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

"Media is the plural of mediocre."
— Jimmy Breslin (1928-2017)

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¡Viva Chávez!
César Chávez Celebration XVI / Celebración de César Chávez XVI
Saturday 31 March 2018
/ Sabado 31 de Marzo 2018

Highlights from the record-breaking 2017 event at Circus Circus Reno

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Big-time guy with big pictures
Vote Dondero
Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame

Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno

Expanded from the 8-2-2017 Sparks Tribune
Expansions in blue

Dondero, 1920-2003
(Photo courtesy of D. Brian Burghart, Reno News & Review)

Dondero—Nevada's photographic memory
Barbwire by Barbano
Expanded from the 6-1-2003 Daily Sparks Tribune

It's showtime. The Nevada Press Association board will vote on 2017 Hall of Fame inductees in an Aug. 4 conference call. That's this Friday.

Greatest Hits Dept.


Support Don Dondero next
Note: Alas and alack, Dondero did not make it in 2015 or 2016.
Make this the year!

Barbwire wins 7th Nevada Press Association award


6-pack: BRONZE 2014
Hopelessly trying to win an earthquake / 4-18-2013

The 2013 Loony Tunes Legislative Lexicon / 5-30-2013

The politics of media ga-ga boosterism / 3-20-2014

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

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 as well as ongoing efforts at developing new media, including a regional, non-corporate community radio station and the return of community television to Reno-Sparks-Washoe.

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.


Click here for selected on-demand re-runs from the Barbwire.TV archives

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
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Winners will be inducted at September's Carson City convention.

It's photographer Don Dondero's long overdue turn. In a world-class career, his work appeared in this newspaper and just about everywhere else.

As a fellow Donderite remarked when we fell short a couple of years back, had I started the campaign right after he died in 2003, he would have been elected in a walk. I didn't think of it until I campaigned for Guy Richardson in 2012. Because Guy was an inaugural member of the Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Columniator Hall of Fame, I considered it blasphemous that the former Reno Gazette-Journal entertainment editor was not among the icons in the NPA holy of holies. Ditto Dondero.

Despite varied careers, Big Don and diminutive Guy share a major claim to fame: Frank Sinatra. Guy made national headlines when the enraged Chairman of the Board hisself called the newsroom over what the superstar singer considered (ahem) disrespectful reportage.

Dondero took the most famous photo ever shot of Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. To this day, Dondero even owns the wallpaper in the RGJ foyer (see above). His photos covering the Lake Tahoe kidnaping of Frank Sinatra, Jr., dominate the front page of the 9 December 1963 edition — blown up 12 feet high.

At Barbwire.US, you may view all of the above and much more along with my remembrances of Don, testimonials and lots of photos, of course.

Please pass the following list along to any Donderites you may know. Ask them to call, write, send carrier pigeons, whatever's handy, especially if they know people in the towns noted.

If you want to mass-mail the list, highlight and import these:


Let's party for Dondero in his home town next month.

Do it for Don, dammit!

PHOTO FINISH. Dondero's shots get more enjoyable if you can read the captions. In the interests of literacy, the Duncan Community Library celebrates its 20th anniversary 2:00-4:00 p.m. this Sunday at 1650 Carville Drive in northeast Reno.

The event features contests, drawings for prizes and free ice cream sundaes.

The first 80 kids get free backpacks. To go with them, longtime librarian Marilyn Jones has new books (yes, they still print those things), free from Barnes & Noble. Info: 775-333-5134 or <>

CORRECTION from last week's column, "Sparks' flying philosopher Hanks dies at 91." My friend John Thomas Hanks, Jr., was born on 13 April 1926 in Colorado Springs. I will post a photo retrospective at Barbwire.US/

Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks' grandfather and John's grandfather were brothers. The future actor lived in Reno as a child. As far as I know, John last saw his cousin as an infant.

As Tom Hanks demonstrated in "Forrest Gump," a humble man's packaging can surprise you.

Born in Colorado Springs on 13 April 1926, John Thomas Hanks, Jr., became a businessman, remote-controlled aircraft expert, WW2 soldier, North American crop duster pilot, photographer, award winning film maker, motorsports aficionado, classic car rebuilder and Harrah's Auto Collection veteran (including the legendary hydroplane team.)

May the driver of the great iron bird rest in peace.

Give Dondero my best when you see him at your next photo shoot. Adios.

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)

INVASION OF THE TREE HUGGERS — Perhaps the best Reno News & Review cover ever. I know the identities of all three "models" who made the supreme sacrifice so that Don could get this shot in the snows of Mt. Rose. Their secret is safe with me. Sort of.

Andrew Barbano is a 48-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, first 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 and BallotBoxing.US and and 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 Sparks Tribune since 1988.

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Copyright © 1982-2017 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 48-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 first 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 moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

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

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