Pirate Laureate of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream
The Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Columniator Hall of Flames


Site map
SITE NAVIGATION TIPS: When all else fails, read the instructions (A favorite John Hanks aphorism I've been using for decades)

Je Suis Charlie
"Our republic and its press will rise or fall together." — Joseph Pulitzer

Get ahead of corporate-influenced news—>Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

Photo: Debra Reid, Sparks Tribune

   Everybody knows the dice are loaded.
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed.
   Everybody knows the war is over.
Everybody knows the good guys lost.
   Everybody knows the fight was fixed.
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich.
   That's how it goes.
Everybody knows...
Everybody knows the scene is dead
   But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
   What everybody knows...
   Everybody talking to their pockets.
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
   and a long red rose.
   Everybody knows. Everybody knows.
That's how it goes.
Everybody knows.

By Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) & Sharon Robinson
© 1988 CBS Records, Inc.

I hope you understand I just had to go back to the island.
Leon Russell, 1942-2016

The Circle Game
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 11-30-2022 / Expansions in blue

The seasons they go 'round and 'round
And the painted ponies go up and down.
We're captive on the carousel of time.
We can't go back we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go 'round and 'round and 'round
In the Circle Game

— Joni Mitchell


Greatest Hits Dept.


Barbwire nominee Dennis Myers elected to NPA Hall of Fame

Support Don Dondero
and Jake Highton
and David Toll and
Foster Church and
Norman Cardoza
Send endorsements

Barbwire wins 11th Nevada Press Association award

GOLD 2017-18

2018 First-Place Winners

From the depths of despair to the den of iniquity & holy of holies

"Excellent work. These are some of the most moving columns I've read."
— NPA contest judge/9-29-201

The Grasshopper and
the Dragonfly


Kicked off the Ledge

Back to the Future in
Mississippi West Nevada


Gold 2017
Don't ask Renown Med for marijuana to help your chemo

We Don't Need No Education
Toxic turf threat ignored

Kate Smith & Lady Gaga

Bronze 6-pack
In the Uber-Nevada legislature, words can kill
On artificial turf, don't breathe unless absolutely necessary (above)
Leading questions, lead-headed leaders

Hopelessly trying to win an earthquake
2013 Loony Tunes Legislative Lexicon
The politics of media ga-ga boosterism

More statewide and national award winners

We Don't Need No Education—>
Neverending Barbwire Series

1997 Pulitzer Prize entries

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
BEATING LUSH RAMBO AT HIS OWN GAME: Highlights from radio days
mp3 file

The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.

RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

Tomorrow's news today —> Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential


How can you tell you've lived in a town too long?

First and foremost, it's when you can walk into a bar you've never before patronized and the saloon's resident drunk calls you by name. (Actually happened, once in Reno, once in Sparks.)

Another MayDay: When you read the obituaries hoping nobody you know is featured.

Thus it was that the witch of November brought news of the passing of Bob Langhans, Darrell Monahan, Brent Adams, John Mayer and George Lois.

Bob Langhans, 86, was the longtime proprietor of Sparks' Greenbrae Trophy Center.

My ad agency did promotion for the area's second-oldest retail center back in the 1970s. Bob's father, John, was on the board of directors. (No one has yet topped the 1973 Saturday I turned the Greenbrae parking lot into a motorcycle dirtbike course. We trucked in tons of dirt and built an actual track complete with jumps. Helluva fun time.)

My most memorable Greenbrae trophy was due to a typo. A few years back, organized labor honored union organizer of the year Liz Sorenson of Sparks-based Communications Workers Local 9413/AFL-CIO.

As I introduced Liz at that year's César Chávez celebration, I noticed that the crystalline trophy noted Liz as a member of CWA Local 9413/AFL-CIA. CIA? Didn't know she was organizing spies.

The assembled multitudes were quite entertained. When I presented Liz with a corrected version at the next Central Labor Council meeting, I told her I'd love to have the CIA version if she didn't want it. Not a chance, Bubba.

When Darryl Monahan was Nevada deputy director of tourism, his office became a major sponsor of my Long Beach GrandPrix Formula One worldwide radio racing networks, carried worldwide in English and Spanish. The state got a helluva promotional deal and I got a great sponsor.

Darryl, 79, was good people and an excellent public servant. Together, we brought Formula One to Nevada long before Las Vegas ever thought of it.

Judge Brent Adams, 74, had a stellar career in law and politics. KOLO TV-8's Ed Pearce produced a great tribute. I can only add one addendum. Before he became a judge, Adams was elected Nevada State Democratic Party Chair in 1982-84.

In his younger days in Gomorrah South, he headed Youth for Barry Goldwater in 1964. Now that's bi-partisanship.

Legendary Madison Avenue campaign designer George Lois died in Manhattan at 91. He was most famous for his 92 Esquire magazine covers, 32 of which were installed at New York's Museum of Modern Art in 2008.

His most famous included Andy Warhol drowning in a can of Campbell's tomato soup; Richard Nixon putting on rouge for his 1968 presidential campaign; and an arrow-riddled Muhammad Ali as St. Sebastian up against a wall. Mr. Lois singlehandedly saved MTV from folding when he produced ads featuring Mick Jagger bellowing "I want my MTV."

I consider none of the above as his greatest work.

About 30 years ago, he was retained by organized labor and produced the now ubiquitous vote "Union Yes!" logo and accompanying musical images for radio and TV ("America works best we say union yes.")

I've used them for decades.

These giants have earned their rest. Complete obituaries will be linked to the expanded Barbwire web edition at (All herein save Mr. Lois, above, may be accessed via

AARON RODGERS AND ME. As noted earlier, I've been contacted by a major TV network looking for people injured on artificial turf.

I've been complaining about the dangers of plastic carpet for more than seven years. See

I now have no less than superstar Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on my side.

A few days ago, the Associated Press published a story about how the NFL players union now advocates dumping the modern versions of Astroturf for that new-fangled stuff called grass.

"I do think it's time to go all grass throughout the league," Rodgers said, complaining of its effects in beating up players' bodies.

Turfies promoting Sparks' Golden Eagle Park brag that it's the biggest expanse of ground-up used tires crumb-rubber turf in the nation.

It's also cancer-causing and brain-damaging, of greatest danger to kids.

But it looks great on TV and is cheaper than grass.

Please call or write if you know anyone who has been injured on the toxic turf which is epidemic in parks and schools statewide.

MAYOR LAWSON HAS BEEN RIGHT. TWICE. In his dozen years at Sparks City Hall, recently re-elected Mayor Ed Lawson has been correct on at least two occasions. First when he said that the current structure of Regional Transportation Commission mass transit should be burned down and started over.

No less than his RTC predecessor agreed. Recently deceased Greenbrae School principal, school board member and longest-serving Sparks city councilman John Mayer, 80, long ago advocated the same thing, albeit not as colorfully.

The longtime habit of contracting out the management of the mass transit system has wasted millions and precipitated four strikes, including three last year and perhaps another in the offing. (Barbwire 11/23).

Hizzoner was also correct last week when he told local TV news that Sparks must grow or die given the nutso structure of our property tax system.

It all started with Nevada's botched kneejerk reaction to California's 1978 Proposition 13.

It was made worse when state lawmakers capped property tax increases at 3.5 percent a year in 2005 on the assumption that property values would never go down.

They have since crashed twice and the principal funding for schools and basic government services, already super stingy, has never recovered.

Will state lawmakers fix the system next year?

Not a chance.

Good luck, Mr. Mayor. Welcome to the nightmare.

TOLJASO AGAIN. As I predicted several times, "gas prices will magically start dropping after election day as BigOil has done all it could to elect moonhowlers who will set in cement the Trumpista tax cuts for the corporately wealthy."

Retail gas prices dropped another 11 cents per gallon last week.

Vaxx up, stay safe and pray for Ukraine and 53 other currently war-torn lands.

¡ se puede! Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (Pardon my French.) Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)
Andrew Quarantino Barbano is a 54-year Nevadan and editor of,,, BallotBoxing.US,,,, and among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO. Phone (775) 786-1455. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Web Xtras & Smoking Guns—>


For all the news you never knew you needed to know 'til now, subscribe to BARBWIRE CONFIDENTIAL—>Cheap. (HushHush!) Hie thee to BallotBoxing.US/

Peruse the Underbelly of the News —> Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

For all the news you never knew you needed to know 'til now: Tell your friends and friendly enemies to subscribe to Barbwire Confidential for warm laughter, cheap thrills, hot scoops and occasional cold logic at BallotBoxing.US/ Cheap at twice the price. (Hush Hush!)

Barbwire dark foreshadowings unfortunately have a way of becoming reality. I thus suggest inoculation by signing onto the HushHush! list at BallotBoxing.US/ It's cheap as well as enlightening entertainment. Thank you kindly for your support.

$75 dead or alive: Still crazy after all these years
A mass murderer becomes famous on TV a century later

How come nobody noticed 'til now?
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 2-21-2018 Sparks Tribune

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory owners Max Blank and Isaac Harris. Is not Mr. Harris eerily familiar to television junkies?

From the Emmy-winning opening slate of the blockbuster "Cheers" television series. Combined with its "Frasier" spinoff, it lasted 20 years.
The "shirtwaist kings" immigrated from Russia and made a fortune manufacturing "Gibson Girl"-style blouses. (Photo, "The American Experience"/PBS)
The Emmy-winning opening slate of the "Cheers" television series before the "slate" of creators is superimposed. Looks like Mr. Harris' dead ringer (at left) is having a bloody good time.

"Who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?" Chico Marx disguised as Groucho Marx in "Duck Soup" (1933)
Back to the story of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist holocaust

Triangle tragedy recalled as requiem
"The Fire in My Mouth," a new oratorio by Pulitzer honoree Julia Wolfe, premiered with the New York Philharmonic Jan. 24

By Michael Cooper / The New York Times 1-23-2019

SITE NAVIGATION TIPS: When all else fails, read the instructions (A favorite John Hanks aphorism I've been using for decades) | U-News | Bulletins + Almanac
Casinos Out of Politics (COP) | Sen. Joe Neal
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors
| BallotBoxing.US | Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
The Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Columniator Hall of Flames
Annual César Chávez Celebration
War Rooms:
Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's/cabellyup, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Food, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
We Don't Need No Education
In Search Of...


Copyright © 1982-2022 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 53-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee. He is the executive producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail

Barbwire by Barbano moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

Betty J. Barbano
2-7-1941 / 12-27-2005

Get ahead of corporate-influenced news—>Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

Comments and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins