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

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"Media is the plural of mediocre."
— Jimmy Breslin (1928-2017)
ToddBQ '18
The Building & Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO roasts Brother Todd Koch into retirement on Saturday, 24 Feb. 2018 at Circus Circus-Reno. Mandalay Ballroom doors open at 5:30, Dinner at 6:30 p.m.
Click here for sponsorship, table and ticket information. Show up and make it hurt!

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

Circus Circus Reno / Doors open 5:30, Dinner 7:00 p.m.
Sponsorship, table and ticket information

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Adios to a real Darcy Farrow

    Where the walker runs down to the Carson Valley Plain
There lived a maiden, Darcy Farrow was her name
    Daughter of old Dundee and a fair one was she
The sweetest flower that bloomed o'er the range

     Her voice was as sweet as sugar candy
Her touch was as soft as a bed of goose down
    Her eyes shone bright like the pretty lights
That shine in the night out of Yerington town

    She was courted by Young Vandermeer
A fine lad was he as I am to hear
    He gave her silver rings and lacy things
She promised to wed before the snows came that year

    Her pony did stumble, she did fall
Her dyin' touched the hearts of us one and all
    Young Vandy in his pain put a bullet through his brain
We buried them together as the snows began to fall

    They sing of Darcy Farrow where the Truckee runs through
They sing of her beauty in Virginia City too
    At dusky sundowns to her name they drink a round
And to young Vandy whose love was true.

John Denver, 1972

Words and music by Steve Gillette and Tom Campbell (1964)

Editor's Note: The last time I saw dear Cleopatra (Blaine Helen Sullivan Rose) was about 20 years ago in Virginia City where they still sing of her beauty — as at her alma mater —>
Une belle femme!

Hi, Andy:

Thanks for the very lovely column on an even lovelier lady. I had not heard of the all too early death of Blaine Sullivan Rose. Your article was a Proustian madeleine to my memory. I had Blaine in one of my German classes at UNR in the very early 70s. She was spectacularly beautiful with matching intelligence. A rare combination. I had lost all contact with her after that.

As one who has surpassed the octogenarian mark, I am all too aware of the preciousness of time. What used to be my high school newsletter has morphed into an obit notice. Use what we have left well.

Thanks again for the madeleine.

Grant F. Leneaux, Professor Emeritus
University of Nevada-Reno
17 and 19 Feb. 2018

Valentines for Cleopatra & wayward beautiful girls
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-14-2018 Sparks Tribune / Updated 2-19 and 2-20-2018 / Expansions in blue

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If you're very lucky, you will encounter a precious few amazingly gifted individuals. So awesome are they that the possibility of their deaths never occurs to you.
Not once.

Such a rarity was Blaine Helen Sullivan Rose who died on January 26 at age 65. I first met overachieving beautiful Blainie during my maiden voyage at the Nevada legislature in 1973.

She was the most spectacular woman in the house, an intern driving the old men crazy just by walking down the hall. I first compared her to Shirley McLaine's Irma La Douce character because of her elegant green eyeshadow outlined by jet-black hair and alabaster skin. I finally settled on Cleopatra because of her regal command of every room she graced. She was more striking than Elizabeth Taylor and way too cool to ever request that I stop calling her Cleo.

A psychology prof once told me that the gifted are usually gifted in every way. Cleo scored perfect straight A's at the University of Nevada-Reno and won the prestigious Herz Medal. She had to be tough growing up in Elko where they shoot Democrats on sight. Why she became a CPA, I never figured out.

She lived a real-life version of Cleopatra with Lt. Governor and former Washoe DA Bob Rose playing Marc Antony. Cleo and movie-star handsome Bob would have been the most gorgeous couple ever to reside in the Nevada governor's mansion. Brangelina would have been non-competitive.

In addition to uplifting spirits, they would have been very good for a state headed into a severe recession in 1979. Alas and alack, the gambling-industrial complex installed a one-term mediocrity instead.

It took me awhile to sort out why I was hit so hard by the passing of a woman I knew only casually from politics and have seen perhaps twice in the past two decades.

At its most basic, the loss of true beauty always tears me up. Cleo, however, floated in higher ethers. First, pure fan worship. Although we hardly knew each other, I could not help but admire such a spectacular individual. To me, she was a gracious rock star whose charismatic presence never intimidated. I always relaxed talking politics with her.

So how come she hit me like few others? Because she was the sister I wish I'd had.

That never came home to me until I remembered a conversation I had with my erstwhile fiancé a half-century ago.

We met when I was a broken-hearted teenage bronkin' buck and I wondered how I could have been so stupid.

"You didn't have any sisters," observed the future clinical psychologist.

I never wanted a sister until I thought about Cleo's departure. I would have grown up a lot smarter with her in the family. I've never encountered anyone before or since who made me miss having a sister.

I revel in your memory, Cleopatra. Long live the queen.

POLITICAL CHEAP SHOTS: Greg Smith, husband of the late Sen. Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, is running for Republican Washoe County Commissioner Jeanne Herman's north valleys seat. Smith joins Lindsy Judd in the June Democratic primary. A Republican is reportedly mounting a primary challenge against Ms. Herman...I no longer exist. My copy of the January 2017 AT&T residential white pages finally arrived last week. I've had a listed number in Nevada since 1969 but no more. The 2018 directory won't be available until summer. Until then, Ma Bell has wiped me off the face of the earth. Whatever I did, I'm sorry.

CHEAP SHOTS PART DEUX: REVENGE! Organized labor roasts retiring Sparks union leader Todd Koch into retirement on Feb. 24 at Circus Circus-Reno. To partake in the final opportunity to get in your licks, hie thee to the front page of (He still expects us to believe he's not related to those other Kochs.)

OLYMPIC BRAINSTORM. Basketball hall of famer Charles Barkley once said "curling is not a sport. I called my grandmother and told her she could win a gold medal because they have dusting in the Olympics now."

I have resolved his concern. How about Olympic cross-country curling? Macho enough for ya, Sir Charles?

SPEAKING OF GRANDMOTHERS, Reno-Sparks NAACP matriarch and former president Dolores Feemster continues her remarkable recovery at Advanced Healthcare, 961 Kuenzli (89502), next door to the Reno Gazette-Journal. Send lots of Valentines even if late. [GOOD NEWS UPDATE]

TWO-MILE LONG OVERCOMPENSATION: The reason Czar Donaldov wants a military parade, according to NPR'S "Wait, wait don't tell me" weekend laugh fest.

Finally, it all makes sense.

Love and kisses.

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

Web Extras —> THE BEST NEWS — Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018: Reno-Sparks NAACP matriarch and former branch president Dolores Feemster continues making a miraculous recovery. She has returned home from both hospital and recovery care. She was delighted to receive a stack of valentines last week. On Sunday, she said she is feeling much better and now, so can we. Please continue sending cards and flowers. And lots of love. Thanks for your prayers and well wishes. Life is good.

The Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO will roast Sparks labor leader Todd Koch into retirement at ToddBQ '18 on February 24. I'm editing the commemorative program and need choice insults about the man I first met many years ago when he was young, handsome and promising. Alas, Todd today stands 0-for-3. Send entries to me. Hurry. Time is tight.

César Chávez XVI happens on the great man's 91st birthday on March 31. Ticket/table/sponsor info for César XVI may be accessed via the Barbwire expanded web edition at Barbwire.US/ —> Hurry, things are moving very quickly this year.

Smoking Guns—>
Bliss Barbies: The yellow brick road to anorexia
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-7-2018 Sparks Tribune
Mississippi West 2018: Sexy moral depravity abides
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-31-2018 Sparks Tribune and affiliated publications
Awards season: bad bids, bad hits and bad attitudes
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-24-2018 Sparks Tribune and affiliated publications
Terrorism in the Nevada outback
Bizarro R Us: Win bar bets predicting the 51st state
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-17-2018 Sparks Tribune and affiliated publications
The spirits of MLK and Bull Connor live right here
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-10-2018 Sparks Tribune
Lyon/Yerington Racism Archive. Unjoy.

All the Money in the World: The greatest story never told
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-3-2018 Sparks Tribune

Blast from the past: Pierre Rinfret on the ill effects of war spending
Those with crystal balls should cover their glasses

Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 12-27-2017 Sparks Tribune / Updated 12-28-2017

Princess Cassandra and perpetual war machines
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 12-20-2017 Sparks Tribune

Christmastime investment advice from Al Capone
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 12-13-2017 Sparks Tribune
Fake news Valhalla: Putin, my president and me
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 12-6-2017 Sparks Tribune

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Metastatical Statisticals

Ready for Trump TV? Inside Sinclair Broadcasting’s Plot to Take Over Your Local News
Its mix of terrorism alerts, right-wing commentary and “classic propaganda” could soon reach 3/4 of the US.
By Andy Kroll/Mother Jones Oct.-Nov. 2017

How Sinclair Broadcasting puts a partisan tilt on trusted local news
By William Brangham/ PBS NewsHour 10-10-2017

Top-down Democrats haven't learned
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 8-10-2017

More Faux than Fox? Corporate octopus Sinclair moves to dominate Nevada and U.S. television
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 8-3-2017

  A thousand thanks to those who keep sending show suggestions.

  Stay tuned.

  I encourage you to donate to the cause at Barbwire.TV/ The medium that shapes public opinion needs at least one refuge where it is not filtered through the distorted green eye shades of prissy corporate accountants for whom profit is the only priority; where self-censorship is the journalist's normal work environment and where all sins of omission are tacitly encouraged and forgiven with the wave of a balance sheet.

  This is important. We've got a lot of work to do.


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Hush Hush!

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

Last year's dark foreshadowings unfortunately became reality. I thus suggest inoculation by signing onto the HushHush! list at BallotBoxing.US/ It's cheap as well as enlightening entertainment. I suggest coming aboard now. Subscription prices go up soon. Thank you kindly for your support.

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

Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan, executive 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 and received its 8th Nevada Press Association award and 5th first-place at the 30 Sept. 2017 NPA annual convention in Carson City. (That trophy and about six bucks will get you a Latte Mocha Cotsafracas Chingade at just about any Starbux worldwide, guaranteed.)

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Copyright © 1982-2018 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee. He is the executive producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and serves as first vice-president and political action chair 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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