On Being VERY Unimpressed By The City Club Drug Trafficking Presentation, Plus URBAN CAMPING SWEEPS SO SAD!!!

by Travis Mateer

I attend events–like the one promoted above by City Club Missoula–NOT to get an education about the reality of topics being presented, but to observe the political spin and damage control from people like our State Attorney, Jesse Laslovich, and our new Police Chief, Mike Colyer.

Is the drug epidemic in America bad and getting worse? Yes. Are Montana jurisdictions under-funded? Yes. Is the southern border a porous shit-show allowing cartels and Chinese raw-ingredient suppliers to run rampant? Yes. Did I learn something I DID NOT already know? Not that I can think, but maybe there’s something in my notes to justify the $10 bucks I shelled out for coffee and a cookie.

Ok, here’s something: Jesse Laslovich HATES federal prosecution guidelines, even though he signs off on them, because limited resources means its triage from top to bottom (I’m paraphrasing). To describe the explosion of Fentanyl, for example, Laslovich said it once only took 10-15 pills to get the attention of his office, but now it’s a minimum of 100 pills.

Is this like official, law enforcement give-a-shit inflation? I don’t know. I constrained myself from asking any questions, per City Club’s policy for media, though that policy doesn’t seem to apply to moderator, Rob Cheney (and editor of the Missoulian) who seemed to ask more questions of the two panelists than usual.

Sidenote: I learned Rob Cheney is working on a new book about Glacier National Park and the environment, so that’s cool! Is that why he didn’t seem to know what the hell was going on with one of his reporters the last time I reached out to him?

Anyway, another recurring theme that tracks with what I heard recently from the family of a resolved missing person case is that local jurisdictions DO NOT have the technological capacity to respond to the sophistication of the cartel threat. Well, duh, I thought, but what’s the solution? Continue throwing MORE money at the security state?

At one point Chief Colyer referenced jail capacity, but if any questions had come up about the jail (none did), Colyer wouldn’t have been able to address them. Why? Because the jail isn’t under the oversight of the police department, that’s Missoula County Sheriff Office territory. So why wasn’t Sheriff Jeremiah Petersen at this City Club presentation? Is he shy or bashful or something?

Supporters of URBAN CAMPING are certainly NOT bashful, and those decrying the TERRIBLE reality of SWEEPS, and the VIOLENCE of cleaning up piles of trash, turned out in force to treat virtue signaling like a fucking marathon race to a la-la-utopia land that doesn’t exist. Why wasn’t the Mayor in attendance, I wonder? Did he have something more important to attend to than all this municipal fun?

As the night dragged on, it started to look like the lawyers, and youngsters, and “houseless” victims were going to be able to stop the final vote on the whack-a-mole strategy by Parks and Rec. At one point Clayton Shaya, one of the self-appointed spokespeople for urban campers, described men coming at night with guns on their hips to the tell them to move, men supposedly with “the county”. Huh?

My comment was early on, and indicated that “adequate shelter beds” is a term I don’t think the youngsters, or other people without my experience working many years at the homeless shelter, actually understand. I pointed out the need to properly staff a facility with trained individuals, so an earlier claim that something could be opened immediately is totally unrealistic.

I know, reality is not something today’s youth are probably all that well-oriented to, and at least one young person took issue with me in her comment, but not the one with the blue hair.

Near the end of the marathon, Gwen Jones laid down some harsh reality for the youngsters about the Authorized Camping Site (ACS), acknowledging human trafficking was happening there, and ALSO acknowledging that private security (Rogers International) were the only ones left staffing the ACS at the end because they couldn’t staff it any other way.

These are actually big-deal disclosures that should be understood as a big deal, but probably won’t be given the context it deserves by conventional media.

Also, no Porta Potty service, or trash service, would even consider providing services anymore to an ACS type approach to this population, nor would any homeless service provider consider staffing it. I was a little flabbergasted at the degree of reality openly admitted by Jones, and I know I wasn’t the only one.

While I wait for some regular commenters to finish listening to the sound of their own voices (I am guilty of this also, but only made one comment Monday night), I should acknowledge that my own frustrations have limited my patience for some of the people I normally have more patience for. Put ME in charge of something, damn it, because I’m hearing some of the same uninformed shit I heard ten years ago and it’s one of MANY things driving me a little crazy!

Speaking of being put in charge of things, I’m doing some paid work for a bit, so depending on my schedule, City Council might be deprived of my public commenting during Wednesday committees for the rest of the summer. I know, if that happens, I’m sure I’ll be missed, right?

I don’t expect any disruption to the frequency of my posting schedule, so continue looking for new content at 7am, Monday through Friday, and a review of the week at 8am on Sunday.

So, what happened? After LOTS of commenting, and pontificating, and hand-wringing, City Council did a roll call vote to send this ordinance back to committee, but that vote failed on a 5-5 tie. Then Councilman Carlino introduced another amendment, one of two he had left in his municipal quiver, but that amendment failed. Did the second one fail? I’m not sure, things started getting a little fuzzy for me at the end.

Since the emergency ordinance had a 90 day shelf-life, discussion ensued about enacting a postponement. Every time a move like this is made, public comment is solicited, and often time comment IS made. Would this ever end, I thought at one point? Yes, it finally did, at least the ordinance part of the night, and the vote to POSTPONE the conversation until August 28th passed on an 8-2-1 vote. Whew!

If you would like to support my efforts, which includes the stamina to watch City Council meetings until late into the evening (I bailed at 10:45 after switching to virtual viewing), Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF) is one way to support my work, and making a donation at my about page is another.

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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4 Responses to On Being VERY Unimpressed By The City Club Drug Trafficking Presentation, Plus URBAN CAMPING SWEEPS SO SAD!!!

  1. Mrs Stitch says:

    You’re telling me that people aren’t lining up to serve the homeless, that we needed to pay these Rogers mercenaries to do it? The hell.

    Btw there are trash bins at the Russell bridge encampment. Overflowing of course

    Anyway, ain’t nothing we can do. SCOTUS upheld Boise v Martin or declined to hear it, and the Ninth just doubled down with the Grant’s Pass case.

    We’re so screwed.

    • Jay Putman says:

      No, we are not screwed. What we need are elected officials with BACKBONES to be decisive and solution-oriented (where is Captain Kirk when you need him). They are not going to be able to please everybody, but THIS is not pleasing anybody.

      So the result of the City Council meeting was “status quo”? The conversation is postponed until August 28th? The summer heat is only getting started. Inaction and non-decisions are only going to bring temperatures to a boiling point. Mid August might be the time that we reach it.

      • Mrs Stitch says:

        The courts have tied their hands. You want to spend even more tax money defending ACLU lawsuits?

        That’s why Council backed off.

  2. JC says:

    All the noise about the porosity of the southern border is just a bunch of political smoke screen. Smoke screen for what? Well, it’s been covert U.S. policy for the CIA to manage worldwide opium traffic since the early ’50s when they managed the trade in the “Golden Triangle” as a way to assist the rebels fleeing the rise of Mao’s CCP, and their relocation to… [drumroll] Taiwan. Where we are willing to unleash the next Indo-Pacific war encouraging Taiwan to declare independence from China.


    Next up was the CIA’s managing of the opium production and heroin trade in Afghanistan before and after the Taliban’s rule. It was the Taliban’s recent elimination of the poppy/opium production that forced a shift in worldwide opiate production and consumption to fentanyl. And of course, the billions of dollars in trade that went missing in the heroin market, used by the CIA to manage foreign political, business and individual assets, needed to shift accordingly.


    There’s even a RAND Corporation report from 2 years ago talking about the risks and hazards to U.S. interests in the event of the Taliban’s shutting down the narco trade again.


    Leaving aside the issue of Iran/Contra and the use of illegal drug sales to finance regime change operations in Central America (relatively small potatoes… the busted covert program of Reagan and Oliver North), drug cartels in Mexico, Central America and South America have the CIA’s fingerprints all over them. Here’s one article, there’s a bunch of other references all over the google sphere.


    While it will take a while for all the details of the CIA’s current manipulation of, and control of the world’s opiate market to surface, it is apparent that they have much to do with it. And politically, it serves the interests of globalists and neocons to use China as a whipping post to deflect the attention of the world public.

    Want to understand the opiate trade, and how we got here, not to mention how to staunch the flow? Look to American covert foreign policy, and you’ll find a lot of answers. The rest is just a red herring and smoke screen for hiding the financial interests of the global elite who view the narco trade as just another way to accumulate wealth and power, regardless of the human or community misery it causes.

    In the meantime, the kids at the City Club are just that, toddlers when it comes to understanding the underlying dynamics of what is fueling the epidemic drug crisis on the streets of Missoula, and all over the country. They are out of their league if they think that simplistic political solutions (tighten the border, i.e.) will help. There is far greater corruption and social decay at the root of this problem.

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