Looking through the portfolios for the venture capital companies, it's clear a lot of investments were in computer software companies and life sciences/biotechnology companies.
Not being an expert, I would think those are high-risk, high-reward investments (i.e. one Google makes up for a whole lot of wash-outs ...).
Charleston-based Mountaineer Capital -- the firm that has fared best (current book value of $1.957 million of a $3.8 million loan) among the state's venture capital investments -- arguably has a less esoteric portfolio.
Some of its investments include Game Plan Technologies of Athens, Ohio, which provides software for coaches to edit and analyze game film for various sports; JBL Co. of St. Albans, industrial scales and material weighing equipment; Metalwood Bats of Eleanor, manufacturing metal baseball bats that perform like wood bats; Plethora Technologies of Charles Town, network security software; and Vested Health of Charleston, providing health plans for small and medium-size companies.
EDA executive director David Warner was off last week for the Thanksgiving holiday. I'll try to track him down to see if he's got a better explanation for what went wrong.
One observation on the failed Kanawha County Schools excess levy election: It seems to provide more evidence that campaigns that rely primarily on mailed flyers are doomed to failure.
(That follows Darrell McGraw's failed re-election bid for attorney general in 2012, a campaign that relied almost exclusively on flyers and public appearances, in the face of a nearly $2 million campaign waged by challenger Patrick Morrisey. Not to mention all the attack ads from PACs and independent expenditure groups.)
Finally, as disappointing it is that the Daily Mail dropped "Doonesbury," would it have been too much to ask that they replace it with a comic strip that's at least marginally funny?
Meanwhile, as much as I enjoy Charleston native Brad Diller's"Funday Morning" strip, is it really necessary to depict characters smoking so frequently? With the possible exception of emphasizing that the characters aren't very bright, the smoking appears to be irrelevant to the punch lines, and it's inappropriate to depict smoking in bars, considering that Kanawha County has been smoke-free for more than five years.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.