Why I’m Supporting The Temporary Measure Of Homeless “Urban Camping” Whack-A-Mole In Public Parks

by Travis Mateer

When I hit record on the south side of the California bridge, I didn’t know today was scheduled for Lion’s Park to be cleared out. This area, right next to Youth Homes, is where the “lion’s share” (sorry, couldn’t help myself) of people relocated to after the encampment on West Broadway was shut down and fenced off, and THAT encampment was the one that reemerged after the Russel bridge area was cleared out. Here’s the footage:

This bridge is the one where Forrest “Clay” Salcido was murdered by two teens many years ago, a crime that main assailant received a 100 years in prison for in March of 2009, just one year after I started working at the Poverello Center in Missoula. This is also the bridge where Buck gave me a blessing that I truly found heart warming.

Who is Buck? He’s the guy someone asked me on Twitter if I knew just a few hours after I recorded this footage. Because that’s how things go for me Zoom Town.

Another person I am VERY familiar with–both when she had housing, allowing her to enable her criminal brood, and after–was recently pictured by the Missoulian. Before I get to her sociopathic son, here’s the image I’m sure tugs on plenty of well-meaning heart strings who don’t actually know the history of some of these “victims”.

I actually turned off my camera before I intended because I say Kathy ahead of me and I wanted to talk to her more than I wanted to keep filming my brief bike adventure. I’m sure someone eavesdropping would have thought that I am a terrible and very cruel person as I cut her short before she could get the sob stories going. Why? Because I just wanted to let her know that her son, John Skinner, is SO infamous that even the Sheriff of Mineral County, Ryan Funke, perked up when I said his name.

Here’s the picture I circulated in the fall of 2021 after writing up this post about John’s self-admitted meth dealing:

While I was biking around, I made sure to stop and say thank you to a young guy working for Parks and Rec. I also thank law enforcement from time to time, which I know leaves some of my more liberal friends a bit confounded.

The guy I’m thinking of, J. Kevin Hunt, recently provided the inspiration for TWO posts already scheduled for tomorrow about a scientist who also an occultist. I guarantee they will be fascinating reads.

If you appreciate the tenacity of my local reporting, Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF) is one way to support my work, while making a donation at my about page is another.

I don’t normally put out this much material in one week, but there’s a lot of crazy energy in the air, so I’m finding it kind of unavoidable. Sunday’s post is ALSO nearly done, and features an excerpt from the book about that scientist/occultist you won’t want to miss, so stay tuned!

And, as always, thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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3 Responses to Why I’m Supporting The Temporary Measure Of Homeless “Urban Camping” Whack-A-Mole In Public Parks

  1. Mrs Stitch says:

    The tents are back at both ends of the Russell St bridge. Not underneath, but close by.

    Just saying.

  2. Jay Putman says:

    It is very interesting to see that not all of the judges of the 9th Circuit are in agreement about the issue of homelessness and sleeping in public:

    • John Kevin Hunt says:

      Why would they be? There are FIFTEEN (perhaps more than that these days) judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Why is it such a surprise that they don’t all dream the same dreams every night, and walk in lockstep?

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