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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)

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     Every rose has its thorn
Just like every night has its dawn
     Just like every cowboy
sings his sad, sad song
     Every rose has its thorn

Salvey and Walden, Poison

I hope you understand I just had to go back to the island.
Leon Russell, 1942-2016

Beer & music and rendering unto Caesar
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 5-16-2018 Sparks Tribune / Updated 5-23-2018, 3-21, 4-3, 4-8, 4-11 and 4-20-2019 / Expansions in blue

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Barbwire wins 8th Nevada Press Association award

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Don't ask Renown Med for marijuana to help your chemo
We Don't Need No Education
Toxic turf threat ignored

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In the Uber-Nevada legislature, words can kill
On artificial turf, don't breathe unless absolutely necessary (above)
Leading questions, lead-headed leaders

Hopelessly trying to win an earthquake
2013 Loony Tunes Legislative Lexicon
The politics of media ga-ga boosterism

We Don't Need No Education—> Neverending Barbwire Series

1997 Pulitzer Prize entries

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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.


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15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
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GOODNIGHT, SWEET PRINCE. Nevada retro rock band Angry Inch Mob hosted an all-day jam last Saturday at the Sparks Lounge in honor of their lost lead guitarist, Mark Anderson. The longtime Sparks resident died of cancer at Renown Medical Center on April 25. The graduate of White Pine High was 61.

In the daytime, my friend Mark was a driver/salesman for Sparks-based Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits. By night, he played rock 'n' roll all over Nevada.

By both day and night, he was a proud member of Teamsters Union Local 533.

The band showed up Saturday in the musical equivalent of the Air Force missing man formation.

It's hard to rock out when your main man has checked into the Hotel California. But they persevered for their friend.

Lead vocalist Eric Eklund of Elko didn't want to sing Mark's favorite song but nonetheless held it together, fighting back tears. (Isn't rock 'n' roll still illegal in Elko?)

As Hunter S. Thompson used to say, when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Eklund delivered a stirring rendition of "Every Rose Has Its Thorn."
Dry eyes were hard to find at the saloon.

Band members Shane Cantrell, Mike Rielly and Dave Patterson rocked hard all day. Local musicians Phil Prunier and Bobby Taco paid their respects the right way, with their music. Mark's sister, Elise Weatherly, sang several solo numbers between sets. Tara Eklund shot video. Mark Lowell Anderson's mom, Beth Jacobs, was pleased.

Few can live a life better than bringing people beer and music.
Nothing else need be said.

YOU'VE LIVED HERE TOO LONG if you can walk into a bar for the first time and run into old friends. Turned out that a couple of my union buds are Sparks Lounge regulars. I bought them a round on Mark.

RENT AND PILLAGE DEPT. Joe Hart at KRNV TV-4 aired a piece last Monday evening about a senior couple who rent a doublewide in a local mobile home park.

The box is falling apart but the out-of-state landlord just raised their rent from $700 to a whopping $1700 a month. The older folks have nowhere to go and face homelessness, a frequent fear here in Tesla Land.

Mr. Hart concluded that there's not much that can be done. I disagree despite Nevada's anti-consumer laws.

Nevada Revised Statutes 118A.290 require that a landlord maintain a "habitable" dwelling.

Instead of paying rent, a tenant may open an escrow account at a financial institution and divert rent into that account until such time as the dwelling is habitable. I was so informed by a notorious but proud self-styled slumlord (State Sen. Cliff McCorkle, R-Reno) back in the 1980s. Hart's subjects certainly demonstrated habitability issues.

The downside is that some landlords and their minions love to evict whenever a tenant complains. Most can't afford lawyers and thus live in fear. The lion's share of Washoe Legal Services' work involves landlord-tenant disputes.

If the mobile home park owns their rental and many homes therein have similar habitability claims, they can go to their neighbors and organize a rent strike, again paying into an escrow account when the rent is due.

I related that information to a Carson City senior citizen several years ago. She lived with her mentally disabled son in a vermin-infested apartment shot thru with holes in the walls, ironically in sight of the Nevada Legislature. To the points above, I added that I knew the mayor and a member of the Board of Supervisors.

The absentee landlord was represented by a morally obtuse Douglas County property manager. The threat of media exposure and busting them with city inspectors got her apartment fixed in no time flat.

Demand for a rent justification ordinance based on actual costs made Barbara Bennett Reno Mayor in 1979. (Barbwire 4-25-2018, Reno News & Review 5-3-2018, Barbwire 3-20-2019 and 4-3-2019 and 4-10-2019 and 4-12-2019 and 4-17-2019 updated 4-20-2019)

Can municipalities enact such laws without going to our always-inert legislature? That's why God made lawyers.

I have been informed that the Washoe County Commission recently discussed appointing a rent ombudsman, a good, if mild, start. In forming a renters' rights organization, I will launch a website so that renters may organize and share information between themselves.
Information is power.

Mayor Bennett's proposed rent justification ordinance would have triggered when vacancies fell below five percent. Hart's report noted that we are far below that figure right now — 1978 all over again. As a realtor friend of mine told me that year, our capitalist system usually works pretty well but not in a speculative boomtown like then and now.

Stay tuned or, better yet, volunteer.

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

"We have never in America made affordable housing a right."— Kirk McClure, professor of urban planning, University of Kansas

The federal government more directly subsidizes low-income renters through public housing and vouchers for use in the private market.

But voucher funding has stagnated, and the stock of public housing has shrunk as units have deteriorated. The tax credit program now serves the largest number of households.

Put together, these programs amount to only a partial housing policy.

“This country does have a national housing policy,” said Kate Hartley, director of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.

“And that is that we provide our greatest subsidies to relatively affluent, housed people.”

— Excerpts from Affordable-housing market worsens for desperate renters
New York Times News Service / Las Vegas Sun 5-14-2018

"All humanity has left the area": paying for Tesla's Gigafactory
Barbano & Nevada conservatives decry corporate welfare
By Rory Carroll / The GuardianUK 7-3-2018
Editor's Note: The Guardian publishes 180,000+ newspapers daily in London and environs and generates ONE BILLION monthly web page views. (I should live so long.) [MUCH MORE TESLACIDE]

ANTE INTO THE GAME: Support the new season of Barbwire.TV by putting your money where my mouth is.

Metastasizical Statisticals

Trump FCC chair investigated for Sinclair ties / 2-15-2018

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.


END OF TIMES SURVIVAL KIT. Defend yourself with humorous or humorless but always-peerless pontification by subscribing to the Barbwire Confidential News Service. Scandalous bonuses for new subscribers.

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. 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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All the news you never knew you needed to know 'til now: Tell your friends and friendly enemies to subscribe to Barbwire Confidential for warm laughter, cheap thrills, hot scoops and occasional cold logic at BallotBoxing.US/ Cheap at twice the price. (Hush Hush!)

Smoking Guns—>
Stormy weather: Poll dancing for fun & prophet
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 5-9-2018 Sparks Tribune
Flint, Nevada: Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 5-2-2018 Sparks Tribune

$75 dead or alive: Still crazy after all these years
A mass murderer becomes famous on TV a century later

How come nobody noticed 'til now?
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 2-21-2018 Sparks Tribune

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory owners Max Blank and Isaac Harris. Is not Mr. Harris eerily familiar to television junkies?

From the Emmy-winning opening slate of the blockbuster "Cheers" television series. Combined with its "Frasier" spinoff, it lasted 20 years.
The "shirtwaist kings" immigrated from Russia and made a fortune manufacturing "Gibson Girl"-style blouses. (Photo, "The American Experience"/PBS)
The Emmy-winning opening slate of the "Cheers" television series before the "slate" of creators is superimposed. Looks like Mr. Harris' dead ringer (at left) is having a bloody good time.

"Who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?" Chico Marx disguised as Groucho Marx in "Duck Soup" (1933)
Back to the story of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist holocaust

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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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