"Our republic and its press will rise or fall together." Joseph Pulitzer
"The most painful state of being is remembering the future, particularly the one you'll never have." Kierkegaard
The Piano Players at the Cat House
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 3-10-2021 Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue
is best described as the piano player at the Long Branch Cat House Saloon who
swears he didn't know what was going on upstairs.
Prepare for plenty of caterwauling from that wasteful, wishful, sinful Coronavirus superspreader, the RTC Ride transit system.
For more than 25 years, I have been a lonely critic decrying the corrupt structure of the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County. Five elected officials sit on the top level. They attend meetings and press conferences.
Tier two, their staff, is headed by former Reno Assistant City Manager Bill Thomas. A duplicative third level, a foreign-owned, for-profit overseer, actually hires employees and gets paid handsomely to manage, and mostly mis-manage, the transit system.
Whenever any controversy arises, each level passes the buck to another. Nothing is never anyone's fault. The current situation is the worst since the outfit was established in 1982. It can sicken and kill people and has done so.
The current multi-national management outfit has illegally refused to implement COVID-19 safety measures.
Keolis Transit of Paris, France, is now the broken rudder on a rudderless ship. Their local manager, Abul Hassan, just departed under a cloud. Keolis told ThisIsReno.com Editor Bob Conrad that Mr. Hassan "is under investigation but would not say why."
RTC got $26.2 million in federal relief funds, most of which has yet to be publicly accounted for despite Teamsters Union demands.
Last week. Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson sent an information demand to Keolis "regarding...a contractual breach of our Collective Bargaining Agreement regarding Keolis Transit's use of temporary employees being utilized in the performance of bargaining unit work."
Translation: You're hiring rats to circumvent and bust the union. Under the union contract, any temps who work past 90 days become permanent employees retroactive to day one, meaning they get union pay and benefits. It hasn't been happening with some janitorial personnel who are now (oxymoron alert) permanent temps.
They work for an obscure limited liability company named Pulse Consulting run by one Masooma Ali aka Mrs. Abul Hassan. One big happy family, eh wot?
Were Keolis and/or RTC aware of these shenanigans to keep workers underpaid and poor? I hear that Pulse has pursued the same shell game elsewhere.
They have even advertised
for Reno drivers. Would you feel comfy knowing that your kid or grandma rides
a maskless bus driven by a temp?
As the late Trib columnist
Travus T. Hipp might
ask, "who's doing what, with which and to whom?"
After finally forcing
system bosses to adhere to safety standards, the best that can result from all
this would be that the current Nevada Legislative session changes the Washoe
and Gomorrah South transit system structures.
Reno Councilmember Jenny
Brekhus says "It is long overdue for RTC Washoe transit drivers to be system
employees, (not of) a profit-making contract operator. Service is failing and
the public deserves accountability."
Former Sparks Councilmember
John Mayer advocated just that years ago when he sat on the board, alas and
alack, to no avail.
I have simpler tastes.
I wanna know what happened to that $26 million.
Let your representatives
know you are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
The current RTC Chair is Reno Councilmember Neoma Jardon (R), who serves with her colleague and COVID-19 survivor Oscar Delgado, D. Commissioners Vaughn Hartung (R) and Bob Lucey (R) represent Washoe County and Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson (R) acts for the Rail CIty.
addresses may be accessed via the expanded web edition of this column at
GETTING JABBED, PART DEUX. Retired Laborers' Union Local 169 Business Manager Dan Rusnak sent this last week:
"Had my second COVID-19 vaccine shot Tuesday morning. Quite a different response than to the first one. My left arm hurt after both injections. The second shot caused it to hurt more. When I went to bed I had chills. We put an extra blanket on the bed and I wore my bathrobe for extra warmth and thick socks on my feet as they were quite cold. Even with that I had trouble sleeping with chills and sore arm. The next morning I felt wiped out and watched TV rather than trying to look at the computer. By afternoon I was feeling better.
"The vaccine was Moderna. From what I have read, similar responses have been reported with Pfizer. Apparently, it is a result of the immune system working with a greater effort to block the coronavirus mimicked by the vaccine.
"If you haven't had the second shot, I suggest when you know what day you will get it, don't make plans for the following day that will require physical or mental effort. Just kick back."
Dan Rusnak is one of
the wisest people I have ever known and his advice should be heeded. I'm scheduled
for Moderna2 in a couple of weeks. My only reaction to the first shot was extreme
lethargy. If you have fragile friends or relatives, I suggest not leaving them
alone for the first 24 hours after jabbing.
Other Barbwire readers report various versions of the above and worse (crushing headaches, nausea, vomiting). It's still better than a gruesome death, so go get jabbed and suffer, baby, suffer.
Just avoid taking the bus to get your injection if at all possible.
¡Sí se puede!
Stay positive. Test negative. Take care of each other.
well. Raise hell.
Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my
être bien, élever l'enfer (And my French.)
Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)
Andrew Barbano is a 52-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ChantalCoalition.org, ConsumerCoalitionv.com and CesarChavezNevada.com. among others. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <email@example.com>
for pun and prophet
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 3-3-2021 Sparks Tribune / Updated 3-4 and 3-6-2021 GMT / Expansions in blue