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May
17
Thursday
May
17
Thu
Hometown HelenaBusiness :: Meeting also Community :: Community Event
Hometown Helena
7:00 AM
Montana Club
Description:
This week Eric Spangenberg will provide an overview of the Lewis and Clark County GIS mapping website. I often use their maps and related info – very impressive stuff!!!! The amount of information available to the public in these websites at no cost is simply amazing.

05/31- Eric Myers, Feathered Pipe Foundation – Veterans Healing Program

06/07- FireSafe Montana

Last week Rick Edwards, NWE, made a presentation on Bitcoin operations in Montana as they relate to power requirements. The more you read about cryptocurrency the harder it is to fully understand exactly how those things work. The following information is what I got out of the presentation (along with a few other facts I have picked up). I am certainly no expert and some may have different thoughts about this subject. Gilda Clancy was at HTH and said she had purchased $1 of bitcoin a year ago and she checked after the meeting and found that it was worth $3.38 – 300% increase! The Bitcoin program is an international effort and recent articles have suggested Antarctica, Ukraine and Montana are good sites for the “mining” operations. That is a result of low electric rates and cold dry climates that help offset the cooling requirements of the hundred/thousands of computers that do the “mining” at these facilities. World Bank has stated that 38% of individuals worldwide, over the age of 15, have no access to a financial account. Seventy-three percent of those in that category have no formal savings and no access to formal borrowing. In many areas that do have access to traditional financial services, centralized monetary mismanagement has eroded their purchasing power plus there has been hyperinflation in many countries resulting in people losing faith in the traditional financial services. As a result they are looking for a better financial system and are helping to drive the interest in cryptocurrency. We are damn lucky (as Senator Tester would say) to have the system we have in the US – particularly the great local/regional banks and credit unions that take care of our needs.One of the most intriguing parts of the cryptocurrency is the “block chain” technology that is used to deliver information (guess you could say it is similar to the internet but it is an open architecture that allows all transactions to be visible to everyone on the system). When a person wants to send a payment using Bitcoins to another person using the system the computer banks in the “mining” facilities work to determine if it is a valid transaction and when the issues are resolved they successful “mining” operation receives a portion of a Bitcoin (that is a very simplified explanation). I am sticking with the traditional banking system.

So can these “mining” operations consider using wind power in the future. A large wind turbine might be rated at 3.5 to 4 megawatts. Wind turbines have a yearly output of about 24% of their rated capacity based on national stats (I am sure there are those that have other numbers but I am using data that was provided to me). So a 40 megawatt “mining” facility might need 40 wind turbines based on annual consumption data, but the issue is that these “mining” operations run 24/7/365 and therefore require coal, gas or other generation that provides a constant supply of electricity. Maybe a group of the “mining” facilities could locate at Colstrip and revitalize the coal generation. Problem is many of those that are involved in the cryptocurrency operations are the same folks that don’t want coal generation.

The correct date for the community celebration to honor Jack Copps and Greg Upham at the Holter Museum of Art is Tuesday, June 5th from 4:30 to 7:00pm. Greg Upham was at HTH last week and Jack Copps gave him a great deal of well deserved credit for improving the overall level of education in the Helena system. Greg will move on to Billings which has the largest number of students of any district in Montana. The celebration is also an opportunity to thank Jack Copps for stepping in on an extended basis until a new Superintendent was hired – Jack dealt with many difficult issues and has left a very large positive impact on the Helena School District.

Medicare costs in 2017 totaled $591 billion - $60 billion of that was lost to fraud. That is a big number and is due to fraud and abuse at every level of the medical system. Maybe it would be a good idea to invest more money in overseeing the Medicare system so they could get part of the $60 billion back. I would bet the return on every dollar invested in finding those abusing the system would return 20 times or more in savings.

So here are the rumors for this week – the mall has been sold! A new Steve will be operating Steve’s Cafes. There will be or is a 4-B’s in Helena and about every business in Helena that is looking for employees will not see any relief in that area. There are quite a few other developing business deals/sales but that can wait for another day.

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Age Group: All Ages
Venue: Montana Club
Address: 3515 Juniper Drive Helena, MT 59602
Phone: 4065589141

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