Mr. Vegetable Lives Forever
Expanded from the 2-14-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 2-19-2010, 3-4-2010, 3-6-2010, 6-10-2012 and 9-20-2016
Barbwire wins second straight Nevada Press Association first-place award

If Reform Fails: Health Care, Jobs and Unions —new power to the people on the public airwaves

The program was available to every television set in the region because of a high-mileage media hybrid.

The show appeared on both commercial and community stations. The non-corporate entity produced the event, commercial TV greatly expanded its distribution.

Thus began what an ongoing series of sane public interest programs which generate both entertaining heat and more than a little light.

Please spread the word and consider contributing to the cause online at ReSurge.TV, where you may also access the show on your desktop.

You may also take the public option known as the U.S. Postal Service and send a check or money order to ReSurge.TV, P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

Your contribution will help fund the distribution of the Dec. 6 program as well as a new regional, non-corporate community radio station.

You are present at the creation of what I hope can become a new media model where the programming accurately reflects what's happening on the ground and the media impact is powerful enough to forcefully pass the message upward.


Be well. Raise hell.


UPDATE: SUING FOR SCHOOLS — Click here to view the Feb. 21 BARBWIRE show on your desktop
Special guest: Sen. Harry Reid

Barbwire column on the depredations of Charter Communications and the Reno City Council wins 2009 Nevada Press Association first-place award

Past 12 months
Use the search tool you will find at page right at the above link. It will return the 19 newest TV programs. You may also search by date — M-F for the past year save holidays.

Click here for on-demand re-runs
from the 2009 legislative session

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
Highlights from radio days
mp3 file

Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever he had a chosen people, whose breasts He has made his peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue...But though an old man, I am but a young gardener. —Thomas Jefferson






























We lost Mr. Vegetable on Feb. 4. My dear old friend Gene Klump passed away at the sweep, ripe and harvestable age of 81.

He looked like a trimmer version of Santa Claus in the summertime with his trademark overalls and jaunty straw hat covered in peppers and apples —an organic Carmen Miranda.

Gene's fine and funny mind would not and could not be confined to just one thing. He was a true Renaissance Man.

This is from his family: "Gene joined the Coast Guard at age 15 and served in the U.S. Army in the late 1940's. He later moved to Los Angeles where he worked for Southern Pacific Railroad. He traveled extensively as an itinerant musician which took him to Alaska where he worked for the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Alaska Railroad and as a radio D.J. He also ran a bar.

"In 1963, Gene and Jane (his wife of 47 years) moved to Reno and opened Geno's Studio, a bookstore, coffee house and art gallery. In 1966, Gene co-founded the Silver Circle Arts Council, attended UNR and resumed playing music. In 1969, Gene was photo lab manager for Studios Kaminsky. In 1973, Jane and Gene bought an acre of land which became Marigold Farms. Gene was a master gardener with UNR's Cooperative Extension Service and developed a program called 'Mr. Vegetable' for school districts. In 1989, Gene started a radio career with 'Mr. Vegetable's Garden Talk Line' on KQLO, retiring in 2006 from KBZZ. He received a National Association of Broadcasters award, taught gardening at TMCC, was Captain Sheepdip in 1970, and reported weather data to the National Weather Service." He was a certified climatologist and in 2000 was inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

Venerable Reno newspaper columnist Ty Cobb wrote that Gene's first local job was as a light man for floor shows at the Riverside Hotel. He performed with Bill Clifford's house band in the legendary Mapes Sky Room. He was a longtime member of the Musician's Union. He started out as a trumpet player and later took up bass. As with everything he did, Allen Eugene Klump possessed world class talent. He played in the orchestras of Benny Goodman and one of the Dorsey Brothers, finishing with the (wow) legendary and groundbreaking Stan Kenton Orchestra in 1959.

A remembrance of Mr. Vegetable happens at 1:00 p.m. on this Valentine's Sunday on (where else?) the premises of his longtime patron, The Garden Shop Nursery at 3636 Mayberry Drive in Reno.

I first got to know Gene more 20 years ago when Travus T. Hipp (another Nevada Broadcasters hall-of-famer), Sam Shad, Eddie Anderson, Bruce Breslow, Dan van Enoo, Ken Hopkins, Nels Larsen and I were knocking KKKOH's ratings into a cocked hat.

On the air, Gene and I worked together getting out the word about dangerous aflatoxin in the fresh corn people were buying at local grocery stores. Where else but from Mr. Vegetable's column in Senior Spectrum would you learn that tilling your soil in the dark results in far fewer weeds to pull?

My favorite Gene Klump moment came one day at KHIT 1590am. The great comic actress Joanne Worley (Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In) was in town performing in a Reno Little Theater production. She asked me how to find magnolia blossoms called for in the script.
On cue from the next room, in walked Gene in full Mr. Vegetable drag.

"I'm Mr. Vegetable. Magnolias are out of season, but honeysuckle isn't."

Worley didn't miss a beat.

"Oh, Mr. Vegetable, you've saved us!"

I volunteered that I had a whole hillside of honeysuckle just outside my front door and would bring some to the theater.

For my efforts, she kissed me on the cheek. Sometimes when I'm shaving, that spot of skin still glows, as do all my memories of Mr. Vegetable.

He leaves lasting legacies both tangible and intangible. Mr. Vegetable spent a lot of time going to area schools and spreading the seeds of his vast knowledge. He was the featured face on a Sam Shad-produced water conservation campaign.

Remembrances of Gene Klump
Send yours here and they will reside on the Internet forever

"Plants don't waste water, people do," he said.

If you drive on the eastern McCarran loop going south of Mill Street almost to Meadowood Mall, you will enjoy miles and miles of mature trees on your right. Mr. Vegetable went on the air to recruit volunteers to plant them all on a Saturday 20 years ago. Almost all survived under his expert guidance.

The work of Mr. Vegetable lives forever.

KEEP THE MUSHROOMS IN THE DARK. Litigation by three Michigan communities against Comcast cable has been settled and their public, educational and government access TV stations will remain viewable on the low-cost basic tier. Thanks to the greed of those wonderful folks at Charter Communications and the spinelessness of the Sparks and Reno city councils, about one in six Charter cable customers could not view the packed legislative town hall meeting at Reno City Hall on Saturday. More than 100 people signed up to testify. Reno at least toyed with the idea of suing Charter while Sparks and the Washoe County Commission sat shiva. Lawsuits work.

ON THE AIR. The next Barbwire live TV special airs at 6:00 p.m. on Feb. 21.

Sierra Nevada Community Access Television (SNCAT) will cablecast the show in Reno-Sparks-Washoe on Charter digital cable channels 16, 216 and 80-295 and via webstreaming from the front page of this website.

The 9:00 p.m. prime time edition will be available to every TV household in the region via telecast, cablecast and satellite. (Click here to view a coverage map.)

Basically, anyone east of Sacramento to the Lovelock city limits will be able to view the program. Likewise for a broad swath of Nevadans swooping south from Lyon County down to Hawthorne.

CW network affiliate KRNS covers a big chunk of California and Nevada via two over-air channels (digital 27.2 and analog 46 — That's right, any old-fashioned TV with rabbit ears can get the show on channel 46, no pesky and expensive digital converter necessary).

KRNS is also carried on cable channel 6 throughout the region.

Viewers in Susanville, Calif., can watch on over-the-air analog channel 29, no digital converter needed. Satellite (Dish, Direct et al.) and AT&T UVerse subscribers should check their systems for KRNS TV-46 and the CW Network Reno affiliate.

We will take phone calls during the live session from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at 775-828-1211. If you want to submit questions in advance, please e-mail them to me. Watch this website for more details as the airdate approaches.

UPDATE: SUING FOR SCHOOLS —Click here to view the Feb. 21 BARBWIRE show on your desktop
Special guest: Sen. Harry Reid

Be well. Raise hell.


Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan, second vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Smoking Guns...

Remembrances of Gene Klump
Send yours here and they will reside on the Internet forever

RENO, Nev., 14 Feb. 2010 — From the classic veranda of the old ranch house which is now the Garden Shop, the always impressive Katharine Hale acted as mistress of ceremonies on this slightly breezy and chilly Valentine's Day. More than 100 in attendance listened while seated close to the earth and that was as it should have been.

Travus T. Hipp said when he first met Gene two decades ago, he had no idea of how many things he had done. He pointed to Gene as an example to all of us, how we should do many things in our lives.

He added that Gene was a great example of who should be trained as a talk radio host: find somebody that knows something and teach that person how to do radio rather than converting disc jockeys, a thinly-veiled dig at racist Rush Limbaugh.

I followed Travus by picking up on his appreciation of Gene.

The great Italian director Federico Fellini said that we should live spherically, in all directions at once. That was Gene, a true Renaissance man, I noted, then I mentioned some of the items in the above column. I closed with the quote from Jefferson.

Please send me your memories of Mr. Vegetable and I will archive them here forever.


March 05, 2010
Geno was, simply put, a one of a kind man. We had some terrific times and shared some great memories in time. He was a great teacher and a great friend, one that will be truly missed. We love you and will miss you.
Debbie and Futrell
Debbie Akins
Reno, Nevada

February 18, 2010
Aunt Jane, even though I was unable to attend Uncle Geno's "Celebration of Life". I hope you know even though I'm in Wisconsin celebrating the birth of my new little granddaughter my loving thoughts and prayers were with you, all the family, friends and our beloved Uncle Geno on Valentines Day. My love and fond memories will never fade. May God bless you with strength and peace.
Love, Jeanne
Jeanne Hale
Reno, Nevada

February 14, 2010
Jane, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Geno will be deeply missed.
Love Dee
Dee Schomaker
Westville, Indiana

February 13, 2010
Our deepest sympathies in Gene's passing. May God bless you with the strength and love of family and friends, to help you through this difficult time.
Virginia Butler and Family
Hebron, Indiana

February 12, 2010
God Bless you Gene. You are an inspiration to all. May you now rest in Peace.
Ana Dolar
Reno, Nevada

February 11, 2010
Peace, Prayers and Blessings. We are thinking of you.
Larry & Jerilyn Gann
Reno, Nevada

February 10, 2010
"Mr. Vegetable" was always a help to me with gardening stories back in the '90s. I'm sorry to hear of his passing.
Susan Skorupa Mullen, Reno Gazette-Journal
Susan Skorupa Mullen, Reno

February 10, 2010
I will really miss Mr. Vegetable. His laugh, twinkling eyes and all the help at the State Fair, 4-H and everybody and anybody that he was more than happy to help. He really was a treasure. God Bless him and his family.
Barbara Land Zeigler


Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced

The campaign against forcibly-paid newspaper obituaries
And they wonder why the newspaper business is dying?


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

The 2009 first-place Nevada Press Association award winners
Tony the Tiger & the flaky NFL
Barbwire / 11-30-2008
Deregulation is never having to say you're sorry
Barbwire / 8-3-2008
Nevada: A good place to visit, but do you want to live here?
Barbwire / 6-15-2008

...and more ammo

BARBWIRE Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive

Propaganda fuels gasoline price fixing
Barbwire 8-14-2005

Donate to the cable ratepayer legal defense fund at our PayPal-enabled ReSurge.TV Consumer War Room

Phillips, Kevin; Numbers Racket: Why the economy is worse than we know

Harper's Magazine; May 2008; page 43
Phillips has authored numerous books on history and politics over the past 40 years. His most recent, Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism, was published by Viking on April 15, 2008.

NAOMI WOLF: Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps
There are some things common to every state that's made the transition to fascism. Author Naomi Wolf argues that all of them are present in America today.
Alternet 5-20-2007

Johnson, Chalmers; REPUBLIC OR EMPIRE? A National Intelligence Estimate on the United States; Harper's magazine; January, 2007. I love it when heavy hitters validate what I've been saying for years in the tiny Sparks Tribune.

Barlett, Donald L. and Steele, James B.; America: What Went Wrong? (1992); America: Who Really Pays the Taxes? (1994); America: Who Stole the Dream? (1996) ; Andrews & McMeel/Universal Press Syndicate.

Review of Alex Carey's Taking the Risk Out of Democracy:
Propaganda in the US and Australia

The Orwell Diversion by Alex Carey
Excerpted from the book available below

ORDER Taking the Risk Out of Democracy
Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
By Alex Carey
Edited by Andrew Lohrey
Foreword by Noam Chomsky
University of Illinois Press

     SEE ALSO: Lapham, Lewis H.; Tentacles of Rage: The Republican Propaganda Mill, A Brief History; Harper's Magazine cover article; September, 2004, page 32.

     By one conservative estimate, the corporate right has spent about $3 billion over the past three decades manufacturing public opinion to suit big business goals. Lapham's number covered the early 1970's to the present day. Alex Carey noted that by 1948, anti- New Deal corporate propaganda expenditures had already reached $100 million per year, not adjusted for inflation, for advertising alone. (Carey, ibid; page 79)

     Adjusted for inflation, that 1948 $100 million becomes $801,659,751.04 in 2005 dollars.

Conservatives Help Wal-Mart, and Vice Versa
As Wal-Mart struggles to rebut growing criticism, it has discovered a reliable ally: conservative research groups.
New York Times 9-8-2006; Free registration may be required.

      BARBWIRE: Labor Day '94: People vs. corporate con job, 9-4-94
Chilling forecasts from Alex Carey

      BARBWIRE: The Nevada Republican Party Becomes Communist, 3-30-97
A prescient Plato on the dangers of oligarchy

The sands of time do not cloud the long memories of the sheiks of Araby
Barbwire 9-10-2006

      Rinfret, Pierre A.; Peace is Bullish; Look magazine, 5-31-1966 | U-News | Bulletins + Almanac
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Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors
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Copyright © 1982-2010, 2016 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee, He is producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and serves as second vice-president, political action chair and webmaster of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail

Barbwire by Barbano premiered in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in those parts ever since. Tempus fugit.

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