The simple song of greatness
Expanded from the 7-18-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 7-19, 7-20, 7-24, 8-6, 8-7 and 8-13-2010
Barbwire wins second straight Nevada Press Association first-place award

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

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

Thus began 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.

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 and Feb. 21 programs as well as ongoing efforts at developing new media, including a 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.


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

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He was a mensch, a whole man, a good person of high integrity and good character.

Union man Danny Coyle passed away in Carson City about 2:00 a.m. PDT Saturday. I was looking forward to seeing him at the Communications Workers picket of AT&T in Reno that night. You could always count on Danny to support his union brothers and sisters. I like to think that he made it anyway.

Danny retired from the Nevada Dept. of Transportation but never stopped working. He was a fixture at the Nevada legislature, lobbying on behalf of those without much juice while training the next generation of labor activists. He was a founder of the state employees retiree organization and served as its first president.

A few years back when I was fighting the depredations of Charter Communications, Danny called and asked me to present the issues to Carson City's mayor and board of supervisors.

Danny recognized the value of having a diversity of voices available to the viewing public. It is both instructive and ironic that Sparks, Reno and Washoe County no longer have a community television station but Carson City still does.

When union organizer Annie Alfano called to inform me of Danny's death from cancer, I started thinking of the few people I have known who lived on Danny Coyle's level.

You have known them, too. They loomed larger in your mind when you found out all the things they had done that you never knew about.

When my good friend Gail Bishop died back in the early 1990s, I of course attended his memorial service. He was a longtime member of Operating Engineers Local 3 and served as Gov. Mike O'Callaghan's labor liaison.

I was dumbfounded by the steady stream of people who told stories about how this bright and funny man had enriched their lives — stuff that I never knew and that he would never brag about.

That's how Mr. Bishop lived.

Afterward, people asked me why I had been uncharacteristically silent. It was because I couldn't think of anything to add. His quiet good works were so expansive that it turned out I barely knew him.

Fortunately for all of us, such large, generous, nurturing souls are all around.

They teach us and help us along and we are so very lucky that they have acted like yeast, leavening our lives.

Such a mensch was Danny Coyle.

Watch the web edition of this column at for memorial service arrangements.

Annie Alfano will probably miss it, as she just lost her mom in Minnesota.

Transition bemuses and beguiles.

ADIOS, PART DEUX. I was contacted last week by southern Nevada attorney Dina Neal, daughter of retired State Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas. She just won the Democratic primary to represent Assembly District 7 and in her spare time is working on a 75th birthday bash for dear old dad.

My good friend Sen. Neal was born on July 28, 1935, in Mounds, La. After service in the U.S. Air Force, he graduated from Southern University and by rare good fortune for this unfortunate state, ended up in southern Nevada.

He won election to the state senate in 1972, defeating a much better known candidate who made the mistake of overconfidence.

When he left the senate in 2004, Sen. Neal was tied with Bill Raggio, R-Reno, for longevity in the upper house. He was inducted into the Nevada labor hall of fame in 1997 and the state senate hall of fame in 2005.

If you'd like to join Joe and a few hundred of his closest friends, e-mail Dina Neal. The event takes place from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, July 30, at the Dr. William U. Pearson Community Center, 1625 West Carey, North Las Vegas.

They promise lots of good eats.

Ms. Neal asked me for invitation suggestions. I went to and found a photo I shot of Sen. Neal's filing for governor in 1998. I made it my business to invite everyone therein.

Local civil rights legend Bertha Woodard is no longer with us. As part of my search, I was notified that longtime Carson City Democratic stalwart Lewis Rosenberg has likewise gone on to greater things.

Then I called Pat Potter's house. The retired Carson High School teacher was involved in politics all her life. If Pat Potter supported your candidacy, you had a powerful friend and a very credible endorsement.

Pat's daughter informed me last Wednesday that Pat on that day was being brought home from the hospital to die.

She has little time left.

Anyone who knows her may direct an adios to 1555 Kings Canyon Rd., Carson City, NV 89703-5301, call (775) 434-9377 or e-mail Rob Potter.

I've sent a note to my number one son down in Arizona asking him to drop a short e-memo to his high school teacher just to say thanks.

If you want to say adios to sweet Pat, please do it now.

Like Danny Coyle, we are richer for her having passed this way.

Rejoice in that.


Be well. Raise hell.


Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, second vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, 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.

Danny Coyle

The above photo was taken when Danny served as Elks Club president, 1983-84

Longtime labor leader Danny Coyle dies in Carson City

Carson City, Nev. (Saturday, July 17, 2010) — Longtime Nevada labor leader Danny Coyle died of cancer in Carson City at about 2:00 a.m. PDT Saturday, July 17. He was 74 years old.

At the time of his death, he was president of the retiree chapter of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 4041/AFL-CIO, an organization he founded. He was concurrently legislative vice-chair of the Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans. He had also served as president of AFSCME Local 4041/AFL-CIO.

He worked for the state of Nevada for more than 31 years, retiring as a senior right-of-way agent for the Nevada Dept. of Transportation in 1995.

Danny Nicholas Coyle was born in Butte, Mont., on May 10, 1936, to Lucille Jacobsen Coyle and Walter Edward “Cubs” Coyle, former district attorney of Silverbow County, Mont.

He attended Butte High School and on Jan. 31, 1955, enlisted in the U.S. Army where he earned a military GED. He married the former Verna Mathisen in Butte, Mont., on June 25, 1955.

He served as an army intelligence officer at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis and in Nancy, France. After military service, he attended Evangel College in Springfield, Mo., and the University of Montana in Missoula.

He worked for the Federal Bureau of Public Roads in Yellowstone National Park in 1961 and moved to Elko, Nev., in 1962. He joined the Nevada Dept. of Transportation in 1963.

After retirement from NDOT in 1995, he volunteered as an organized labor lobbyist before the Nevada State Legislature. He was a member of Chief Truckee Chapter of E Clampus Vitus and served as president of the Carson City Sundowner Sertoma Club.

He was a senior member and chaired the professional development committee of the National Right of Way Association. He was Nevada North District Deputy of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and served as the organization's president in 1983-84. He was also a member of the Nevada Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 1006.

Earlier this year, Sen. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, and Assemblymember Bonnie Parnell, D-Carson City, presented him with a legislative proclamation in honor of his long record of community service.

The predecessor of Local 4041, the State of Nevada Employees Assn., honored him with the Jerry Cianci Award for his lifetime contribution to the organization.

He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his former wife, Verna Hardgrave of Winnemucca, Nev.; sisters, Anna Lisa Whately (Jim), of Charleston, N.C., and Colleen Genero of Boise, Idaho.; sons, Dennis (Sandy) of Carson City and Danny (Denise) of Dayton, and a daughter, Hylari Roth (Al) of Dayton; numerous nieces and nephews; 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. A tenth great-grandchild is expected soon.

Arrangements are being handled by Fitzhenry's, 3945 Fairview Dr. in Carson City, where a memorial service will be held on Wednesday, July 21, at 2:00 p.m. Interment will be attended by family members at Lone Mountain Cemetery in Carson City.

A reception will be held after the memorial service at the Elks Carson City Lodge No. 2177 at 515 N. Nevada Street, two blocks west of the Carson Nugget.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be given in Danny Coyle's name to the Rypien Foundation at, 926 W. Sprague Ave. Suite. #580, Spokane, WA  99201.

A two-time Super Bowl champion with the Washington Redskins, Rypien is a golf buddy of the Coyles. His charity supports children with cancer and their families. The Super Bowl XXVI MVP lost his three year-old son, Andrew, to cancer.

"We are sure that Dad would have liked this," Dennis Coyle said.

Remembrances may be sent to, P.O. Box 10034, Reno, NV 89510. They will be permanently posted at the website along with photos of his life and achievements. They may be e-mailed to <>.

For more information, contact Dennis Coyle at (775) 721-6491.

AFCSCME 4041 organizer Annie Alfano and Danny Coyle at a Carson City labor reception during the 2009 session of the Nevada Legislature.


It’s true that we never quite realize all the lives we impact on any given day. Danny touched many, and mine is one of them. He had numerous accomplishments in his life, professional and personal, but that’s not what people who really knew Danny will remember.

For me, it’s the quiet humility that drew me in and will stay with me forever. This man of extraordinary genius, honored by so many for his dedication to the everyday worker, a heart of unparalleled kindness.  He was respected by colleagues and legislators alike. He was my mentor and dear friend. 

I’ll always remember a conversation we had over lunch at his favorite local haunt, the Basque Deli. He talked about a visit he once had with Senator Mark Amodei at his office. The Senator was being hounded to report to the floor for an important discussion. Amodei simply said “I’ll be there” and closed the door to finish his conversation with Danny, uninterrupted. It’s a lot like the way Danny treated me, and I’m sure others. When you were with Danny, he was with you.

In a world where mentors are in short supply, I have been blessed. Danny may have stepped into another place where he was needed more, but his essence will never leave us. He gave me a beautiful book last summer and inscribed the inside “to my good friend and confidante."

To be counted as Danny Coyle’s friend is as big an honor as I ever care to receive.

I’ll be seeing you, Danny.

Annie Alfano

Danny will be missed by so many of us. We have known Danny since the early 1980’s through the Union, at that time known as SNEA. He has touched so many lives and his love of life and kindness to so many, will never be forgotten. Our sincerest sympathies go out to all of Danny’s family at this difficult time.

With loving thoughts,

Jeanine and Neil Lake

Jeanine Lake
Sr. Employee Representative
AFSCME Local 4041
2475 Chandler Avenue, Suite 6
Las Vegas, Nevada 89120

Dennis Coyle: Thanks for sharing your father with us. May God watch over his beautiful soul eternally.


Jack Schofield, Regent
Nevada System of Higher Education

Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 9:45 p.m. PDT / 04:45 July 22 ZULU


An odd e-mail was received today on the Chief Truckee website from:

To All My Friends:

I have arrived safely. Much work to do here. Conditions are worse than expected. Inadequate seating. Flying around all the time, wings get very tired. Clouds make poor substitute for a proper ergonomically designed chair. They feel like sitting in a bean bag for an eternity.

Add to this the annoying endless harp music. At least there's no gangsta rap here. Food is poor, too, sure doesn't match Chief Truckee's grub. Due to overwhelming number of residents without teeth, meatloaf and cream chipped beef are staples. Tell "Road Kill" to bring my teeth when he gets here.

Due to poor conditions, I have begun organizing all Red Shirts I could find into a UNION . Funny, I can't find any other union organizers up here, labor law attorneys either.  

On positive side, big slippery is particularly impressive. All you can drink and no hangovers in the afterlife. Cappy Cook is behaving like he's in his 20s again. "Beady Eyes" is keeping them clearly focused on his fellow highwayman.

I heard Dick Roche tried to talk to the Boss when he arrived and now has been exiled to the hinterlands.

All my best until then,

"Disco" Danny

ps: It's cooler here than I expected. Hope to see many of you soon, but not too soon. I took a peek at the book when St. Peter wasn't watching and noticed that "Road Toad" and "Bad Moon" apparently forgot to make reservations. Better take care of that before it's too late, boys.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: A small excerpt from the above was delivered by one of Danny's fellow Clampers (for the uninitiated, that means a member of E Clampus Vitus) at the July 21 memorial service. It generated by far the heartiest laugh of the day.]

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

Smoking Guns...

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 Corporate Welfare Archive

From clear-cut forests to dirty Gulfstream waters, this land belongs to old BP

BP/ARCO: The greasy root of our evils

Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 9-10-2006

The awful truth — Read it and weep, fellow suckers

Labor Day 2009: Rise of the Vampire Corpobots
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Angry Americans and Freudian fraud
Using war to market cigarettes
from the 8-23-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

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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Copyright © 1982-2010 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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