Caught My Eye…

Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them. – William Arthur Ward

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted here every Friday morning. This column is where I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. Sometimes I throw in a touch of snarkiness to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both.

Today’s topics include the OPM data breach, Great Falls northside development, Confederate Flag, Olbermann/Simmons & ESPN, plus we have two winners who are Making Montana Proud!

OPM Data Breach:

When the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced last month that more than 4.2 million records had been breached, it concerned me. Right after that, I received notification from OPM that my personal information may have been exposed. I wrote about the issue HERE.

Thursday OPM announced the number of records impacted was around 21 million. I don’t think they really know how many records were breached.

In the letter I received OPM stated:

All potentially affected individuals will receive a complimentary subscription to CSID Protector Plus for 18 months. Every affected individual, regardless of whether they take action to enroll, will have $1 million in identity theft insurance and access to full-service identity restoration provided by CSID until 12/7/16. 

While I appreciate the press releases from Montana’s U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester about this mess, one thing they should do is require OPM to provide free of charge CSID Protector Plus for every individual affected plus the $1 million identity theft insurance and access to full-service identity restoration for life. Yes, for life. That only seems fair. OPM screwed up and lost our personal information.

Great Falls Northside Development:

Although it may not be completely dead, this week the Great Falls City Commission did not approve what the Great Falls Tribune called one of the largest development projects (88 single family homes) in Great Falls in 30 years. It failed on a 2-2 vote. Mayor Mike Winters, who is running for reelection, and Commissioner Fred Burow voted against the project. (Source)

The Tribune reported that one of the concerns about the project was some residents were worried about the impact the self-help build homes would have on the property value of their homes.

Come on people, this is Great Falls, Montana – think about it.

Making Montana Proud:

This section is where I mention people or groups whose actions embarrass Montana in some way.

-From the Bozeman Daily Chronicle: A man who had a gunshot wound to the abdomen Wednesday accidentally shot himself while spinning a small-caliber handgun around his finger. The man is 23 years old and his injuries were not life threatening.

I’m sure Bozeman has a toy store where he can purchase a toy six-shooter to practice safely.

-From the Billings Gazette: Allen Ray Barnhart, 36, was arrested Wednesday for driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.455 percent, more than five times the legal limit of 0.08 percent. He was charged Thursday with felony driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Yellowstone County Justice Court.

When he was pulled over, it was reported that deputy saw a brown paper bag in the vehicle and began to put Barnhart through field sobriety tests but stopped them out of concern that Barnhart would fall and hurt himself.

My first thought about this was should he even be alive with a 0.455 blood alcohol content.

Confederate Flag:

It was good to see South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley sign the bill on Thursday to take down the Confederate flag. The flag will be taken down at 10:00 a.m. (Eastern time) today. (Source)

This was the right move.

Olbermann/Simmons & ESPN:

I’ve watched ESPN since the beginning – back when it was on only a few hours each day. I think ESPN peaked several years ago. Now they are more of a second-class sports channel.

ESPN recently announced that Keith Olbermann would not have his contract renewed and before that Bill Simmons. (Source) They are two of the more opinionated sports guys at ESPN and that is probably what cost them their jobs. I like them both and follow them on Twitter. Hopefully they will land somewhere else soon.

I believe that ESPN is caught in the middle of letting journalists and commentators do their job and kissing the butts of the executives of the NFL/MLB/NBA with whom they have mega-deals. They need to separate the sports journalism and commentary department from the rest of ESPN – or get out of that business altogether and just read the scores and call the games.

One More Thing:

Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds. – Regina Brett


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