole Foods competition but they should make sure that they undercut WF on the price per pound as well. It's a 15 dollar salad for me when I eat at WF. Make sure there's free wifi, that's a big one. They seem to be experiencing expansion and supply chain pains. As for employee morale, give them all a free lunch, a small perk that will go a long way. And finally my personal pet peeve with them; you can't get any debit card cash when you purchase like you can at ANY other grocery. I go out of my way to save on atm fees and that doesn't include Fairway. That goes back to crap service as mentioned. They did finally get their beer/wine permit in Paramus so that should help as well. I think your price target is low. I bet we'll see 8 bucks per by the end of the year.
    Mar 20, 2015. 11:23 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Until Rare Earth Prices Rebound, Molycorp Is Dead Money  [View article]
    I hope they beat and burn the shorts to smithereens. That would be awesome.
    Mar 12, 2015. 02:44 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ucore Shows Progress In Separating REEs, Questions Still Remain  [View article]
    As for the tone, the feeling is mutual. You've read some technical papers on MRT have you? Did you move your lips while you were? Do you have any background in chemistry? The proof and heavy lifting of the technology is at the bench scale level. Choose to downplay that as you do and you fail on analyzing this news properly. As I said and reiterate, I am calling BS on both your content and style.
    Mar 5, 2015. 11:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment