Expanded from the 11-6-2005 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
Updated 11-25-2005

Off with their heads!

And if that doesn't work, cut off their thumbs.

In another international public relations coup for Nevada, madcap Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman has advocated law non-enforcement against the greatest threat to society: kids with spray paint.

This amputation of justice comes from the guy who said that organized crime did not exist, that it was an invention of cops making excuses for their inability to control street crime. As attorney for the greatest street, scam and skim criminals in Nevada history, he certainly should know of whence he spoke. Sir Oscar kept criminals out of jail but as mayor but has advocated jailing homeless people.

This guy's not a mayor, he's an out-of-work standup comic who needs some serious rewriting on his punchlines. With a little tweaking, he can gin up a run for governor.

OBSCENE OF THE CRIME. Hizzoner made his digital comments in an interview with Sam Shad on the statewide Nevada Newsmakers TV show. I'll join Mr. Shad's pundit panel on tomorrow's telecast, along with former Nevada Assembly Speaker Bill Bilyeu, R-Elko, and Reno Gazette-Journal assistant city editor David Jacobs. I'll try to kick some serious butt, as success has made the Shad soiree rather corporatized and tame.

The Goodman fiasco was Shad's greatest national hit since Sen. Harry Reid, R-Nev., blurted out an endorsement of the man who had almost beaten him, now-Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev.

Nevada Newsmakers originates on KRNV TV-4 at 12:30 p.m and is rerun at about 9:30 p.m. on Charter cable channel 12 in Washoe, Carson and Douglas counties. The time is approximate because those wonderful folks at Charter don't seem to have much talent for "hitting the post" as we used to say in my talk radio days.

LATEST NEWS 11-25-2005

OUTRAGE UPDATE: The Reno City Council, for the second time this year, schedules the execution of its Citizens Cable Compliance Committee. Time to raise hell at Reno City Hall on Dec. 1.

Sparks sees the light and actually cablecasts its hearing. Somebody at city hall must read the Barbwire.

Sparks continues to shut its ratepayers out of the process while down south in Henderson, the city is poised to welcome its THIRD cable provider. Read it and weep.

Henderson cable skirmish delayed
Cox given more time to review proposal

Las Vegas Sun, 11-17-2005

DUMB AS POSTS. Speaking of Charter Communications, an ad in yesterday's Tribune announced a meeting of the Sparks Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) regarding the renewal of the beleaguered company's franchise. I've been preaching since 2002 that Sparks should not duplicate the mistakes of Reno and Carson City, which started the process so late that their franchises expired. You can tell they listen to me at city hall.

The Rail City's franchise expires at the end of next October. Renewal will be very difficult in that short time frame. Such pressure works to Charter's advantage to expedite a Reno-like sweetheart deal. Last month, the financially troubled company announced that it will attempt to raise money by selling off about 420,000 subscribers. A new franchise ups the asking price. Passage of Sen. Ensign's bill to totally deregulate the industry can add to their windfall.

The ad contains no contact information, only a notice to show up at city hall at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19. Worse, it carries a warning to watch what you say: "This is not a session for airing political rhetoric or complaining about problems previously reported to Charter and subsequently resolved," Chairperson Jan Gould is quoted, adding that "these matters, especially anything outstanding, will be directed to Charter's customer service department for action."

INACTION IS THE RIGHT WORD. Charter's customer service department was moved from Reno to Vancouver, Wash., last year, shortly after Reno granted the company a 15-year renewal. Anti-consumer Councilman Dave Aiazzi advocated that the council go against the advice of its own citizens committee, which recommended eight years. His reason: to guarantee the jobs of Charter employees. Oops.

I don't think Ms. Gould can legally censor what citizens say at a public meeting, but the city apparently thinks it worth a try.

Reno's cable committee, upon which I still serve, recently found Charter seriously out of compliance with their fat new franchise. They have failed to track where complaints come from, whether from Reno, Sparks or Washoe County. Our findings should come before the Reno council this month. All of Reno's research is available at

The Sparks ad further states that comments will not be welcome from those with Sparks mailing addresses who may reside outside city limits. Charter doesn't even know where complaints come from, but Sparks wants to limit ratepayer input. The public airing of a Douglas County problem before my Reno committee spurred Charter to finally offer critically needed high-speed Internet access to Nevada businesses, something it had resisted for years.

Incredibly, the Sparks CAC meeting is not currently scheduled for cablecast on SNCAT-15. I convinced Reno to have two consumer input sessions along with a televised town hall meeting once the draft franchise was published. Comments from all ratepayers were welcome. Sparks owes its citizens no less. You may reach CAC chair Gould at (775) 358-9176 or e-mail <>

Contact your councilcritters at (775) 353-2311 and tell them to establish a separate committee, as Reno and Washoe County have, and open up the process. (You may e-mail them by clicking here.)

It's your money.

CORRECTION. Nov. 14 is the probable date for the Sparks council to vote on overriding the mayor's veto of the recently passed resolution granting full citizenship to residents of Washington, DC. For details, see last Sunday's Barbwire.

MAKE WAR, NOT LOVE. The UNR college Republicans have filed legal action against war protestors who staged a "kiss-in" against military recruiters on campus last week.

"The complaint accuses the protesters of blocking other students' access to the military recruitment tables," the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

Gosh, I hope so. They were trying to save their fellow students' lives.

"We don't believe kissing and holding hands is a form of harassment," a statement from the Queer Student Union asserted. The three groups sued need a lawyer. Call the Progressive Leadership Alliance at (775) 348-7557 or Lindsey at (775) 771 7558 if you know of someone willing to fight for truth, justice and the American way.

Sparks Tribune columnist and UNR journalism prof. Jake Highton tells the Reno Gazette-Journal that the UNR campus rejoices at Lilley's wilting. Spring has sprung.

Part-time professors becoming prevalent

LILLEY LIVERS. Last week, toxic John Lilley resigned as boss of UNR just as a move was announced to name the new student union for his predecessor, Crony Joe Crowley. I thought nothing could be worse than Joe's tenure, but Lilley proved me dead wrong. To read the series I wrote on the Crowley years, which this newspaper entered in the 1997 Pulitzer competition, see the 1996 archive, starting with the 10-27-1996 installment and occasionally through the following year.

Xerox stock became a good investment during the year I focused on the U-System, as staff and students wallpapered all campuses with copies of the Tribune.

Spy-camera Lilley is banishing himself to wacko Waco, Texas, so we can be assured that he will do some penance for his sins.

Be well. Raise hell.

Smoking Guns...

Oscar does it again, by Cy Ryan, Las Vegas Sun Carson City Bureau

Oscar, the boozy gubernatorial non-candidate, by Jon Ralston, Las Vegas Sun

Goodman's gaffe pandemic, Las Vegas Sun editorial

...and more ammo

DIGGING CORPORATE WELFARE. Nutso Congressman Richard Pombo, R-Calif., has introduced a bill which would sell off huge chunks of your public land.

"Mining companies would be able to buy public lands without proving there's anything worth mining," the Casper (Wyo.) Star reported.

"Elyssa Rosen of Nevada's Great Basin Mine Watch said the bill spells the end of the state's open spaces and lets the mining companies avoid federal environmental requirements when closing down a mine," according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Nice to know Pombo's trying to be competitive with all the other corporate welfare giveaways of the Imperial Bush years. A vote is in the offing this week. Click here for info and to voice your opposition. Also here.

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Copyright © 1996, 1997, 2005 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 37-year Nevadan and editor of Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.

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