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[[EDITOR'S NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, historical items appear courtesy of longtime Nevada reporter Dennis Myers' Poor Denny's Almanac [PDA]. Items highlighted in blue are of interest to labor in particular and seekers of justice in general. Copyright © 2008 Dennis Myers.]]


UPDATE: Tuesday, 12-30-2008, 8:56 a.m. PST, 16:56 ZULU/GMT/CUT/SUT —
Construction workers picket Hyatt Hospitality Suites site

The future does not exist
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 12-28-2008

Stalking the perfect storm
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 12-21-2008

Shut up and work
Nevada workers besieged as usual
Charter Communications bankruptcy predicted

Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 12-14-2008

Chainsaw massacre in Carson City
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 12-7-2008

NevadaLabor.com Exclusive
Thursday, 4 Dec 2008, 12:24 p.m. PST, 20:24 ZULU/GMT/SUT/CUT

Not even 30 pieces of silver
Reno City Council Signs Community TV Death Warrant

Contact Sen. Harry Reid for help
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 11-23-2008

Tue, 30 Dec 2008 09:55:50

Edward R. Murrow/December 29 1943: There was a time when I believed that out of this war there would come some sort of spiritual revival, some increase in dignity and decency — none of that has happened. One hears, here and at home, the rising chorus of the brittle voiced businessmen who have done very well out of this whole thing, and who are at heart not in the least appalled at the prospect of a repetition in a few years time.

On this date in 1170 Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by knight of King Henry II, a crime that shocked the Christian world; in 1889 Nevada Assemblymember (1942-46) and cattle rancher Josie Woods, whose highly fictionalized story was dramatized in the Doris Day film The Ballad of Josie, was born in Clyde, Texas; in 1890 as part of the U.S. government campaign to stamp out the Ghost Dance movement begun by Native American prophet Wovoka in Nevada, U.S. soldiers massacred more than 200 Lakota (mostly women, children, and the elderly) at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota; in 1899 the Reno Opera House succeeded in getting opera soprano Emma Nevada on her transcontinental tour, but John Piper of Virginia City was unable to come up with the $800 guarantee against her share of the receipts; in 1929 the Baltimore Afro American published an editorial critical of the U.S. attack on Haiti, suggesting that such force would be better used to prevent lynchings of U.S. citizens: „If the marines must fight, we suggest that President Hoover order them to Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, and Georgia.‰; in 1947 former U.S. vice president Henry Wallace, reacting to President Truman‚s domestic red-baiting and foreign policy of belligerence, announced his candidacy for president on a third party line; in 1954 Clark County brothel manager Margaret Burke announced that Roxie‚s, a „motel‰ that became an issue in political campaigns, would close permanently n January 3d; in 1954 Nevada Attorney General William Mathews offered the opinion that two Republican state legislators˜Senator Edward Leutzinger and Assemblymember Baptaste Tognoni˜were not entitled to leaves from their state highway department jobs during the legislative session; in 1956 Las Vegas was setting up a prison farm near Sunrise Mountain to serve for rehabilitation of long term misdemeanor prisoners; in 1961 during a dispute over whether a mid-block crosswalk should be painted in the Virginia Street casino center of Reno, the city awoke to discover that during the night someone had painted a crosswalk from the steps of city hall on Center Street to the Stein saloon across the street (Now it can be told: The culprits were barbers Loyd „Dutch‰ Myers, Roy Porter, and Les Price); in 1966 a hundred student body presidents sent an open letter to President Johnson expressing concern about the war in Vietnam and warning that resistance to the war was growing; in 1976 acting Nevada fish and game director Bill Parsons denied a rumor that his department would throw check stations around Pyramid Lake to make sure that people fishing in the lake had state fishing licenses; in 1978 Nevada Governor Mike O'Callaghan tried to telephone President Carter, but (according to White House notes) the call was not completed; in 1997 Reno‚s Nevada Club, which opened in 1946, shut its doors for the last time; in 2008 there are 21 days remaining until the next presidential inauguration.

Sun, 28 Dec 2008 16:31:32

On this date in 1899 fourteen cases of smallpox were reported at the Stewart Indian School south of Carson City; in 1918 Lieutenant Colonel James Scrugham, former Nevada state water engineer, visited Carson City (where he would one day serve as governor) on a holiday furlough; in 1926 the Nevada State Journal carried an article by assistant highway engineer Howard Loy on his trip as a member of a party headed by Governor James Scrugham that explored Nevada‚s Hidden Forest (an isolated stand of timber on the west slope of Sheep Mountain in Clark County, now a part of the Desert National Wildlife Range); in 1944 a group of men who constituted the city of Sparks‚ December draft quota, reported for duty and were sent to Utah‚s Fort Douglas for pre-induction physicals; in 1948 in San Gabriel, California, in the congressional district of U.S. Representative Richard Nixon, a child was born (but never quite grew to manhood); in 1954 longtime Nevada journalist Chet Sobsey reported that casino-generated turmoil in the state, including federal investigations, was exhausting Nevadans‚ tolerance for the industry; in 1959 „Why‰ by Frankie Avalon hit number one on the Billboard magazine chart; in 1961 in the dead of night, a group of urban guerrillas stole into downtown Reno and painted a crosswalk from the door of city hall across Virginia Street to a saloon across the street, a commentary on the Reno city council‚s recent efforts to establish a mid-block crosswalk on casino row on Virginia Street; in 1969 Led Zeppelin II hit number one on the Billboard album chart and stayed there for seven nonconsecutive weeks; in 1971 sixteen Vietnam Veterans Against the War seized the Statue of Liberty, barricading themselves inside and hung a U.S. flag upside down from one of the statue‚s crown spikes; in 1989 Alexander Dubcek, the anti-Nazi guerrilla fighter who became leader of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and tried to install „socialism with a human face‰ during the Prague Spring, was returned to power as chairman of the Czechoslovak Parliament 21 years after he was deposed by a Warsaw Pact invasion; in 1997 Reno‚s Nevada Club, the last major property operated in the old local fashion, closed its doors.

Fri, 26 Dec 2008 23:59:22

On Dec. 27, 1862, Brigadier General H.H. Sibley sent a wire to President Lincoln: „SAINT PAUL, December 27, 1862. The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have the honor to inform you that the thirty-eight Indians and half-breeds ordered by you for execution were hung yesterday at Mankato at 10 a.m. Everything went off quietly and the other prisoners are well secured. Respectfully, H. H. SIBLEY, Brigadier-General.‰; in 1869 a 6.7 earthquake hit the area now known as Olinghouse Canyon northwest of Wadsworth; in 1913 in Philadelphia, Jane Addams told Nevada suffrage leader Anne Martin that she would campaign in Nevada during the 1914 campaign for a suffrage ballot measure; in 1922 fighting a 75 to 100 mile an hour wind, air mail pilot Claire Vance got the mail over the Sierra, though at times he was held almost stationary in the air, a phenomenon viewed by a crowd in Reno (the previous year Vance had flown the mail through a tornado and hail storm in Missouri); in 1927 a benchmark in the history of theatre was reached with the debut of Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern‚s Show Boat, a musical play instead of just a musical „revue‰ or operetta (it also introduced some standards into the U.S. musical bloodstream˜„Ole Man River‰, „Can‚t Help Loving That Man Of Mine‰); in 1931 Scotty Moore, „the guitar that changed the world‰, was born in Gadsden, Tennessee; in 1944 Lt. William Nellis of Las Vegas and Searchlight, after whom Nellis Air Force Base in southern Nevada is named, was brought down by ground fire while on a mission over Europe; in 1957 acting on a request from Paramount Pictures, a Tennessee draft board granted Elvis Presley a sixty-day deferment of his induction into the Army so he could complete the already-scheduled filming of King Creole, prompting an avalanche of hate mail to the members of the draft board for giving the singer special treatment; in 1979 Cincinnati adopted a city ordinance outlawing unassigned seating at concerts following the death of eleven concertgoers in the crush of people when the doors were thrown open to general assignment ticketholders at a Who concert at Riverfront Stadium on December 3d; in 1980 Double Fantasy by John and Yoko hit number one on the Billboard album chart and stayed there for eight weeks (their „Starting Over‰ single from the album was also number one).

Fri, 26 Dec 2008 23:59:22

On Dec. 27, 1862 Brigadier General H.H. Sibley sent a wire to President Lincoln: "SAINT PAUL, December 27, 1862. The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have the honor to inform you that the thirty-eight Indians and half-breeds ordered by you for execution were hung yesterday at Mankato at 10 a.m. Everything went off quietly and the other prisoners are well secured. Respectfully, H. H. SIBLEY, Brigadier-General."

On Dec. 27, 1869, a 6.7 earthquake hit the area now known as Olinghouse Canyon northwest of Wadsworth; in 1913 in Philadelphia, Jane Addams told Nevada suffrage leader Anne Martin that she would campaign in Nevada during the 1914 campaign for a suffrage ballot measure; in 1922 fighting a 75 to 100 mile an hour wind, air mail pilot Claire Vance got the mail over the Sierra, though at times he was held almost stationary in the air, a phenomenon viewed by a crowd in Reno (the previous year Vance had flown the mail through a tornado and hail storm in Missouri); in 1927 a benchmark in the history of theatre was reached with the debut of Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern's Show Boat, a musical play instead of just a musical "revue" or operetta (it also introduced some standards into the U.S. musical bloodstream: Ole Man River, Can't Help Loving That Man Of Mine); in 1931 Scotty Moore, "the guitar that changed the world", was born in Gadsden, Tennessee; in 1944 Lt. William Nellis of Las Vegas and Searchlight, after whom Nellis Air Force Base in southern Nevada is named, was brought down by ground fire while on a mission over Europe; in 1957 acting on a request from Paramount Pictures, a Tennessee draft board granted Elvis Presley a sixty-day deferment of his induction into the Army so he could complete the already-scheduled filming of King Creole, prompting an avalanche of hate mail to the members of the draft board for giving the singer special treatment; in 1979 Cincinnati adopted a city ordinance outlawing unassigned seating at concerts following the death of eleven concertgoers in the crush of people when the doors were thrown open to general assignment ticketholders at a Who concert at Riverfront Stadium on December 3d; in 1980 Double Fantasy by John and Yoko hit number one on the Billboard album chart and stayed there for eight weeks (their Starting Over single from the album was also number one).

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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


Fri, 26 Dec 2008 08:01:03
On this date in 1609 or 1610 Hungarian vampire Countess Erzsébet Báthory, who drained servants and peasants of their blood in the illusion that the substance was a youth drug, was arrested and imprisoned; in 1861 Charles Smith was appointed first Sheriff of Washoe County, Nevada; in 1908 Jack Johnson became the first African American heavyweight champion; in 1911 Richard Kirman and the Farmers and Merchants Bank gained controlling interest in Moana Springs and there were rumors that Kirman would take over the Moana interurban transit line; in 1917 the Wilson administration seized and nationalized the railroads, operating them for the remainder of wartime; in 1922 Rodie Sheeke, brakeman on an ore train at the United Comstock mine operation on American Flat, was killed after the train failed to stop when it was supposed to and crushed him against an ore dump; in 1940 Nevada Governor Edward Carville agreed to a U.S. war department proposal to make the Nevada National Guard into anti-aircraft units; in 1955 „See You Later, Alligator‰ by Bill Haley and the Comets was released by Decca; in 1964 I Feel Fine by the Beatles hit number one on the Billboard magazine chart; in 1966 in southern California, Kwanzaa was celebrated for the first time in the United States; in 1976 a 9,000-acre Modoc County ranch was turned over to the Pit River Indians, making them the first California tribe with a reservation of its own, though tribal members said they were entitled to a 100-square-mile area of ancestral land bounded by Mount Lassen, Mount Shasta, Goose Lake and Eagle Lake held mostly by federal and state governments and some large corporations.

Thu, 25 Dec 2008 17:57:49
On this date in 274 Roman Emperor Aurelian dedicated a temple to his newly invented sun god, Deus Sol Invictus; in 1621 Governor William Bradford of the Plymouth Bay Colony in Massachusetts caught some people away from their workplaces, a violation of the church-imposed law outlawing Christmas observance, and sent them back to their jobs; in 1830 the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company, first regularly scheduled passenger train in the United States, began operation; in 1899 the Elko grammar school was destroyed by fire, only the records in the principal‚s office saved; in 1918 five weeks after the end of the world war, newspaper reporter Carl Sandburg, arriving in New York on the SS Bergensford after a three month reporting trip to Europe, was arrested by the U.S. Military Intelligence Bureau under the Trading With the Enemy Act (a federal law used by the Wilson administration to silence dissent), all his written materials confiscated, his money and money entrusted to him seized, and he was interrogated for a month (he was finally released at the end of January but the feds kept two $5,000 bank drafts Sandburg had planned to deliver to the Finnish Information Bureau in the U.S.); in 1921 President Harding commuted the sentence of Eugene Debs, imprisoned by the Wilson administration for an antiwar speech during the world war, to time served and released him from prison; in 1937 Nevada lieutenant governor and university regent Lonnie Hammargren was born in Minnesota; in 1940 the Civilian Conservation Corps completed the 55-mile Las Vegas/Pahrump Valley truck trail that took a thirty-person crew 13 months to build; in 1951 In the first assassinations of the rising civil rights movement, Florida NAACP leaders Harry and Harriette Moore were murdered on Christmas and their 25th wedding anniversary by a bomb planted in their home; in 1951 Los Angeles Police Chief William Parker‚s highly publicized claims of police „professionalism‰˜including police autonomy on issues of internal discipline˜took a hit when about 50 drunken police officers brutally beat seven men (five of them Latino) and Parker defended the officers, worked to suppress investigations, overlooked perjury, and demonized critics of the affair that became known as Bloody Christmas (in spite of Parker‚s best efforts, some of the officers were indicted and convicted, and Parker‚s professionalism campaign and relations with minority communities never recovered); in 1958 after photographers‚ flashes scared the sick children during his visit to the Gesu Bambino Hospital, Pope John XXIII chided the photographers: „There are fourteen recognized works of mercy, but we should probably add a fifteenth, that of enduring annoying people˜I am very fond of photographers but by these words I mean I want a little peace.‰; in 1963 African American leaders in Las Vegas and Reno were angry because Governor Grant Sawyer called a special session of the Nevada Legislature and did not place civil rights on the agenda; in 1965 Virginia Douglas, who as a girl named Virginia O‚Hanlon inspired New York Sun editor Francis Church to wrote the famous „Yes, Virginia‰ letter about Santa (see below), celebrated Christmas at age 76 with her family in Old Chatham, New York; in 1965 the Dave Clark Five‚s „Over and Over‰˜one of the group‚s lesser known songs but also its only number one hit˜went to number one on the Billboard magazine chart; in 1966 the New York Times began publication of a blockbuster series of reports by Harrison Salisbury (Gay Talese: „[T]hey landed like bombs on Washington‰), who had obtained a visa for north Vietnam and was reporting from Hanoi that U.S. claims of little civilian damage from bombing missions were false: „Contrary to the impression given by United States communiqués, on-the-spot inspection indicates that American bombing has been inflicting considerable civilian casualties in Hanoi and its environes for some time past. Ý It is fair to say that, based on evidence of their own eyes, Hanoi residents do not find much credibility in United States bombing communiqués݉; in 1966 local high school student body presidents John Sande and Tom Reilly posed for publicity photographs with singer Roger Miller („Dang Me‰, „King of the Road‰), who was performing at a December 27 show for local students along with singer Bobbie Martin and „Dwight Moore‚s Mongrel Revue‰; in 1989 baseball manager Billy Martin, who once assaulted Reno sportswriter Ray Hagar (one of at least nine people Martin attacked in his career), died in a truck crash; in 1991 Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev resigned a presidency during which more people moved from authoritarianism to freedom with less violence than at any other time in history; in 1998 the bodies of more than thirty wild horses were discovered in the Virginia Range east of Sparks, victims of a holiday shooting spree by U.S. marines.

From the log of Captain James Blethen:

1870 Christmas Day

Proceeded to Benecia by order of Wm. H. Webb and took possession of Steamships Nevada and Nebraska under attachment; brought them to San Francisco and during the Winter was engaged in making repairs and fitting them for the Australian and New Zealand Mail Service.

From the New York Sun / September 21, 1897: We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor:

I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so."
Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon
115 West Ninety-fifth Street

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child-like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernatural beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Wed, 24 Dec 2008 00:06:11
On this date in 1223 a group of monks, including Francis, installed a nativity scene in a cavern on Mount Lacerone, supposedly the first nativity scene or the first celebration of Christmas (depending on who‚s telling it);
in 1898 the road between Elko and Tuscarora was snowbound and all teams making the trip pulled wagons on runners, not wheels; in 1906 United Fruit ships at sea heard „Oh Holy Night‰ and Handel‚s Largo on the wireless, sent to them by Reginal Fessenden from Brant Rock station in Massachusetts, the first known instance of music being broadcast; in 1907 Isadore Feinstein Stone, the greatest journalist in U.S. history, was born in Philadelphia; in 1924 the Society for Human Rights, the first U.S. gay rights organization, was incorporated in Illinois (Chicago police soon broke the organization up and publicized the members‚ names so they lost their jobs); in 1941 seventeen days after Pearl Harbor, Nevada Adjutant General Jay White said the administrative machinery was all in place in the state for operating the military draft, with Elko, Las Vegas, and Reno serving as the sites for induction physicals; in 1957 silent movie star Norma Talmadge died in Las Vegas; in 1962 President Kennedy pardoned John „The Barber‰ Factor, part owner of the Stardust and Desert Inn, for a 1943 bootlegging conviction; in 1963 at a White House reception four weeks after the Kennedy assassination, President Johnson told the Joint Chiefs, „Just get me elected and then you can have your war.‰; in 1966 attorney Robert Reid reported became the first African American named a Nevada judge when the Las Vegas city commission appointed him an alternate municipal court judge; in 1969 Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt, who flew to D.C. with state casino regulators and casino exec Kirk Kerkorian on Kerkorian‚s plane after learning that the Securities and Exchange Commission had denied permission for secondary funding to International Leisure (owned by Kerkorian), said he had SEC assurances that corporate gambling operations would not be discriminated against (Clark County District Attorney George Franklin, however, said corporate gambling was giving Nevada a black eye); in 1992 President George Bush the Elder pardoned several of his cronies in the Iran Contra scandal, prompting special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh to call it a continuing cover up.

Tue, 23 Dec 2008 14:26:08
Vera Brittain/Testament of Youth:
I make no apology for the fact that some of these documents renew with fierce vividness the start agonies of my generation in its early twenties. The mature proprieties of „emotion remembered in tranquility‰ have not been my object, which, at least in part, is to challenge that too easy, too comfortable relapse into forgetfulness which is responsible for history's most grievous repetitions. It is not by accident that what I have written constitutes, in effect, the indictment of a civilization.

On this date in 1823 the Troy Sentinel in Troy, New York, featured the first known publication of Clement Moore‚s poem „Account of a visit from St. Nicholas‰ (see below); in 1875 J.A. Plummer, an Elko County attorney who was traveling through Nevada with his family on their way to relocate in Stockton, said in Reno that people in northeastern Nevada „have lost hope because they have consumed almost everything they had waiting for better times‰, that only one mine was still operating in Tuscarora where the several hundred residents were destitute and without the resources to depart; in 1886 in Arles after attacking Paul Gauguin with a razor, Vincent Van Gogh turned the blade on himself and sliced off the lobe of his ear (not, as myth has it, for love of a woman); in 1915 twenty year old British poet Roland Leighton, fiance of Red Cross nurse Vera Brittain, died of wounds suffered near Hebuterne, France, the first of most of Brittain‚s closest friends (including her brother) killed in the senseless war that inspired her to write Testament of Youth to try to make some sense of it all; in 1921 President Harding issued an amnesty for U.S. political prisoners from the Woodrow Wilson era, including labor leader Eugene Debs, who had been imprisoned under the hastily enacted Espionage Act for the crime of criticizing the war and who polled a million votes for president while in prison; in 1933 lured by heavy deposits resulting from business sales traffic generated by DePauw University's homecoming, John Dillinger and his gang robbed the Central National Bank of Greencastle, Indiana, of a reported $74,782.09; in 1935 The Public Works Administration, a depression relief agency, awarded $165,000 ($2,277,812 in 2005 dollars) for the construction of a grammar school in Las Vegas; in 1944 General Dwight Eisenhower ordered the execution for desertion of Eddie Slovik of Michigan, the first execution of a U.S. soldier since the civil war; in 1963 Seven top officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation met in a day-long gathering in D.C. to plan how to destroy Martin Luther King „as an effective Negro leader‰ (the agenda read, „We are most interested in exposing him in some manner or another in order to discredit him‰); in 1966 on a visit to Vietnam, U.S. Catholic Cardinal Francis Spellman of New York gave a ringing defense of the war, neglecting to clear the remarks with his boss Pope Paul, who sawed the limb off under Spellman by calling for an end to the war; in 1997 the first Festivus holiday was celebrated, five days after it was invented on Seinfeld; in 2003 responding to a petition from first amendment advocates, Governor George Pataki of New York issued a posthumous pardon of Lenny Bruce for the 1964 obscenity conviction that followed Bruce‚s performance at the Cafe Au Go Go (Pataki: „The posthumous pardon of Lenny Bruce is a declaration of New York's commitment to upholding the First Amendment. I hope this pardon serves as a reminder of the precious freedoms we are fighting to preserve as we continue to wage the war on terror.‰).

from the Troy Sentinel, December 23, 1823, p. 3:

We know not to whom we are indebted for the following description of that unwearied patron of children--that homely, but delightful personification of parental kindness--SANTE CLAUS, his costume and his equipage, as he goes about visiting the fire-sides of this happy land, laden with Christmas bounties; but, from whomsoever it may have come, we give thanks for it. There is, to our apprehension, a spirit of cordial goodness in it, a playfulness of fancy, and a benevolent alacrity to enter into the feelings and promote the simple pleasures of children, which are altogether charming. We hope our little patrons, both lads and lasses, will accept it as proof of our unfeigned good will toward them--as a token of our warmest wish that they may have many a merry Christmas; that they may long retain their beautiful relish for those unbought, homebred joys, which derive their flavor from filial piety and fraternal love, and which they may be assured are the least-alloyed that time can furnish them; and that they may never part with that simplicity of character, which is their own fairest ornament, and for the sake of which they have been pronounced, by authority which one can gainsay, the types of such as shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.

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Monday thru Friday
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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


For the Sentinel.

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc'd in their heads,
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap--
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter,
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his courses they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name:
„Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
„On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem;
„To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
„Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!‰
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys--and St. Nicholas too: [sic]
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dress'd all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish'd with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look'd like a peddler just opening his pack:
His eyes--how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh'd, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh'd when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill'd all the stockings; then turn'd with a jirk, [sic]
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight--
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Mon, 22 Dec 2008 06:41:01
On this date in 1894
French General Staff aide Captain Alfred Dreyfus was convicted in a court martial of treason for delivering classified French military information to the German embassy in Paris and later publicly stripped of his rank and deported to Devil's Island to remain in solitary confinement for life; in 1899 the Carson City News reprinted an Inyo Register report that the Southern Pacific Railroad had filed an application for a line that could link up with the Carson and Colorado Railroad; in 1944 Frances Wills and Harriet Pickens were commissioned the first African American Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service); in 1954 University of Nevada seismologist David Slemmons reported that the December 16 earthquake that hit remote Dixie Valley had been extremely sharp and that he had found a single crack extending 26 miles, a stream of water in the valley where none had been before, and the side of a mountain that shifted 20 feet vertically; in 1958 a song that became a pop culture icon, the „Chipmunk Song‰ by David Seville, hit number one on the Billboard magazine chart, going on to win three Grammys at the first annual awards (Seville, whose name was actually Ross Bagdasarian, and his cousin William Saroyan had written the Rosemary Clooney hit, „Come On-A My House‰); in 1972 on a vote of 70,373 to 56,334, United Mine Workers reform leader Arnold Miller was elected president of the UMW over William Boyle, who had ordered the murder of previous reform leader Jock Yablonski (Miller appointed Levi Daniel of West Virginia as the union's first African American district president); in 1999 the sale on Ebay of a Sacajawea dollar that had prematurely reached the public in the lining of a U.S. Mint bag of quarters was halted by the Secret Service when the bid was at $1,136.

Sun, 21 Dec 2008 17:21:30

George Bush/December 21 2004: It's a time of sorrow and sadness when we lose a loss of life.

On this date in 1511
in Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic) on the fourth Sunday of Advent, Father Antonio de Montesinos condemned the conquistador system for its repression and genocide against Native Americans (see below); in 1911 Negro leagues baseball great Josh Gibson was born in Buena Vista, Georgia; in 1918 it became known that the white supremacist Woodrow Wilson administration had barred African Americans from leaving the United States by denying blacks passports to prevent them from attending the peace conference (Wilson‚s talk about self determination was attracting numerous oppressed groups such as minorities and citizens of imperial colonies, to the Versailles peace conference to seek protection under international law, and they included blacks from the U.S., the Caribbean, and Africa, Vietnamese, and others); in 1918 Acting Governor Maurice Sullivan said an officer from Camp Lewis, Washington (where many soldiers were being held prior to their discharges) was coming to Nevada to see about employment prospects for released servicepeople; in 1925 the U.S. Attorney in San Francisco announced he had asked Attorney General Harlan Fiske Stone if he should defend four civilian Klansmen who aided Nevada/Northern California alcohol prohibition administrator Ned Green in raids and were sued as a result; in 1952 on the CBS television program This Is Show Business playwright George S. Kaufman remarked, „Let's make this one program on which nobody sings ŒSilent Night‚ ‰, generating some calls and letters of complaint, whereupon CBS fired Kaufman at the behest of sponsor American Tobacco Co. (to show solidarity with Kaufman, John Daly, Fred Allen [Allen: „This thing is ridiculous. There are only two good wits on television, Groucho Marx and George S. Kaufman. With Kaufman gone, TV is half-witted.‰], and Garry Moore refused to replace him on the program, religious leaders praised Kaufman‚s remark, and editorials condemned the network with North Carolina‚s Statesman Record commenting that the name of the program should be changed to This Show Is Business, and on January 3d the network backed down and reinstated Kaufman˜but not until the tobacco company‚s sponsorship contract expired); in 1968 Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell hit number one on the Billboard album chart and was there for five nonconsecutive weeks; in 1969 a full page ad appeared on page 16 of the Sunday New York Times: „War Is Over! If you Want It. Happy Christmas from John & Yoko‰; in 1970 in a deeply weird incident, Elvis Presley showed up at the White House to ask for a federal drug officer‚s badge, was relieved of a gun he was packing, had his photo taken with President Nixon, denounced liberal performers like the Smothers Brothers, got his badge, and split; in 1985 Heart by Heart hit number one on the Billboard album chart.

Friar Antonio de Montesinos/December 21 1511: I have climbed to this pulpit to let you know of your sins, for I am the voice of Christ crying in the desert of this island, and therefore, you must not listen to me indifferently, but with all your heart and all your senses....This voice tells you that you are in mortal sin; that you not only are in it, but live in it and die in it, and this because of the cruelty and tyranny that you bring to bear on these innocent people. Pray tell, by what right do you wage your odious wars on people who dwelt in quiet and peace on their own lands? [By what authority have you] destroyed countless numbers of them with unparalleled murders and destruction? Why do you oppress and exploit them, without even giving them enough to eat, or caring for them when they become ill as a result of your exploitation? They die, or rather, you kill them, so that you may extract and obtain more and more gold every day.... Are they not human? Have they no souls? Are you not required to love them as you love yourselves? How can you remain in such profound moral lethargy? I assure you, in your present state you can no more be saved than Moors or Turks who do not have and even reject the faith of Jesus Christ!

Sat, 20 Dec 2008 11:33:44

L. Frank Baum/Saturday Pioneer/December 20 1890: The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians. Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their
spirit broken, their manhood effaced; better that they die than live the miserable wretches that they are. History would forget these latter despicable beings, and speak, in later ages of the glory of these grand Kings of forest and plain that Cooper loved to heroism.

George Bush/December 20 2000: Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods.

On this date in 1899 the Carson City News reported that George Graves of San Francisco and a Miss Rankin of Oregon were married in Reno, after which father of the bride A.H. Rankin was married in Reno to the divorced wife of George Graves; in 1932 an earthquake now known as the Cedar Mountain earthquake that hit east of Mina in south central Nevada „ broke hundreds of windows, plunged half a dozen towns in darkness, knocked plaster from the walls, toppled water tanks, cracked buildings and caused other damage with a series of tremors that were more severe than any fell here since the great earthquake of San Francisco in 1906‰, was felt throughout the state as well as in Utah and California, was preceded by a foreshock, and was followed by several weeks of aftershocks; in 1944 on a U.S. bombing run to Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, a B-24 piloted by Lt. George McGovern lost one of its engines but McGovern continued on to complete the mission during which it was hit with flak, which knocked out another engine that burst into flames, and McGovern brought the plane to a safe landing on an airfield less than half the length required by a B-24 on a tiny island in the Adriatic with all aboard alive (he received the Distinguished Flying Cross for the feat); in 1946 It‚s A Wonderful Life starring Donna Reed and James Stewart was shown for the first time; in 1956 in Washington, a special board composed of 11 generals determined that of 14.1 million acres controlled by the Air Force in the west, 5.5 million were in excess of actual Air Force needs; in 1960 after years of withholding support from insurgency in the south while it waited for the Saigon regime and the U.S. to comply with the Geneva agreement requirement for elections on national reunification, Hanoi agreed to formation of the National Liberation Front, a military force of southern Vietnamese, to free the south of Vietnam from the U.S.-created regime; in 1976 Gannett Newspapers, the predatory (and criminal˜price fixing and fraud convictions) corporation, announced that it would „merge‰ with Speidel Newspapers, acquiring 13 newspapers in nine states, including the Nevada State Journal and Reno Evening Gazette (it would later shut down the Gazette) and the Reno newspapers began the partnership with a story in the Gazette that reported the benefits of the acquisition but not the downside; in 1989 without obtaining authorization from Congress, President George Bush the Elder launched a war on Panama; in 2001 the New York Times published a front page story by Judith Miller, „Iraqi tells of renovations at sites for chemical and nuclear arms‰ without getting competing analysis of the information from skeptical U.S. intelligence sources; in 2001 three months after September 11, George Bush said, „But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me.‰; in 2002 in a mammoth settlement, Salomon Smith Barney (Citigroup), Winstar Communications, Credit Suisse First Boston, Bear Stearns, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs Group, J. P. Morgan Chase, Lehman Brothers Holdings, Morgan Stanley, UBS Warburg (and probably, after further negotiations, U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray and Thomas Weisel Partners) agreed to pay nearly a billion dollars in fines in suits filed by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer charging misleading stock advice and parceling out hot stocks to curry favor with high roller clients.

Fri, 19 Dec 2008 08:38:51
On this date in 1732 Benjamin Franklin began publication of Poor Richard‚s Almanac, an annual pamphlet published from 1732 to 1757 under the pseudonym Richard Saunders, most of the contents of which he plagiarized; in 1776 The American Crisis by Thomas Paine was published (see below); in 1884 J.E. Gignoux of the state university in Elko was a candidate for director of the branch U.S. Mint in Carson City and had the support of Senator William Westerfield of Lyon County; in 1905 Harry Longbaugh and Butch Cassidy held up a bank in Villa Mercedes, Argentina; in 1914 Allied and Axis troops facing each other across No Man's Land on the front in World War One met in the middle to recover their wounded and began chatting and sharing smokes, a truce that (to the consternation of the upper officer corps) spread all up and down the front for several days with football games, sharing of supplies, and swapping of souveniers, alarming officials of various nations by threatening to „prematurely‰ end the war; in 1918 Winnemucca‚s Silver State published an editorial and a front page essay denouncing the „reign of terrorÝcreated in the name of Œmedical science‚ ‰ to deal with the world wide influenza epidemic, such as the shutdown of schools, churches, theatres, and businesses as health measures; in 1933 the annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs said the Native American population of Nevada was 5,083; in 1944 Sparks was still $22,000 short in filling its $450,000 quota of war bonds; in 1947 University of Nevada officials were looking into the possibility of buying 26-room surplus barracks buildings in Hawthorne from the Navy to relieve the postwar campus housing shortage (72 students were sleeping in the old gym, 12 in the football fieldhouse, and 36 couples in trailers); in 1955 Carl Perkins recorded „Blue Suede Shoes‰ (which he wrote) for Sun Records; in 1957 The Music Man debuted on Broadway in the Majestic Theatre (moving to the Broadway Theatre after the first three years), playing for 1,375 performances and winning Tony awards for best musical, actor in a musical, featured actor in a musical, featured actress in a musical, conductor and musical director, and stage technician; in 1966 plans were underway to construct a $15 million elevated mass transit system linking all the major casinos in Las Vegas; in 1987 U.S. Senator Paul Simon and singer Paul Simon co-hosted Saturday Night Live; in 2002 the convictions of five men accused of assaulting and raping the Central Park jogger, Trisha Meili, were overturned after DNA evidence exonerated them.

From The American Crisis by Thomas Paine: These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but „to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER,‰ and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

Whether the independence of the continent was declared too soon, or delayed too long, I will not now enter into as an argument; my own simple opinion is, that had it been eight months earlier, it would have been much better. We did not make a proper use of last winter, neither could we, while we were in a dependent state. However, the fault, if it were one, was all our own*; we have none to blame but ourselves. But no great deal is lost yet. All that Howe has been doing for this month past, is rather a ravage than a conquest, which the spirit of the Jerseys, a year ago, would have quickly repulsed, and which time and a little resolution will soon recoverÝ

Thu, 18 Dec 2008 10:32:23
On this date in 1777 the first U.S. thanksgiving holiday was held, declared by Congress to celebrate the capture of the British army at Saratoga, which convinced France to enter the war on the side of the rebellion; in 1890 the owner of a buckboard shipping line between Elko and Pioche announced that he would no longer accept intoxicated passengers; in 1931 Nevada Governor Fred Balzar was among westerners suing the Latham Square Corporation for fraud and misappropriation of investor funds; in 1944 in Korematsu v. United States the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the „guilt‰ of U.S. citizen Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu for the crime of living in his home, thus upholding the validity of Franklin Roosevelt‚s Executive Order 9066 providing for imprisonment of U.S. citizens without due process (Korematsu filed a friend of the court brief this year on behalf of a U.S. citizen, Yaser Hamdi, held by the Bush administration for two years without due process); in 1944 Nevada presidential electors˜Ed W. Clark, Frances Friedhoff, A.W. Hesson˜met in Carson City to cast the state‚s three electoral votes for Franklin Roosevelt; in 1953 faced with growing scrutiny from scientists and law enforcement, L. Ron Hubbard converted his „Dianetics‰ mental health teachings into a religion by incorporating his operation as a church; in 1961 „The Lion Sleeps Tonight‰ by the Tokens hit number one and „The Twist‰ by Chubby Checker (at number four) broke the record for longest period on the Billboard Hot 100 record chart by hitting its 23d week; in 1971 Jesse Jackson started Operation PUSH to seek economic empowerment for low income people; in 1972 President Nixon ordered the Christmas bombing during which over eleven days (excluding Christmas day) three thousand sorties dropped 40,000 tons of bombs on the heavily populated area from Hanoi to Haiphong, the heaviest bombing of the war resulting in the loss of 26 aircraft and 93 pilots and crew members (only 31 survived to be captured), while inflicting relatively light casualties on Vietnam (though Bach Mai hospital was destroyed) and drawing condemnation from around the world˜and then Nixon accepted essentially the same peace agreement he was offered before he began the bombing; in 1997 during episode 10 in the ninth season of Seinfeld, a new holiday called Festivus was born in reaction to the annoyances of the holiday season (while creation of the holiday was on December 18, Festivus itself falls on December 23d); in 2000 George Bush received his last four electoral votes of the day from Nevada (whose electors voted later in the day than any other Bush state) putting him over the top, with one vote over the necessary 270.

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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


November 26 2006/Washington Post :
Have Yourself a Merry Little Festivus
by Sue Kovach Shuman

Have your Festivus pole ready?

On Dec. 18, 1997, the mistletoe-less alternative to the holidays was unleashed upon an unsuspecting public in a "Seinfeld" episode titled "The Strike." Somehow, it stuck. Today many celebrate Festivus, basically whenever they want to. The recent racist outburst by Michael Richards (Kramer) and its attendant uproar apparently haven't affected the faux fete.

It's a Festivus miracle!

During the episode, Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller) relates that the holiday -- replete with "feats of strength" and the "airing of grievances" -- was born after his Christmas Eve tug of war with another man over the last doll in a department store. "As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way," he says. The doll? "It was destroyed. But out of that, a new holiday was born."

Reached by phone a few weeks ago, Stiller -- Father Festivus to the faithful -- said a stranger stopped him recently to ask if he's getting ready for Festivus. "I'd like to put a clamp on all this stuff," he said, "the commercialization that takes over our lives and makes us feel guilty." Sounds just like his fictional character, though he has no party planned (he does own a six-inch Festivus pole, however).

THE BACK STORY: Seinfeld writer Daniel O'Keefe, author of The Real Festivus (Penguin Books, $12.95), said his father -- who "was disillusioned by the commercialization of Christmas" -- started it, and he adapted it. Initially, O'Keefe said, "Festivus was a celebration of my parents' first date."

"The real holiday was a floating holiday," O'Keefe said, adding that the kids would come home from school to find odd ethnic music playing. There was always a clock in a bag, though O'Keefe said he never figured out the significance. After the three boys wrestled and Dad recited odd poems, joke gifts would be exchanged. Ý

WHERE TO CELEBRATE: Here's a sampling of Festivus events from coast to coast. The Richards controversy notwithstanding, events were still scheduled to go forward at press time.

* Washington. On Dec. 21 from 8 p.m. until closing, Tonic Restaurant Bar & Grill (3155 Mount Pleasant St., 202-986-7661) patrons will be invited to air their grievances -- "Hopefully after a few [$2] Festivus shooters," says co-owner Jeremy Pollok -- around a Festivus pole.

* New York. Guests can sample the chocolate salami pole and nail-impaled shrimp in the party room at the Pink Pony (178 Ludlow St., 212-253-1922) on Dec. 7 at 8 p.m., but the main event is the first-ever Festivus-Chrismukkah smack-down.

Allen Salkin, author of Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us (Warner Books, $14.95), told us he's been bodybuilding to wrestle Gersh Kuntzman, author of Chrismukkah: The Official Guide to the World's Most-Beloved Holiday (Sasquatch Books, $14.95). For the uninitiated, Chrismukkah is a mix of Christmas and Hanukkah traditions.

Says Kuntzman: "My body will be slicked down with olive oil, a Chrismukkah tradition."

* Springfield, Ill. Wade Ebert says he's celebrated Festivus the past 14 years because it's "whatever the heck you want to make it." Though his party started as a semiprivate affair for friends, last year's fundraiser at a Hilton attracted 700. (The mechanical bulls and inflatable Sumo wrestling suits for the feats of strength got a little out of hand, he says.)

This year, he expects about 400 participants Dec. 23 at his 8 p.m. bash at the Capital City Bar & Grill (3149 S. Dirksen Pkwy., 217-529-8580). Tickets are $6. For more info, call Ebert at 217-280-0790.

* New Orleans. Gifts aren't a big part of Festivus, but the fourth annual Festivus market has a twist: a re-gifting booth -- bring something you hate, take what you like. Then attach your grievances to the pole at the "Office of Homeland Serenity." Shoppers can check out the creations of 40 thrifty artisans on Dec. 3, 10 and 17 from noon to 4 p.m. at 700 Magazine St. (William B. Reily parking lot). Info: 504-861-5898, http://www.festivusmarket.org/.

* Okemah, Okla. At the Festivus celebration Dec. 16 at Grape Ranch (Interstate 40, 918-623-2250), the feats of strength could be unique. "We have the only two regulation boccie courts in Oklahoma," says winery co-owner Jack Whiteman.

The free party begins at noon on the ranch/vineyard, and the "red-dirt" music (an Oklahoma-Texas blend of Southern rock, country, folk and honky-tonk) should warm things up in Woody Guthrie's home town. "In December it could be 75 degrees or 20 degrees," Whiteman says.

Grape Ranch is the home of the Festivus wine label, which features a longhorn skull, partly fashioned in grapes, atop an aluminum pole. Info: http://www.graperanch.com/ or http://www.festivuswine.com/.

* Adair, Ore. The Festivus Sixth Annual Disc Golf Tournament starts at noon Jan. 27 at Adair County Park, an hour from the coast. In disc golf -- "Folf" in Seinfeld lingo, tournament director Greg Johnson reminds us -- metal baskets are mounted on galvanized steel poles. As in ball-and-club golf, the idea is to get the disc into the basket with as few throws as possible.

The Willamette Disc Golf Club will provide chili and suds from local Calapooia Brewing Co., and warmer-uppers may be welcome: "It's common to have rain in January, but it doesn't snow often," Johnson says. "It could be in the 30s to the 50s."

Registration is required; the tournament is limited to 88 players. Entry fees range from $20 for a recreational player to $35 for a professional one (some people take Folf very seriously). Register at http://www.titledisc.com/ (it should be set up by mid-December). For more info, contact Johnson at discgolfgreg@yahoo.com or 541-760-2372.

INFORMATION: Go to http://www.festivusbook.com/ for a Festivus primer and http://www.seinfeld-fan.net/ for trivia and video clips.

November 26, 2006/Washington Post:
Do-It-Yourself Festivus

Those who follow "Seinfeld" orthodoxy say four things are mandatory for Festivus.

1. A pole. Be sure it's aluminum and undecorated. As Frank Costanza said, "I find tinsel distracting."

The Wagner Cos. in Milwaukee (888-243-6914, http://www.festivuspoles.com) makes a six-foot floor model ($38) and a tabletop one ($30), with collapsible bases. Spokesman Tony Leto, who went to Queens College with Jerry Seinfeld, says last year 500 were sold. "We did this very much on a lark," he says. "We have a lot of fun with it."

2. Dinner (and comfort food at that). Load up on frozen meatballs, spaghetti and no-brand calorific snacks. One carb-lovers' buffet suggested by a Festivusbook.com (http://www.festivusbook.com) blogger included stuffing, boxed macaroni and cheese, instant mashed potatoes with canned gravy and white bread with margarine.

3. The airing of grievances. During dinner, get what's bugging you off your chest. On "Seinfeld," Frank listed the ways he'd been disappointed by family and friends. Each participant takes a turn. Krista Soroka of Tampa, who hosts an annual Festivus party, says her grievances have included the New York Yankees, bad customer service, poker on ESPN . . . yada yada yada. You get the idea.

4. Feats of strength. The head of the household (or host) tests his or her strength against another friend or family member's. Think Hula-Hoop contests and wrestling matches (thumb wrestling for the less physically inclined). Forget politeness: Festivus isn't over until the honcho goes down or gets pinned.

Wed, 17 Dec 2008 00:32:41

Dr. Gordon Sato: I thought, If they can build an atomic bomb and call it the Manhattan Project, maybe I can help stop famine and call it the Manzanar Project.

On this date in 1777 the colonial rebel army established itself at Valley Forge where it spent a warmer-than-average winter, pillaged and stole from neighboring farms at George Washington‚s order, and deserted at a rate of eight to ten per day because of the unwillingness of Congress and state governments to keep the army supplied (the story was later rewritten to make a bitterly cold winter the cause of soldier discontent and to portray the soldiers as stoics); in 1907 former Michigan judge Orrin Hilton argued before the Supreme Court of Nevada for a new trial for labor leaders Morris Preston and Joseph Smith, framed for murder by mine owner George Wingfield; in 1918 the Ely Daily Times reported that a federal judge had made permanent his October 26 temporary injunction ordering county defense councils and the Nevada Defense Council not to try to enforce the councils‚ previously announced policy of labeling newsdealers who sold Hearst publications as disloyal; in 1927 Gordon Hisashi Sato, founder of the Manzanar Project which employs simple principles and simple technology to solve hunger, poverty and pollution around the world and co-inventor of an anti-cancer drug whose earnings held fund the Project, was born in Los Angeles (the Project was named for the Manzanar concentration camp where Sato and his family were imprisoned); in 1941 German Christian church leaders of Saxony, Nassau-Hesse, Mecklenburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Anhalt, Thuringia, and Lubeck gave their approval to the „severest measures‰ against the Jews; in 1944 a U.S. B-24 bomber piloted by Lt. George McGovern blew out a tire as it was taking off on a mission that targeted an oil refinery in Germany, and McGovern completed the mission and then made a safe landing on the left and nose wheels, sliding to a stop after a quarter-turn, all aboard alive; in 1954 the 75,000 member Navajo tribe in Arizona held its first elections administered by the tribe itself instead of by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs; in 1954 plans were announced for a plaque memorializing men held in slavery and forced to operate a mine at the southern sympathizer mining camp of Rough and Ready in Nevada County, California in the 1850s; in 1974 a month after winning a union election at the Desert Inn, the Brotherhood of Railway and Airline Clerks Local 3061 filed an application seeking a representation election for 165 casino employees of the Landmark Hotel (owned by Howard Hughes); in 1979 in an innovative experiment, the CBS program Lou Grant broadcast an episode in which Grant‚s reporters tried to solve an old Hollywood murder, and the program was taped in the style of a film noir mystery, with lazy jazz themes, tough talking narrator, and even some once-popular Hollywood stars like Laraine Day and Margaret Hamilton (a similar program was later produced for Moonlighting); in 1982 eight days before Christmas, the Mapes Hotel Casino in Reno unexpectedly shut down, never to reopen, throwing 500 people out of work; in 2008 there are 34 days remaining until the next presidential inauguration.

Tue, 16 Dec 2008 07:28:21
On this date in 1653 Oliver Cromwell abolished the republican commonwealth and installed himself as dictator of England, Scotland, and Ireland; in 1773 Bostonians dressed as Native Americans threw tea into Boston bay to protest taxes on tea being too low and to demand that they be raised; in 1919 amid the worldwide influenza epidemic, Nevada Lieutenant Governor and Adjutant General Maurice Sullivan announced that the Pacific Coast division of the Red Cross had informed Nevada that the severity of the pandemic elsewhere had eased enough that it could send nurses to Nevada communities that needed them; in 1924 the Oxford University and University of Nevada debating teams debated „Resolved, that this house is opposed to the principle of prohibition‰, and the Nevada team won by an audience majority with 60 percent of the vote; in 1934 police and federal officials conducted a series of raids in Chicago, apparently trying to mop up remaining members of the Dillinger gang, and bagged an alleged gang member named Joseph Burns but failed to locate John Hamilton and Joseph Fox (Hamilton had actually died in April); in 1942 Himmler ordered the deportation of Gypsies and part-Gypsies to Auschwitz-Birkenau (after the war Germany waited until after most gypsies had died to agree to pay reparations); in 1944 the U.S. Office of Price Administration said Las Vegas was facing a butter shortage because of „the peculiar geographic and industrial situation‰ of Las Vegas and complications related to wartime rationing; in 1944 Nevada went $310,000 over its $11 million quota on the last day of the sixth war loan drive (Wilbur Clark‚s El Rancho Vegas bought $50,000 on the last day); in 1944 rumors that a bearded man at the Last Frontier was a Hollywood actor˜perhaps Monty Wooley˜were settled when it was learned he was Frank Morgan, the Wizard of Oz; in 1950 President Truman declared a state of emergency in the United States, claiming a threat from „communist imperialism‰; in 1957 lawyers for rank and file Teamsters who were suing to prevent union president-elect Jimmy Hoffa from being seated said they would call AFL CIO President George Meany as a witness; in 1976 television producer Dick Manoogian told the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors authority that it would have to come up with at least half the needed $319,000 to broadcast eleven University of Nevada-Las Vegas home basketball games in Los Angeles; in 1998 on the eve of his impeachment vote in the House of Representatives, President Clinton said he was ordering bombing strikes against Iraq because, he claimed, Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction˜„nuclear arms, poison gas, or biological weapons‰˜causing U.N. arms inspectors to flee Iraq because of the Clinton attacks (George Bush later lied about it as part of his campaign for war: „This is a regime that agreed to international inspections˜then kicked out the inspectors.‰).

Nevada State Journal/Saturday December 16 1905: SINKING FOR A LOST METEOR
Something indeed Novel in the History of Mining in the Western Districts

What is undoubtedly one of the most unique mining undertakings in the country is under way in Northern Arizona, with promise of being successful. The Standard Iron Company of New York, is sinking a shaft six miles south of Diablo station, on the Santa Fe railroad, close to Canyon Diablo, for the purpose of recovering and smelting a gigantic meteor which struck the earth many years ago, probably in the prehistoric period. The meteor tore a hole in the earth 600 feet deep and fragments of it are scattered all over the surrounding country. The fragments have been analyzed and are found to be pure iron, running high in silver and gold. Many pieces are large as a box car have been found and the returns at the smelter have been very high. The Standard Iron Company begun working to locate the meteor about a year ago and a shaft from the bottom of the great hole which it knocked in the surface of the earth has already been sunk to a depth of 400 feet, making a total of 1000 feet the company has gone into the earth. >From the pieces of the meteor found on the surface the prospectors have realized a goodly sum in days gone by. At one time the Indians made a good living bringing these fragments into the traders, who paid them $100 a ton for all they brought. Even at this price and in the days when there were no railroads they shipped it to smelters on burros and made money out of the transaction.

Mon, 15 Dec 2008 07:38:05

Ku Klu Klan spokesperson W. M. Cortney/Ely, Nevada/December 15 1924:
The Klan has a membership of better than 3,000 in the state and the organization has made good headway in White Pine County. It is our aim to make the membership 10,000 before August 1st. The organization is not anti to any one church, color, race, creed, or people but is being built upon love towards our fellow man and not hate. This organization has or never will take the laws of the land into their hands but will support and help the duly authorized officers of the law in the proper performance of their legal duties. It is our aim to make White Pine County, in proportion to its population, one of the best Klan counties in the state of Nevada. This organization is absolutely not a political organization. We go down the line regardless of political affiliation and stand first, last, and all the time for clean politics. Organizing of the women in White Pine County as an auxiliary to the K.K.K. is well under way and we look for strong support in this direction.

On this date in 1865, the officers and men of Company B of the First Nevada Volunteer Infantry were mustered out of service at Fort Ruby, Nevada; in 1873 a second Boston Tea Party, led by feminist Lucy Stone, was held in support of voting rights for women; in 1890 Sitting Bull was killed by Indian police sent by the Army to arrest him; in 1924 four federal alcohol prohibition agents were sentenced in Kansas City to prison for extortion and conspiracy to violate the prohibition law; in 1924 someone identified as „Dr. Polly‰ and „imperial representative‰ W.M. Cortney addressed a Ku Klux Klan meeting in Ely, Nevada; in 1934 plans were being made for a sea wall on the Truckee River in front of the Reno post office; in 1939 ground was broken for the Jefferson Memorial; in 1941 Culinary Workers and Bartenders Union Local 179 in Tonopah purchased a $1,000 national defense bond; in 1944 a call was put out for „all girls and young married women‰ to volunteer to be partners at a December 19 dance at Reno Army Air Base; in 1945 Douglas MacArthur, military commander of Japan, issued a document entitled „Abolition of Governmental Sponsorship, Support, Perpetuation, Control, and Dissemination of State Shinto‰, abolishing Shinto as the state religion; in 1957 Las Vegas City Manager A.H. Kennedy said he would soon reveal his conclusions about a dispute between a casino using the name Fortune Club and another casino that wanted to call itself the Fortune Club; in 1961 a U.S. Geological Survey report said that overuse of water in Las Vegas was so great that water levels and artesian pressures had fallen as much as 100 feet in some areas of the valley since 1906 when development of ground water began; in 1962 The First Family, a comedy album of skits about the Kennedy family and the fastest selling album in recording history, hit number one on the Billboard monoraul album chart and stayed there for twelve weeks; in 1969 Italian anarchist leader Giuseppe Pinelli was thrown or fell from a fourth floor window while being held illegally in Milan police headquarters; in 1994 Netscape Navigator was released; in 1998 after a U.S. spy was discovered on the United Nations arms inspection team in Iraq and it became known that President Clinton was about to bomb Iraq in the midst of his impeachment trial, the arms inspectors fled the country (on January 29 2002, George Bush lied to Congress and the nation in his state of the union speech about how the inspectors left Iraq: „This [Iraq] is a regime that agreed to international inspections, then kicked out the inspectors‰˜and the U.S. press failed to expose his lie, though the details were well known); in 1998 on the same day the inspectors fled Iraq, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan repudiated the Clinton administration‚s policy of trying to overthrow the Iraqi government and said the U.N. would lift sanctions against Iraq as soon as arms inspectors were able to confirm the findings of early inspections that Iraq had disarmed; in
2001 Al Jazeera journalist Sami al-Hajj was kidnapped by U.S. forces in Pakistan while working on a legitimate visa and sent to Guantanamo Bay (prompting the kidnapping by Islamic forces of BBC journalist Alan Johnston) where Sami was held without charges or trial, was the only journalist among prisoners, and lost 55 pounds after beginning a hunger strike on January 7 2007 (he was released on May 1 2008 without ever being charged with anything and was flown to Sudan and hospitalized); in 2007 at climate talks in Bali, the United States was humiliated by criticism from other nations, including allies, for its unwillingness to deal with global warming, with Papua New Guinea representative Kevin Conrad telling U.S. representatives to „either lead, follow or get out of the way‰.

Sun, 14 Dec 2008 09:43:09

On this date in 1875 the Elko Post reported that Elko had a population of 876, largest community in Elko County, followed by Cornucopia (near Tuscarora) with 452; in 1899 the Carson City News reported, „Work on the electric light plant at Empire is progressing rapidly. The Company has been furnishing light to Oakland now for several nights and it is most satisfactory.‰; in 1918 Nevada Governor Grant Sawyer (1959-1967) was born in Twin Falls; in 1931 the U.S. Senate was locked in an unusual contest for president pro tempore, with Democrats voting solidly for Senator Key Pittman of Nevada and Republican regulars and insurgents split, with no one able to command a majority; in 1943 the Sparks city clerk and members of the city council were investigating why there was no place to sit in the Reno depot for the intercity bus line; in 1959 „Heartaches by the Number‰ by Guy Mitchell hit number one on the Billboard magazine chart; in 1960 the U.S. Catholic Bishops Committee accused Hollywood of making „a bold departure from previously accepted moral standards‰ in its movies and the American Legion called on theatre owners not to book Spartacus, calling on „good Americans‰ not to patronize the movie because the Legion disagreed with scriptwriter Dalton Trumbo‚s opinions (John and Robert Kennedy crossed a Legion picket line to attend the film); in 1966 a three day meeting of Native American leaders from Nevada, Utah, South Dakota, California, and Arizona held to discuss grievances with U.S. Indian Commissioner Robert Bennett and U.S. Representative Ben Reifel of South Dakota (a Sioux), ended in hostility with few issues settled; in 1967 Raymond Stone of Reno died in Tay Ninh province, Vietnam (panel 31E, row 94 of the Vietnam war); in 1984 Francis Ford Coppola‚s The Cotton Club, financed by Fred and Ed Doumani of Las Vegas, was released; in 2006 Monica Lewinsky graduated from the social psychology program at the renowned London School of Economics (her master‚s thesis was In Search of the Impartial Juror: An exploration of the third person effect and pre-trial publicity).

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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


Sat, 13 Dec 2008 20:53:39

On this date in 1888 J.B. Francis, owner of the Weiland Bottling Works in Reno sold out to owners of a Battle Mountain brewery and the new owners, named Blossom and Cohoon, were planning to extend the Weiland operation to Elko and move their Battle Mountain works to Winnemucca; in 1919 officials decided that Nevada road signs advertising Canadian Club, Schlitz, Annie Busch, Old Crow and such products would have to be removed because the new state alcohol prohibition law enacted by voters „makes it unlawful for such offensive information to be displayed in public‰; in 1934 Southern Pacific district freight and passenger agent H.E. Ish announced in Reno that all rolling stock operating in Nevada was expected to be air conditioned no later than May 15 1935; in 1942 eleven months after Pearl Harbor and two and a half years before the end of the European war, Edward R. Murrow of CBS reported: „One of the nice things about talking from London on Sunday night is that one can sit down, review the events of the week, study the reports coming in from all over the world, and then talk about whatever seems interestingÝOne is almost stunned into silence by some of the information reaching London. Some of it is months old, but it‚s eyewitness stuff supported by a wealth of detail and vouched for by responsible governments. What is happening is this: Millions of human beings, most of them Jews, are being gathered up with ruthless efficiency and murdered. Ý It is a picture of mass murder and moral depravity unequaled in the history of the world. It is a horror beyond what imagination can grasp. The Jews are being systematically exterminated throughout all Poland.‰ (during the First World War, allied officials had invented all kinds of atrocities and attributed them to the Germans, with the result that during the Second World War such reports were not believed); in 1954 in a Galveston hospital, Alabama Attorney General Silas Garrett was arrested for first degree murder in his bed on a warrant issued by Russell County, Alabama, reportedly for the murder of Albert Patterson, who defeated Garrett for reelection and was subsequently murdered in corruption-ridden Phenix City (events dramatized in the Allied Artists movie The Phenix City Story); in 1980 twelve year old Molly Ringwald sang with the Great Pacific Jazz Band at a concert showcasing jazz, ragtime, and dixieland produced by her father Bob Ringwald at California State University at Northridge; in 2001 without seeking approval of Congress, which had approved the treaty, George Bush announced that the United States was pulling out of the Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty so he could pursue a star wars missile defense system.

Fri, 12 Dec 2008 08:45:26

Columnist Jack Mann/December 12 1993:
The really dumb non-sequiturs of the second half of this century are routinely attributed to Yogi Berra, who never actually had much to say. They are largely attributed (and often coined) by columnists and television sportscasters who weren't around when Yogi wasn't saying them.

On this date in 1870 a Nevada news report revealed the arrogance of large powers during the era of „the great game‰: „There is a rumor that Bismark favors giving England the protectorate over the Suez canal, in consideration that England shall permit Russia to do as she pleases with Turkey.‰; in 1911 the Exempt Fireman‚s Association of Virginia City, formed on November 26 1876 with a membership of 150, held its first meeting since 1900 and only six members attended; in 1932 operators of the Depression-troubled Reno Golf and Country Club said they would ask the city council to take it over, operate it, and enlarge it with a $75,000 loan from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (a Hoover administration economic recovery agency); in 1934 a UNR student body vote scheduled to be taken on this day on whether to retain head football coach Clifford Mitchell was cancelled by the student government on the grounds that it was „unconstitutional‰; in 1938 still trying to make the separate-but-equal doctrine in Plessy vs. Ferguson work, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Missouri ex rel. Gaines vs. Canada that Missouri could not send African American students out of state for a law school education that whites could obtain within the state; in 1943 Reno‚s Junior Chamber of Commerce asked the public to report their neighbors (to the Junior Chamber) who spread „Axis-aiding‰ rumors; in 1957 in Portland, Oregon, disk jockey Al Priddy was fired by station manager Mel Bailey for playing Elvis‚s version of „White Christmas‰ which Bailey said „is not in the good taste we ascribe to Christmas music. Presley gives it a rhythm and blues interpretation. It doesn't seem to me to be in keeping with the intent of the song.‰ (Irving Berlin had personally been writing to radio stations asking them not to play the recording); in 1969 a 1,350-person Philippine force sent to Vietnam in 1966 (entirely paid for by the U.S.) as part of Lyndon Johnson‚s effort to make his war seem like a multi-national cause, was withdrawn over an eight-day period; in 1977 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judge J. Blaine Anderson ruled that the Pyramid Lake tribe was bound by decisions made by whites on its water rights, including the 1902 National Reclamation Act that diverted huge amounts of water and lowered the level of Pyramid Lake significantly, because Congress considered reclamation (conversion of desert land to farmland through water transfers and irrigation) to be of „overriding national importance‰.

Thu, 11 Dec 2008 08:11:07

On this date in 1884 reporting on Native Americans who escaped from Yakima, Washington, the Silver State newspaper in Winnemucca observed that in the aftermath of the Bannock war, peaceful Paiutes were treated like hostile Paiutes and removed to Yakima, then promised they could return to Nevada, a promise not kept, and that most of a congressional appropriation for them administered by whites was unaccounted for, and that a cavalry inspection of the Pyramid Lake reservation resulted in a claim that there was no suitable place for them there; in 1884 the Territorial Enterprise expressed apprehension that the Nevada Legislature might meet for the entire sixty days allowed; in 1912 U.S. Representative Seaborn Roddenbery, a Democrat, introduced a measure to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban interracial marriage: „No more voracious parasite ever sucked at the heart of pure society, innocent girlhood, or Caucasian motherhood than the one which welcomes and recognizes the sacred ties of wedlock between Africa and America.‰; in 1919 the town of Enterprise, Alabama dedicated a monument to the boll weevil, the insect that destroyed local cotton fields, forcing residents to turn to peanut farming which proved to be much more lucrative and successful; in 1936 Gardnerville attorney George Montrose, former printer of the Masonic Pioneer of Masonic, California, donated a hundred-year-old Washington hand printing press to the University of Nevada student press club; in 1939 Senator Tom Hayden was born in Detroit; in 1943 Oliver Pratt was named chair of the price committee of Carson City‚s war price and rationing board; in 1944 Booker T. Jones (Booker T and the MGs) was born in Memphis and Brenda Lee was born in Lithonia, Georgia; in 1961 „Please Mr. Postman‰ by the Marvellettes hit number one on the Billboard magazine chart (when the Carpenters recorded it in 1975, it became one of six songs in rock and roll history to be number one in recordings by different artists ); in 1966 the Nevada State Journal reported that it would join the practice agreed on the previous day by the competing wire services, Associated Press and United Press International, to drop the use of Viet Nam in favor of Vietnam in news stories, the change to take effect on December 12; in 1971 „Anticipation‰ by Carly Simon was released; in 1998 the Yellow Pages Publishers Association abandoned one of the nation‚s best known sets of advertising symbols˜the walking fingers and the slogan „Let your fingers do the walking‰˜in favor of a light bulb and the slogan „Get an idea‰.

Wed, 10 Dec 2008 00:46:22

On this date in 1824 Scottish author George McDonald, whose work inspired C.S Lewis, was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland (Lewis: „I have never concealed the fact that I regarded him as my master; indeed I fancy I have never written a book in which I did not quote from him.‰); in 1874 one day after U.S. Representative George McCrary of Iowa introduced the expected legislation to extinguish Sioux title to the gold-rich Black Hills, the Nevada State Journal came out in opposition to the measure; in 1898 under a treaty ending the Spanish American war, the United States purchased the Philippines (which it had earlier pledged to free from colonialism) for $20 million to be a U.S. colony; in 1934 agricultural officials announced that another three thousand head of distressed cattle would be purchased from Nevada ranchers who could show they lacked enough feed to provide for their herds through the winter (the purchases would cost about $47,800, bringing the purchases of distressed cattle in Nevada to $801,000); in 1946 Washington Senators pitching great Walter Johnson, son in law of former Reno mayor and Nevada U.S. representative Edwin Roberts, died while still holding the records for shutout victories (110), consecutive scoreless innings (56), and strikouts (3,508); in 1953 the Nevada Board of Regents voted unanimously to bar communists from employment at the university on the ground that „a member of the Communist Party is not free to teach the truth‰ and also approved a statement for faculty members (and the regents themselves) to sign saying that „I am not a member of the Communist Party or affiliated with such party‰; in 1965 at the Fillmore in San Francisco, the Grateful Dead played a benefit for the San Francisco Mime Troupe; in 1967 a plane carrying Otis Redding and the Bar Kays crashed into Lake Monono in Wisconsin, killing the passengers (Redding‚s hit „Dock of the Bay‰, which he wrote after being inspired by Sgt. Pepper and on which he was backed up by Booker T and the MGs, was released after his death); in 1984 Desmond Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize; in 2007 Led Zeppelin held its first full concert in 27 years at the O2 arena in London (Jason Bonham replaced his father John, who died in 1980).

Tue, 9 Dec 2008 08:18:27

P.B.S. Pinchback, war hero, state senator, lieutenant governor, and acting governor of Louisiana: I am groping about through this American forest of prejudice and proscription, determined to find some form of civilization where all men will be accepted for what they are worth.

On this date in 1775 seven months before independence was declared, colonial rebels defeated a British force (made up mostly of the former slaves of the rebels) near Norfolk, the first battle of the revolution that led to an evacuation of British from Virginia and shifted control of the colony to the residents; in 1843 the first holiday card (idea by Henry Cole, design by John Collcott Horsley) went on sale in London; in 1872 Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Pickney Benton Stewart Pinchback, son of a slave and her owner, became acting governor, the first African American to serve as chief executive of a state (he was grandfather of Harlem Renaissance poet and novelist Jean Toomer); in 1885 the Territorial Enterprise reported that tobacco grown on the Truckee River ranch of George Alt in Glendale had been sent to Virginia City, and that the plant also grew wild all over Nevada˜„on the plains, in the ravines and on the mountain sides among the sagebrush, naturally without any artificial irrigationÝ It may yet prove to be an important and lucrative industry among the undeveloped resources of Nevada‰; in 1918 a Nevada serviceperson who was given a pass from Camp Lewis (where many Nevadans returned from World War One were stationed pending discharge) to see his ailing wife in Denio, where she had gone to nurse victims of the influenza pandemic, got as far as Willow Point when he learned she had already died; in 1926 Daniel Goodman, who was saving money so he could afford the evening clothes he needed to go see his son Benny play with Ben Pollack‚s orchestra at Chicago‚s Southmoor Hotel, was hit by a car and killed; in 1933 Nevada State Museum archeology associate Margaret Wheat spoke to the Nevada Homemakers Club in Reno on Paiute culture (Wheat‚s 1967 book Survival Arts of the Primitive Paiutes later became the all-time best seller of the University of Nevada Press); in 1935 President Roosevelt denounced „depression profiteers‰ in a Chicago speech, then traveled to Notre Dame in Indiana to receive an honorary degree where he discussed the U.S. colony of the Philippines; in 1942 the U.S. government launched a germ warfare program that continued operating for three decades after World War Two and continued; in
(The Living Weapon, a documentary by John Rubin); in 1943 at a Sparks Fire Department banquet, Harry Foote suggested the city celebrate its 40th anniversary, and the suggestion was immediately endorsed by Mayor Daniel Fodrin and other city leaders; in 1953 a growing number of state legislators were calling for a special session of the Nevada Legislature to deal with the school crisis created by the baby boom; in 1965 the Nevada State Journal denounced citizen efforts to increase casino taxes in the state; in 1970 Pat Hart, the popular owner of Virginia City's Brass Rail Saloon and landlord of Dutch Myers‚s one-day-a-week barber shop, was killed in a car wreck between Carson City and the Comstock; in 1970 Pyramid Lake Tribal Council chair James Vidovich and the tribe‚s attorney charged that Derby Dam was built across reservation land and that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation had failed to produce any proof of an easement or other legal authority to build there (the dam was constructed in 1903-05 to divert Truckee River water from Pyramid Lake, without the tribe‚s permission for the diversion); in 1996 in an essay in High Country News, ‚Asta Bowen denounced the decision by a New York Brewery to market „Original Crazy Horse Malt Liquor‰, named for the great chief who opposed the use of alcohol: „If this is legal, something is wrong with legal. Heroes are not mascots. No commercial enterprise, however free its speech, should have the right to exploit someone else‚s culture for profit - not without permission, and certainly not when representatives of the culture itself object. But our laws are designed to protect profits, not prophets. If you want respect, don‚t become a legend; just register your trademark.‰; in 2005 Carolyn Anne Olsen graduated from the University of Texas in Austin, after three and a half years of study, with two degrees in Spanish and journalism.

Mon, 8 Dec 2008 08:32:25

Harold Laski/The Nation/December 8 1945: Every nation prepares, through its government, to equip itself with the power to hurl death upon its fellow-nations. No people seeks that power; it is governments that seek it.

On this date in 1866 the Gold Hill Miners Union was formed; in 1886 the American Federation of Labor was founded; in 1893 the Nevada State Journal reprinted a report from the San Francisco Chronicle on the arrival of a group of Native Americans from Nevada in the bay area to be „exhibited‰ at a fair; in 1908 after running articles on the tawdry maneuverings by the Roosevelt administration in building the Panama canal, Pulitzer‚s New York World published a long editorial calling President Roosevelt a liar and demanding an accounting of $40 million appropriated by Congress for the canal project (on December 15 Roosevelt sent a message to Congress seeking prosecution of the World, which˜along with the Indianapolis News, which published a similar editorial˜was subsequently twice indicted for criminal libel, indictments which were thrown out or dismissed); in 1934 Gilbert Ross of the Nevada office of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (a New Deal agency) said his agency had work for jobless Native Americans in the state; in 1941 the new CBS television network broadcast the audio from President Roosevelt‚s „date of infamy‰ speech to Congress, using a U.S. flag (with an offscreen fan to make the flag flutter) as video; in 1944 Nevada Office of Price Administration official Frank Gorman said motorists had to present mileage rationing records to get their next gasoline rationing books; in 1963 Frank Sinatra Jr. was kidnapped from a motel at Lake Tahoe by Barry Keenan (later˜after a prison term˜a wealthy developer), Joe Amsler, and John Irwin (the kidnapping was the subject of the HBO movie Stealing Sinatra); in 1969 President Nixon lied at his news conference: „There are no American combat troops in Laos.‰; in 1973 trying to quiet public uproar over his use of massive public funds for improvements to his private home in San Clemente, President Nixon promised to leave the home to the people of the United States on his death (another lie˜after resigning, he sold the home and kept the money); in 1979 President Carter had a two minute telephone conversation from the White House with wealthy lawyer Jon Collins, former head of his Nevada campaign, in Las Vegas; in 2003 Newsweek (in an edition dated December 15) published a cover story that fed anti-trial lawyer sentiment without telling readers that the magazine itself was the target of lawsuits of the kind being denounced in the article and without telling readers that the principal source for the story, corporate lawyer Philip Howard, was a member of a law firm representing the magazine.

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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


Sun, 7 Dec 2008 00:08:38

President Ulysses Grant/message to Congress/December 7 1875: In a growing country, where real estate enhances so rapidly with time as in the United States, there is scarcely a limit to the weath that may be acquired by corporations, religious or otherwise, if allowed to retain real estate without taxation. The contemplation of so vast a property as here alluded to, without taxation, may lead to sequestration without constitutional authority, and through blood. I would suggest the taxation of all property equally, whether church or corporation.George Bush, asked whether he was in denial about Iraq/December 7 2006: It's bad in Iraq. Does that help?

On this date in 1787 a Delaware state convention ratified the proposed U.S. Constitution, the first state to do so (on an unusual unanimous vote, 30-0), giving it its future license plate slogan: The first state; in 1859 the Monroe Sentinel in Wisconsin reported, „A writer says the new silver mines east of Sierra Nevada in the Comstock vein since Sept. 1st, amount to $60,000. He says indications of other extensive silver veins appear, and the country around Carson Valley is destined to become one of the richest mineral regions in America.‰; in 1861 four days after President Lincoln recommended to Congress that U.S. blacks be shipped "back" to Africa or some other „place or places in a climate congenial to them‰, the New York Times said that such schemes assumed the willingness of other nations to accept the „absorption of four million black barbarians‰ and that a more gradual process would cause less disruption to the economy of the rebellious southern states (presumably when they reentered the union): „That there is anything Ý to prevent its fulfilling, in freedom, the same duties that are exacted from it in bondage, no unprejudiced mind will assertÝBesides, it is not necessary to assume an immediate leap to absolute freedom. There may be intermediate stages of serfage or apprenticeship.‰ (italics in the original); in 1935 by a vote of 381 to 61, Las Vegans approved a bond issue to build a grammar school; in 1941 six days after members of the House and Senate called for war against Japan (Las Vegas Review Journal/December 2d: „U.S. Solons Threaten War On Japan‰), Japan struck first, at Pearl Harbor, one of a number of Japanese attacks in the Pacific, with others occurring at Guam, Hong Kong, Malaya, Midway Atoll, the Philippines, and Wake Island; in 1941 the Las Vegas Review Journal put out at least three special editions during the day, one of them reporting that several Las Vegans in the military were stationed in the war zone, such as Army Capt. C.D. Baker (later Las Vegas mayor and Nevada Democratic chair) who was at Canton Island; in 1941 Nicaragua, Canada, the Dutch East Indies, and Costa Rica declared war on Japan; in 1941 Doris Miller, serving on the USS West Virginia as a ship's cook (African Americans were restricted to such jobs) was collecting laundry when Pearl Harbor was attacked and he went topside and started carrying wounded sailors including the ship‚s captain to safety, then started firing a 50 mm machine gum˜which he had never before operated˜at the Japanese planes until the crew was ordered to abandon the badly damaged ship, for all of which he was awarded the Navy Cross though it was widely suspected that if he had been white he would have received the Medal of Honor (initial official reports did not identify him by name except as a Negro mess worker and there were major efforts in and out of Congress to give him the Medal of Honor; he was reported missing in action and presumed dead in the 1943 battle of Tarawa); in 1941 on the strength of a 1798 law, President Roosevelt issued three proclamations (2525, 2526 and 2527) branding German, Italian and Japanese nationals as enemy aliens, allowing Attorney General Francis Biddle to conduct arrest sweeps and to restrict travel and property ownership and to intern (by the end of the day the FBI had raided many homes and arrested hundreds); in 1941 Eleanor Roosevelt, who had a Sunday evening radio program, spoke to the nation (see below) before her husband, who addressed Congress on Monday; in 1941 Heber Brown, leader of the United Welders, Cutters, and Helpers union, cancelled an impending national strike because of Pearl Harbor and the U.S. Navy asked for press help in spreading the word of the cancellation; in 1941 U.S. Representative James Scrugham, former governor of Nevada who had just been elected to his fifth House term, was in Las Vegas conferring with officials of the Defense Plant Corporation and Basic Magnesium Inc. about defense housing when he heard that Pearl Harbor had been attacked, a large crowd gathered in Reno at the Nevada State Journal office to read posted bulletins, the Nevada manager of the Bell Telephone Company asked that long distance telephone calls be kept to a minimum because of the heavy load of traffic after the attack, the University of Nevada athletic board cancelled an impending trip to Hawaii by the football team for games with the University of Hawaii and Honolulu town teams, Reno police were at train and bus depots to tell servicepeople in transit that all leaves were cancelled, Reno Fire Chief George Twaddle announced plans to form an emergency volunteer fire brigade, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said all needed measures had been taken to protect Hoover Dam and that the highway across it might be closed, military police at Camp Siebert near the dam were under „wartime orders‰, the Newlands reclamation district was given permission to hire new guards to protect against sabotage, Governor Edward Carville said he would issue an order to any Japanese living in Nevada to report immediately to police and he and other officials announced plans to „place Nevada under complete surveillance‰, officials of the Southern Pacific Railroad said „measures have been taken to insure protection of every bridge, shop and important link in our lines in Nevada and California‰, increased security was thrown around the naval ammunition depot in Mineral County, Reno airport officials said they would strictly enforce the nationwide revocation of private pilots‚ licenses, the authority of amateur radio stations around the state and nation to operate were suspended, Civilian Conservation Corps camps in Nevada offered their services to local communities, and Reverend J. Winfield Scott of Fallon was waiting for word on the fate of his sons John and Rodney who were serving on the U.S.S. Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor (Charles Chaplin‚s anti-Hitler movie The Great Dictator happened to be playing at the Wigwam in Reno); in 1944 the Ely Rotary heard an explanation of the new G.I. Bill of Rights; in 1963 sports purists mourned when CBS introduced the instant replay (first used in the Army-Navy football game); in 2006 former Carter Center director Kenneth Stein charged, and the New York Times reported, that Jimmy Carter had plagiarized part of his new book Palestine/Peace Not Apartheid, an accusation that neither the Times or Stein ever substantiated; in 2006 U.S. Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon became the first Republican senator to break with George Bush on the Iraq war: "I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal. I cannot support that anymore. I believe we need to figure out how to fight the war on terror and to do it right. So either we clear and hold and build, or let's go home."

Eleanor Roosevelt/December 7 1941 / Pan American Coffee Bureau radio program: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, I am speaking to you tonight at a very serious moment in our history. The Cabinet is convening and the leaders in Congress are meeting with the President. The State Department and Army and Navy officials have been with the President all afternoon. In fact, the Japanese ambassador was talking to the president at the very time that Japan's airships were bombing our citizens in Hawaii and the Phillippines and sinking one of our transports loaded with lumber on its way to Hawaii.

By tomorrow morning the members of Congress will have a full report and be ready for action.

In the meantime, we the people are already prepared for action. For months now the knowledge that something of this kind might happen has been hanging over our heads and yet it seemed impossible to believe, impossible to drop the everyday things of life and feel that there was only one thing which was important - preparation to meet an enemy no matter where he struck. That is all over now and there is no more uncertainty.

We know what we have to face and we know that we are ready to face it.

I should like to say just a word to the women in the country tonight. I have a boy at sea on a destroyer, for all I know he may be on his way to the Pacific. Two of my children are in coast cities on the Pacific. Many of you all over the country have boys in the services who will now be called upon to go into action. You have friends and families in what has suddenly become a danger zone. You cannot escape anxiety. You cannot escape a clutch of fear at your heart and yet I hope that the certainty of what we have to meet will make you rise above these fears.

We must go about our daily business more determined than ever to do the ordinary things as well as we can and when we find a way to do anything more in our communities to help others, to build morale, to give a feeling of security, we must do it. Whatever is asked of us I am sure we can accomplish it. We are the free and unconquerable people of the United States of America.

To the young people of the nation, I must speak a word tonight. You are going to have a great opportunity. There will be high moments in which your strength and your ability will be tested. I have faith in you. I feel as though I was standing upon a rock and that rock is my faith in my fellow citizens.

[A short clip from the speech can be heard at http://www.presidentialtimeline.org/html/record.php?id=81

George Bush, asked whether he was in denial about Iraq / December 7, 2006: It's bad in Iraq. Does that help?

Sat, 6 Dec 2008 09:53:32 PST, 17:32 ZULU/GMT/SUT/CUT —

On this date in 345, Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, Lycia (Turkey), reportedly admired for his generosity and protection of the wronged (so that he became a model for Santa), died, or at any rate this is the traditional date on which his death is marked; in 1864 in his state of the union report, President Lincoln mentioned Nevada three times — as the newly admitted state, as part of the completed portion of the transcontinental railroad, and as a source of more bodies and resources if the war wore on; in 1881, President Arthur reported to Congress on the dispute between the cowboy faction and the Earp faction in Arizona Territory; in 1908, the Washington Post reported "The greatest evil with which Nevada has to contend at present is gambling"; in 1918 with the world war ended, the U.S. Department of War abolished torture and other brutal treatment of U.S. military prisoners (U.S. conscientious objectors had been manacled against prison walls and at least two religious objectors died in prison); in 1935, responding to a suggestion by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers offered a cash prize to the winner of a competition to replace The Sidewalks of New York as the city song (W.C. Handy said "I'm going right down to my office and get to work. The Sidewalks of New York is all right in its place, but it's still stamped as a political song."); in 1944, the U.S. Maritime Commission reported that a new U.S. ship to be named after Virginia City would be dedicated by Mildred Peope of Virginia City; in 1950, six tribes comprising the Northern Paiute Nation filed a petition with the U.S. Indian Claims Commission for lands in Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, and California taken from the Nation between 1865 and 1882 (the claims commission was formed by Congress in 1946 to retroactively purchase appropriated Native American lands after embarrassing postwar comparisons were made between the U.S. treatment of the tribes and Nazi treatment of the Jews and others); in 1963, Harold Gibbons, Teamsters president, Jimmy Hoffa's executive assistant, and four other Teamster officials resigned in protest against Hoffa's actions and statements after the assassination of President Kennedy; in 2002, Jack Harelson of Grants Pass, Oregon, was fined $2,500,000 for archaeological theft for his role in looting Elephant Mountain Cave, an ancient site on the Black Rock Desert north of Reno; in 2006, Megan McClung was killed at Ramadi, the 64th and highest ranking U.S. woman killed in Iraq.

Abraham Lincoln / state of the union report / December 6, 1864: The organization and admission of the State of Nevada has been completed in conformity with law, and thus our excellent system is firmly established in the mountains, which once seemed a barren and uninhabitable waste between the Atlantic States and those which have grown up on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The Territories of the Union are generally in a condition of prosperity and rapid growth. Idaho and Montana, by reason of their great distance and the interruption of communication with them by Indian hostilities, have been only partially organized; but it is understood that these difficulties are about to disappear, which will permit their governments, like those of the others, to go into speedy and full operation. As intimately connected with and promotive of this material growth of the nation, I ask the attention of Congress to the valuable information and important recommendations relating to the public lands, Indian affairs, the Pacific Railroad, and mineral discoveries contained in the report of the Secretary of the Interior which is herewith transmitted, and which report also embraces the subjects of patents, pensions, and other topics of public interest pertaining to his Department. ...

The great enterprise of connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific States by railways and telegraph lines has been entered upon with a vigor that gives assurance of success, notwithstanding the embarrassments arising from the prevailing high prices of materials and labor. The route of the main line of the road has been definitely located for 100 miles westward from the initial point at Omaha City, Nebr., and a preliminary location of the Pacific Railroad of California has been made from Sacramento eastward to the great bend of the Truckee River in Nevada. Numerous discoveries of gold, silver, and cinnabar mines have been added to the many heretofore known, and the country occupied by the Sierra Nevada and Rocky mountains and the subordinate ranges now teems with enterprising labor, which is richly remunerative. It is believed that the product of the mines of precious metals in that region has during the year reached, if not exceeded, one hundred millions in value. ...

The election has exhibited another tact not less valuable to be known--the fact that we do not approach exhaustion in the most important branch of national resources, that of living men. While it is melancholy to reflect that the war has filled so many graves and carried mourning to so many hearts, it is some relief to know that, compared with the surviving, the fallen have been so few. While corps and divisions and brigades and regiments have formed and fought and dwindled and gone out of existence, a great majority of the men who composed them are still living. The same is true of the naval service. The election returns prove this. So many voters could not else be found. The States regularly holding elections, both now and four years ago, to wit, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, east 3,982,011 votes now, against 3,870,222 cast then, showing an aggregate now of 3,982,011. To this is to be added 33,762 cast now in the new States of Kansas and Nevada, which States did not vote in 1860, thus swelling the aggregate to 4,015,773 and the net increase during the three years and a half of war to 145,551. A table is appended showing particulars. To this again should be added the number of all soldiers in the field from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Indiana, Illinois, and California, who by the laws of those States could not vote away from their homes, and which number can not be less than 90,000. Nor yet is this all. The number in organized Territories is triple now what it was four years ago, while thousands, white and black, join us as the national arms press back the insurgent lines. So much is shown, affirmatively and negatively, by the election. It is not material to inquire how the increase has been produced or to show that it would have been greater but for the war, which is probably true. The important fact remains demonstrated that we have more men now than we had when the war began; that we are not exhausted nor in process of exhaustion; that we are gaining strength and may if need be maintain the contest indefinitely. This as to men. Material resources are now more complete and abundant than ever. The national resources, then, are unexhausted, and, as we believe, inexhaustible. The public purpose to reestablish and maintain the national authority is unchanged, and, as we believe, unchangeable.

Fri, 5 Dec 2008 08:59:50

On this date in 1875, the Nevada State Journal carried an account of Major General John Pope's report to the war department on the number of Native Americans living in U.S. territory (not counting Alaska) which claimed that there were 100,000 "civilized" Indians, 180,000 "semi-civilized" Indians, and 81,000 "barbarous" Indians; in 1916, the anti-suffrage President Wilson, who began the 20th century practice of delivering the state of the union speech verbally before Congress, may have regretted that decision when, midway through this year's speech, a group of women hung a banner from the gallery: "Mr. President, what will you do for woman suffrage?"; in 1922, the Brotherhood of American Yeomen, a fraternal group that sold insurance, was forming a chapter in Winnemucca; in 1933, alcohol prohibition was repealed, tripping an astonishing free fall in the crime rate, including the steepest decline in the homicide rate in recorded history; in 1941, John Reid, early resident of the mining camp of Searchlight, died there at age 62; in 1955, the Congress of Industrial Organizations and American Federation of Labor merged and formed the AFL/CIO; in 1960, the G.I. Blues soundtrack hit number one on the Billboard album charts and stayed two weeks on the stereo chart and eight weeks on the monaural chart; in 1964, Don Robertson and Hal Blair's Ringo by Lorne Greene, a song about a gunfighter — presumably Johnny Ringo of Tombstone — appeared on Greene's album Welcome To The Ponderosa and became a hit because it was released amid Beatlemania, reaching number one on the Billboard chart; in 1973, the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas opened; in 2006 in Kensington, West London (according to the London Times) or South Kensington, London (London Guardian), £410,000 (Times) or £467,200 (Guardian) was paid at a Christie's auction for a simple black ankle length sleeveless dress with a 24-inch waist, slit to the thigh and slightly gathered at the waist which, when accessorized with pearls, a long cigarette holder, and a wide brimmed hat and filled with Audrey Hepburn getting out of a taxi in front of Tiffany's in New York, became a famous screen icon.

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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


NevadaLabor.com Exclusive
Thursday, 4 Dec 2008, 12:24 p.m. PST, 20:24 ZULU/GMT/SUT/CUT —

LIZ SORENSON (775) 322-9413

Communications Workers union wins election to represent 540 workers at St. Mary's Regional Medical Center

RENO – A wide range of employees at St. Mary's Regional Medical Center this week voted by a four-to-one margin to bargain as a group with Communications Workers of America Local 9413 as their union.

The election was held Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 2 and 3, at the downtown Reno facility.

"We began our organizing drive last year as workers began to see the potential benefits of collective bargaining," stated Local 9413 vice-president Liz Sorenson, who served as the union's lead organizer.

"We worked very closely with leaders and members of the California Nurses Association and are very appreciative of their support," Sorenson said.

This week's election covered a wide range of employees including certified nursing assistants, environmental services staff, food service personnel, monitor techs, phlebotomists, central supply and transport workers, emergency medical technicians, intake reps, orderlies, sterile techs and linen workers.

"I'm so excited to welcome the workers at St. Mary's into the Communications Workers of America family. I believe this election victory brings hope to the workers that positive changes can now be negotiated through the collective bargaining process. Making St. Mary's a better place for the workers makes it a better hospital for the patients and the community. We hope to begin negotiating a contract as soon as possible," Sorenson added.

The union will also immediately move forward with other St. Mary's bargaining units with the goal of having prompt elections.

The St. Mary's workers are the first to be included under the CWA health care sector in Nevada. The union represents health care workers in many other states.

Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO is the longest continuously operating labor organization in Nevada, beginning as the Washoe Typographical Union in the days of the Comstock Lode. It once counted Mark Twain among its members and now represents more than 5,000 Silver State workers including telecommunications (AT&T statewide, CC Communications in Fallon), Naval Air Station Fallon support staff, Clark County employees (school police, district court marshals, district attorney investigators, park rangers) and law enforcement personnel in Henderson and Elko.

UPDATE 7-17-2010Second St. Mary's bargaining union OK's contract.

Thu, 4 Dec 2008 00:06:13

On this date in 1619 between thirty and forty settlers from the English ship Margaret disembarked in Virginia on the north shore of the James River west of Jamestown and offered prayers of thanksgiving, the ship's owners telling the settlers that December 4 "shall be yearly and perpetually kept as a day of thanksgiving"; in 1872 the presidential electors for Nevada — John Mills, William Taylor, and James Haines — met in Carson City, cast their votes for Ulysses Grant for president and Henry Wilson for vice president, and delegated Mills to deliver their votes to Congress; in 1914 John Coble, one time employer of Wyoming outlaw Tom Horn, killed himself in the lobby of the Commercial Hotel in Elko, Nevada; in 1935 the Nevada Colorado River Commission reported to Governor Richard Kirman that if the state built transmission lines to supply power to western and northern Nevada, the cost of electricity to consumers would be reduced; in 1947 Nez Perce and Yakama tribe members met near Walla Walla to sign legal complaints against the violation of the 1855 treaty (signed on the same site) guaranteeing their salmon fishing rights that would be impeded by the construction of the McNary Dam on the Columbia River; in 1961 Duke of Earl by Gene Chandler was released; in 1969 Chicago police officers burst into a Black Panther apartment, firing more than 100 shots and shooting Panther leaders Mark Clark and Fred Hampton dead (an investigation later determined police had engaged in a coverup, manufactured evidence, and fired all but one of the shots); in 1971 during a Mothers of Invention concert at the Montreux Casino in Montreux, Switzerland, someone fired a flare gun into the ceiling, starting a fire which ultimately destroyed the entire casino, an incident that inspired the memorable Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple, whose members watched the fire from across Lake Geneva (Smoke On the Water, with its insistent, downbeat four-note melody harmonized in parallel fourths, was named number 426 on Rolling Stone's list of 500 greatest songs, number 37 on VH1's 40 greatest metal songs, and number 12 in Q magazine's 100 greatest guitar tracks, and there is a sculpture in Montreux commemorating the song; in 2002, High Hopes, an episode of the Steven Spielberg science fiction television series Taken, was set at Groom Lake in Nevada.

Wed, 3 Dec 2008 12:29:39

On this date in 1818, Illinois Territory, named for the Illinois tribal confederation of Algonquins, became a state; in 1898 the Nevada State Journal reprinted a report from the Carson City News that U.S. Senator William Stewart had gone on a drunk in Carson yelling comments "too obscene and lewd to print. Ladies at the county building block were obliged to leave the walk to get out of hearing of Stewart's insulting remarks" (the News suggested Stewart should have been jailed); in 1924 the Ely Chamber of Commerce decided that since Ely was "located on the Pikes Peak Ocean-to-Ocean highway", that the chamber would advertise Ely's virtues in the PPOO national organization‚s 1925 booklet; in 1935 at a meeting of the Las Vegas chamber of commerce, a letter was read from state water engineer Alfred Merritt Smith proposing desert reclamation (converting desert land to farm land by importing water) in southern Nevada to grow dates, citrus fruits, and other produce; in 1943 the War Production Board of Reno said 30-30 and 25-35 ammunition was not permitted for sale to civilians; in 1954 in Carson City, U.S. District Judge John R. Ross was deliberating on whether claw prize machines were amusement devices or gambling machines; in 1965 Rubber Soul by the Beatles was released in England (an abridged version was released in the U.S on December 6); in 1967 the legendary Twentieth Century Limited train, which began running between Chicago and New York on June 17 1902, made its last run (the Limited was featured in films like North by Northwest, The Sting, and The Cotton Club, and Broadway plays like Twentieth Century and On the Twentieth Century); in 1971, You're Sixteen by Ringo was released; in 2003 Washoe County and Sparks police raided a home on Palm Springs Drive in Spanish Springs Valley, clearing the way for U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents, while similar raids were conducted in Reno on Sullivan Lane and Isle of Skye Drive, three among many ATF raids of alleged Hells Angels headquarters around the west (no charges were filed in connection with the raids).

Tue, 2 Dec 2008 07:13:24

Ita Ford
Maura Clarke
Dorothy Kazel
Jean Donovan

On this date in 1823 the Monroe "doctrine", discouraging European involvement in the western hemisphere and pledging U.S. non-involvement in European affairs, was promulgated by President Monroe , though it has no standing in international law (and it was subsequently repudiated by most south American nations it was supposedly designed to protect); in 1845 President Polk belligerently restated a more aggressive version of the Monroe doctrine, outlining a plan to use force to seize land from Mexico in the west and southwest; in 1936 Nevada Works Progress Administration official C.J. Mackey said a highway from Las Vegas to Death Valley by way of Pahrump, already under construction, would be completed in early 1938 unless additional funding was found; in 1937 Harry Upson was elected president of the Reno Musicians Union; in 1939 U.S. Senator Harry Reid was born in Searchlight; in 1942 in a tent under the bleachers at the University of Chicago, a scientific team headed by Fermi achieved the first controlled nuclear fission chain reaction (see below); in 1954 Republicans in Congress lost their majority when U.S. Senator Ernest Brown˜who was appointed on the death of Pat McCarran and served only during the McCarthy censure session˜resigned his seat several weeks early to allow his elected successor, Democrat Alan Bible, to get a jump on seniority (an arrangement now prohibited by senate rules); in 1957 „You Send Me‰ by Sam Cooke hit number one on the Billboard chart; in 1970 four years after he arrived in Las Vegas by rail , a Howard Hughes spokesperson said he had left the „temporarily‰ left the city and was never seen again; in 1976 in a ruling that rocked Nevada gambling and politics, state district court judge Joseph Pavlikowski declared the state‚s gambling regulation statutes unconstitutional; in 1977 Nevada Attorney General Robert List filed suit to try to establish the right of state gambling regulators to regulate entertainment as well as gambling˜specifically, the Folies Bergere at the Tropicana; in 1980, four U.S. religious workers, three of them nuns, were kidnapped, raped, and murdered by members of the U.S.-supported Salvadoran army; in 2003 Las Vegas municipal officials told Assemblymember Wendell Williams‚ lawyer that Williams was being fired as a city administrative officer because an investigation found that he collected sick leave while he was in Carson City for the 2003 legislative session.

From under bleachers
There came forth a "Little Boy"
To waste a city.
-Dorothy Vining, PhB'46, SB'48

(from University of Chicago alumni magazine article on Haiku)

December 1

On this date in 1877 the stone crossing from the Reno Savings Bank to the Farmers‚ Cooperative Store was nearly completed: „It is a good, durable crossing.‰; in 1880 Reno's Nevada State Journal praised a new book it had received, The Chinese and the Chinese Question by James Whitney, and quoted his conclusion: „[I]f our christian civilization, if our enlightenment, if our free forms of government, if our prosperity and power as a people, are to be preserved and perpetuated for ourselves and our children, then the Chinese must be expelled from our borders at any hazard, and at any cost. The Pacific Coast at an early day, and our entire country at a remote time, must be the inheritance of the Caucasian, or it must be the inheritage of the Chinese.‰; in 1919 Governor Emmet Boyle and U.S. Senator Charles Henderson spoke at a banquet of the Reno Commercial Club, which was considering becoming a chamber of commerce; in 1936 Assemblymember James Farndale of Clark County urged action to stop the Los Angeles Bureau of Power and Light from importing workers to Nevada from Los Angeles to work on the Pioche power line: „There are over 100 men working on the job and only two men have been hired from Clark County.‰; in 1944 children in the East Ely Grammar School brought their total sale and purchases of war bonds and stamps to $2304.25˜the price of a jeep; in 1957 the City of Reno‚s condemnation committee declared a Reno landmark, the Chinese joss house (house of worship) at First and Lake streets, to be unfit for use and scheduled a December 9 hearing for the owners to show cause why the building should not be removed; in 1969 with the war still having six years to run, the draft lottery made men born on September 14 whose last names end in J the most likely to be drafted; in 1977 newly disclosed FBI files showed that the Las Vegas bureau office laid plans to infiltrate antiwar groups at the University of Nevada campuses to disrupt their activites (it‚s not clear what actually happened with the plans because the files indicated that the intrepid federal agents seemed to have trouble finding the antiwar groups); in 1989 Mikhail Gorbachev denounced religious oppression in the Soviet Union; in 1998 with the anti-trust division of the Clinton administration standing by ineffectively, the Exxon/Mobil merger took effect, recreating the Standard Oil firm broken up in 1911 (Exxon and Mobil were the corporate descendents of most of Standard Oil) and creating the largest commercial firm on the planet.

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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



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[[EDITOR'S NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, historical items appear courtesy of longtime Nevada reporter Dennis Myers' Poor Denny's Almanac [PDA]. Items highlighted in blue are of interest to labor in particular and seekers of justice in general. Copyright © 2008 Dennis Myers.]]

Also see NevadaLabor.com's Statewide U-News Roundup

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