by Travis Mateer
The problems that arise in Missoula can be VERY different, depending on what part of town you’re talking about. If you’re talking about the Rattlesnake neighborhood–an elitist enclave that has been TERRORIZED by trains–the problem is obvious. Trains are loud, and the people who CHOSE to live by the trains appear to be very unhappy about it.
Luckily these people have money, and having money makes your complaints figuratively “louder” than other locales, like the sacrifice zones where homeless services are located. A few days ago these Rattlesnake residents received some GREAT news. The Missoula Redevelopment Agency will throw $200,000 dollars in public money at wayside horns. From the link:
Residents near the Spruce and Madison railroad crossing in the lower Rattlesnake will see a permanent solution to a long-term annoyance that is the blasting of train horns.
The Missoula Redevelopment Agency this week approved a $200,000 contract to install wayside horns at the crossing. The horns were found to be effective in reducing noise levels and cost less than other options.
“It achieves the goal of the quite zone without going through that lengthy process with the Federal Railroad Administration and the costs associated with that,” said Todd Gass with MRA. “It does result in the trains not sounding their horns.”
If you want to know more about all the work and money going into alleviating Rattlesnake residents of this terrible noise terrorism, you can contact a member of the lower Rattlesnake leadership team. I suggest contacting Danny Tenenbaum.
Why Tenenbaum? Because he’s a state legislator and a public defender and once worked with refugees for the Department of Homeland Security. I found out that last part from wikipedia:
After earning his bachelor’s degree, Tenenbaum worked as an overseas refugee officer with the Department of Homeland Security. After graduating from law school, he and his wife moved from New York City to Missoula, Montana, where he works as a public defender. Tenenbaum was elected to the Montana House of Representatives in November 2020. He assumed office on January 4, 2021, succeeding Shane Morigeau. Tenenbaum is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
Danny Tenenbaum got on my radar last March, two months into his legislative stint. I even wrote a post about it, titled The Problem Of Putting Dementia Patients In Montana’s State Psychiatric Hospital In Warm Springs. After writing that post, I reached out to Tenenbaum and spoke with him at length on the phone about my experiences working at the Poverello Center.
Knowing what I know now, I’m not sure I would have wasted the time. Am I being too judgmental about a socialist lawyer from New York who once worked for a Federal police state agency?
While Tenenbaum provides leadership to his fellow Rattlesnake residents, a car pirate by the name of Thomas Hill was arrested a few days ago for a brazen car-jacking attempt that reminded me of a scene from Indiana Jones. Here’s a description of what happened to the UPS driver on Reserve Street:
Police officers responded to reports of a man pounding on cars, yelling death threats and lying down on Reserve Street.
Witnesses told police they saw Hill hanging off the side of a moving UPS truck.
After a short distance, he began forcing himself into the driver’s seat.
The UPS driver was able to keep Hill from entering by pushing him with his legs.
The driver brought the truck to a stop, and Hill reportedly walked away from the vehicle.
Authorities located Hill underneath the Reserve Street Bridge and took him into custody at the Missoula County Detention Center.
Thomas Hill, the car pirate, is now facing robbery charges and is being held on a $15,000 dollar bond. He looks very annoyed by this criminal justice inconvenience that took him from his Reserve street homeless community:
Don’t worry about Hill, he’ll get a fantastic public defender, like Danny Tenenbaum, who can make the case that this car pirate is obviously a victimized minority incapable of being held accountable for his actions due to the reality that black people (and other minorities) are essentially victims from birth in America.
If you think Hill might be lonely in jail, again, don’t worry, there are other residents of the Reserve Street camps currently in jail, like Timothy Clark (responsible for this police response in August) and an alleged rapist who hasn’t been officially tied to the camps yet.
I see lots of opportunities for public defenders to play the victim card in the coming months. And I know one public defender who, thanks to $200,000 in public financing, will be better rested in court to make that case.
Thanks for reading.