Wednesday’s Quick Hits

I’m back!

I’ve been traveling due to a family issue, but I have been watching the news and taking notes! Here are a few of my opinions on some of the things that caught my attention:

  • City Commissioner Tracy Houck
  • Gregg Smith & the Sex Shop
  • Melania Trump & Plagiarism
  • Trump is the GOP Nominee
  • Notes from my Travels

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I Got the Call…

It’s always interesting to read about people who have been scammed over the phone. Sometimes I wonder how in the heck someone could be ripped off so easily.

I kind of enjoy it when the “Windows” guy (who has an accent) calls to tell me there’s something wrong with my Windows. If I have time, I ask a bunch of questions and make statements like “I know one of my windows has a crack – can you stop by and repair it?” One time I screamed, “Why do you want to look through my Windows?” Another time I told the caller in English that I don’t speak English. That confused him.

I also enjoy the spam emails saying a Prince or Princess or widow in some country I’ve never heard about wants to send me several million dollars. All they need is my bank account number. Today I received an email from a lady who is dying from cancer. She wanted me to help her disburse $10.8M to charities, widows, orphans and less privileged.

Several years ago I received what I thought at first was a legitimate email. The email was from U.S. Bank and it looked official and it even had their logo. It looked just like their website, but I always check the email address and it was not a U.S. Bank address. I tried to contact U.S. Bank to let them know about it, but they are so bloated in bureaucracy that I gave up when I could not reach a real person.

Over the weekend I read about an alert from the local sheriff’s office where a scammer was calling to tell the person there were warrants out to arrest him/her because he/she did not show up for a jury trial. The person was told he/she needed to pay a couple thousand dollars as bond to stay out of jail.

I recently received a similar call.

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50 Shades of…Blue

I think the folks who work at Benefis Hospital in Great Falls do a pretty good job. A year or so ago I got to see up close how they work, and I think they did a fine job.

Yesterday the Great Falls Tribune published a story about Benefis Hospital requiring employees to wear “colors” specific to their department. Benefis hopes this will help prevent confusion from patients.

I guess some patients wondered if an employee was coming into their room to take their blood or clean their toilet. By the way, I am pretty sure the new colors don’t have anything to do with gangs.

When I first saw the illustration in the E-Newspaper version of the Tribune showing the different colored scrubs that are required to be worn, I thought they were showing the silks that jockeys would be wearing for a horse race. Giddy-up…

What was amusing to me and others who read the story is how many shades of blue scrubs the employees will be wearing at Benefis.

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Great Falls City Commission: Bloviating

Tuesday night the Great Falls City Commission started their commission meeting at 7:00 p.m. When they finally adjourned it was 12:15 a.m. and there were just a few diehards remaining in the audience.

It was not always pretty and professional during those five-plus hours.

As I have mentioned several times, Great Falls City Commission meetings can become very comical and circus-like. I watched most of the proceedings on television from the comfort of home. With an over-flow crowd attending the event, I believe they could outdraw some of the acts at the State Fair if they decided to take their commission meetings on the road.

With temperatures hovering around 90 degrees in Great Falls, I imagine some of the attendees smelled pretty ripe by the end of the evening.

Here are some of my observations and my opinions about the epic event.

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Great Falls: Owning a Home

On Friday in my weekly “Caught My Eye” column, I wrote about the Great Falls City Commission not approving one of the largest development projects (88 single family homes which is being called the Thaniel Addition) in Great Falls in 30 years. It failed on a 2-2 vote. The two votes against it were from Mayor Mike Winters and Commissioner Fred Burow.

The Great Falls 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.

I closed my commentary with, “Come on people, this is Great Falls, Montana – think about it.”

On Sunday the Tribune editorial board let their feelings about the project be known with an editorial titled, “Great Falls needs housing; commission should vote again” in which they called the project “well-thought-out.” They added that they were “disappointed in the votes by Winters and Burow, and in the not-in-my-backyard approach by some opponents.”

Amen to that.

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Great Falls: Smoke em if you got em!

The “smoking shelter” calamity in Great Falls (MT) has been interesting to follow.

In case you were wondering about it, a law called “The Montana Clean Indoor Air Act” banned smoking in enclosed public places in 2009, so some bars/casinos built “smoking shelters” that, as the Great Falls Tribune reported in December 2013, “are intended to circumnavigate the law to create spaces where gamblers can smoke while they play.”

A local district judge ruled the shelters were OK, but the Montana Supreme Court overturned that ruling. Apparently the shelters were not open enough. Businesses have spent thousands of dollars on the shelters. Some shelters were pretty nice, which means they are not just a picnic table with an umbrella blowing in the wind and a five-gallon bucket for the butts.

The Great Falls Tribune had two sides submit their arguments about the shelters. You can read the pro-shelter column HERE and the con-shelter column HERE. Both sides make good arguments, but overall it’s kind of a silly mess they are in.

According to local television station KRTV, today (Wednesday, June 3) the Cascade City-County Health Department is holding a public hearing “to consider a proposed regulation governing smoking rooms.” The meeting is scheduled for 11:30 in the Great Falls City Commission Chambers.

I’ve lived in Montana about 25 years and checked out the casinos a few times. I found the casinos in Montana to be pretty boring compared to other casinos I’ve seen in other states and overseas. I’ve always felt if you’re going to allow gambling in a state, you might as well go big or go home. By the way, going big does not mean a mom and pop casino on almost every corner, like you’ll see if you drive down 10th Avenue South in Great Falls.

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