Pirate Laureate of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream
The Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Columniator Hall of Flames
Now including Dennis Myers and Don Dondero


Site map
SITE NAVIGATION TIPS: When all else fails, read the instructions (A favorite John Hanks aphorism I've been using for decades)

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

New York Times front page headline 8-6-2019
BARBWIRE TRANSLATION: "You provide the unity, I'll provide the racism"

Get ahead of corporate-influenced news—>Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

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

An Alternative National Anthem

   Everybody knows the dice are loaded.
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed.
   Everybody knows the war is over.
Everybody knows the good guys lost.
   Everybody knows the fight was fixed.
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich.
   That's how it goes.
Everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that the boat is leaking.
Everybody knows that the captain lied.
   Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died.
   Everybody talking to their pockets.
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
   And a long red rose.
Everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that you love me, baby.
Everybody knows you really do.
   Everybody knows that you've been faithful,
Give or take a time or two.
   Everybody knows you've been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
   Without your clothes.
Everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that it's now or never.
Everybody knows that it's me or you.
   And everybody knows that you live forever
When you've done a line or two.
   Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
   For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that the plague is coming.
Everybody knows that it's moving fast.
   Everybody knows that the naked man and woman —
Just a shining artifact of the past.
   Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
   That will disclose
What everybody knows.

   And everybody knows that you're in trouble.
Everybody knows what you've been through
   From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach at Malibu.
   Everybody knows it's coming apart.
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
   Before it blows.
And everybody knows.

Everybody knows. Everybody knows.
   That's how it goes. Everybody knows.

By Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson.
© 1988 CBS Records, Inc.

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

City of Reno turns W. Plumb Lane into horny street
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 10-2-2019 Sparks Tribune / Updated 10-3, 10-4 & 10-5-2019 GMT / Expansions in blue

Greatest Hits Dept.


Support Don Dondero
and Jake Highton and Dennis Myers next.

Send endorsements

10 the Hard Way
Barbwire wins 10th Nevada Press Association award

GOLD 2017-18

2018 First-Place Winners

From the depths of despair to the den of iniquity & holy of holies

"Excellent work. These are some of the most moving columns I've read."
— NPA contest judge/9-29-201

The Grasshopper and
the Dragonfly


Kicked off the Ledge

Back to the Future in
Mississippi West Nevada


Gold 2017
Don't ask Renown Med for marijuana to help your chemo

We Don't Need No Education
Toxic turf threat ignored

Kate Smith & Lady Gaga

Bronze 6-pack
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

More statewide and national award winners

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

1997 Pulitzer Prize entries

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

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

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

Tomorrow's news today —> Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential


And I endorse their action, dammit!

Hunter Lake Road to W. Plumb Lane was a two-lane dead end when I moved here in 1971.

A growing population and completion of the southwest quadrant of the McCarran ring road made connection to McCarran necessary. It took decades.

While it had been in the planning stages since the 1950s, the upper crust in southwest Reno prevented completion of the loop for decades. Even then, they only allowed one lane to be paved. A huge right shoulder in each direction became a dirt road. After 30 years or so, the system was finally allowed to pave the outside lanes, so motorists had to navigate a well-worn middle lane with a seam bordering the new right lane. Bumpytown for many years thereafter.

Much the same thing happened with the completion of US 395/I-580. People with lots of money and political clout got the long-planned freeway extension to Washoe Valley and Carson City delayed, then shunted across S. Virginia Street thru the southeast and over Pleasant Valley. Southwest ranches remain rural.

The resulting American Stonehenge bridge is a monument to legal fees, political juice, construction delays and cost overruns. The first contractor quit because the high-rise bridge was too dangerous for his workers exposed to the prevailing westwinds of Washoe Valley. It has cut the travel time to the capital city by about 12 minutes at the cost of tens of millions with a few lives lost on the Pleasant Valley five-lane destruction derby in the process.

W. Plumb has had flashing signs and traffic warnings posted for years. Parents have made signs pleading "imagine your kid living here."

RPD has made money for the city busting errant speeders but motorcycle cops can't live there every day.

HORNS OF THE DILEMMA. In desperation, folks have apparently resorted to (I'm not making this up) posting official deer crossing warnings. I guess they convinced city hall that big critters are making it alive across hellaciously busy McCarran and wandering W. Plumb toward Park Lane.

I won't question it if it makes that street safer for the moppets I witnessed watched over by a grandma on Monday.

If nothing worked to slow down self-absorbed speeders, perhaps such selfishness can be utilized, sorta road rage jiu jitsu. A four year-old can't dent your Lexus very much. But a 160-pound buck with full antlers? Man, that'll increase your insurance rates for damned sure! And make you late for golf.

KAMALA ON THE LINE. California Democratic Senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris will picket the Stead General Motors parts distribution center with striking United Auto Workers at 10:45 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 3. It's located at 6565 Echo Ave. (Reno NV 89506) near the Stead Airport.

Fellow Donkeyite Tom Steyer and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg also joined the strikers last week. Ms. Harris will then rush to a noonish rally at the UNR Student Union.

Monitor for strike updates.

UPDATE on Sen. Sanders' condition

From: "Las Vegas Review Journal" <>
Date: 4 Oct 2019 18:36:19 -0400

NEWS ALERT BREAKING NEWS — Sen. Bernie Sanders was released from Desert Springs Hospital on Friday 10-4, after spending the week recovering from an emergency heart procedure after suffering a heart attack, his campaign confirmed in a statement. CBS News reported that he suffered a mayocardial infarction, aka heart attack.

10-3-2019 — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) just underwent heart surgery in Las Vegas. Upload bountiful and powerful meditations, emanations, vibrations, astral projections and/or prayers for a truly great man. He remains hospitalized as of 5:00 PDT Oct. 3.

THAT SINKING FEELING. All Democrats are running basically the same standard campaign against a mad king with a big, well-funded army. You can't beat a TV folk hero with garden variety vinegar-filled toy balloons. The Donkeykongs continue playing on Trump's turf. (See last week's Barbwire quoting legendary campaign consultants Damon Runyon, Doonesbury and Sun Tzu.)

I've had a borderline brilliant crazy idea and have started bicycling it around. For a hint, read "Audience of One," NY Times chief TV critic James Poniewozik's killer new book you can order at Grassroots Books on W. Grove Street.

ST. JOAN RETURNS. Reno Councilmember Jenny Brekhus is up for re-election next year and courageously enters the cave of the bear this afternoon. She will advocate establishment of a Tenants Issues and Concerns Board charged with exposing rent gouging. It will provide a forum for the aggrieved.

Based on my research, some of which ran in The Guardian of London/UK last July, many renters are too scared to come forward in this evict-at-will-without-much-warning state. Nevada's leading tenant rights advocate, Sen. Julia Ratti, D-Sparks, will probably attend. The item lies late on the agenda, so perhaps mid-afternoon. Or you can watch on the city's Spectrum cable channel.

"We should be taking steps to benefit our struggling tenant households at the same time we are creating financial incentives for the housing industry," St. Jen sez. Watch for updates.

From: Jon Humbert <>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2019 17:35:59 -0700
Subject: October 2, 2019 Reno City Council Highlights

Tenant Issues and Concerns Citizens Advisory Board: Council unanimously approved the creation of the Board in order to research and guide housing issues across the city. (Emphasis added)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR for the Oct. 19 Reno-Sparks NAACP's 74th Annual Freedom Fund Dinner at the Grand Sierra Resort. We will remember Sparks Tribune alumnus and Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Hall of Flames honoree Dennis Myers at the event.

In 2015, Dennis and his Reno News & Review crew received the inaugural Bertha Woodard/Eddie Scott Human Rights Advocacy Award for their years-long reportage on human rights issues. It's the organization's highest honor. We will walk one more time with our friend at the gala.

Presidential candidates have been invited and a few might even show up. Reservations and updates at

BREAKING NEWS —> School may be named in honor of Dolores Feemster

(From KTVN TV-2 11:00 p.m. PDT 10-2-2019) — Washoe County School District Trustees have placed the name of former Reno-Sparks NAACP President Dolores Feemster in nomination for a new high school or for the current Hug High School after it is repurposed as a trade school (and perhaps Procter Hug's name transferred to a new facility). Mrs. Feemster (1929-2018) was a longtime counselor at Hug High. Also nominated: the late Sen. Debbie Smith, D-Sparks (Operating Engineers Local 3/AFL-CIO); late Sparks Middle School eighth-grade math teacher Michael Landsberry who died protecting students in a 2013 mass shooting; former Superintendent Paul Dugan and author Sessions "Buck" Wheeler (1911-1998).

Proposed names for the new high school at the current Wildcreek Golf Course: Hug, Debbie Smith, Dolores Feemster, Feemster, Battle Born. For the repurposed Hug High: Feemster, Debbie Smith, Hug, Sessions Wheeler, Landsberry, Battle Born, Paul Dugan.

Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer
(And my French.)
Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)

¡Sí se puede!

Andrew Barbano is a 50-year Nevadan, executive producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, first vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, superannuated labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of and BallotBoxing.US and and and Protect Our As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail He has lived in both northern and southern Nevada during his half-century+ in the Silver State. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988 and received its 10th Nevada Press Association award (6 first-place) at the 21 Sept. 2019 NPA annual convention in Ely. In 1996, he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for a six-month investigative series. His multi-media road construction zone safety campaign for Laborers' Union Local 169 won a first-place award from the National Safety Council in a nationwide competition. (Such ephemera and about six bucks will get you a Latte Mocha Cotsafracas Chingade at just about any Starbux worldwide, guaranteed.) His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian of London/UK and more important publications.


Veni, Vidi, Jockocracy?
Locker room rules: Caesars goes commando, union vows resistance to Eldorado empire

By Bryan Horwath / Las Vegas Sun 6-28-2019 / Reno Gazette-Journal 7-8-2019

Eldorado-Caesars merger means labor union battles far beyond Reno & Las Vegas
Culinary Union leader D. Taylor: "Where are they going to cut?"

Building trade union campaigns continue
By Ed Komenda / Reno Gazette-Journal / 6-27-2019

[4-20-2019] — About 100 demonstrators from almost all the region's unions, local community service organizations and political activists joined Culinary Union members picketing Circus Circus in the late afternoon of April 18. A couple of CC suits came out to see what all the fuss was about, as if they didn't already know. In addition to the familiar union "contract now!" chants came calls for a strike against the Carano jocks. ¡Viva Huelga! ¡Sí se puede!

REAL NEWS DEPT. In January 2019, Culinary Union Local 226 defeated an attempt by Circus Circus-Reno to decertify (terminate) the union's representation of its workers. No word on whether management plans to appeal the result to the National Labor Relations Board which was recently put out of business for 35 days. Thank you, Czar Donaldov.

CONSUMER CONUNDRUMS: PINK SLIPS, PURGES AND PRUNING. I need to hear from recently purged Eldorado Hotel-Casino, Circus Circus-Reno and Silver Legacy employees. Barbwire spies report perhaps 100 workers got the ax just in time for the 2018 holidays. In the Tribune, at Barbwire.US and in the London Guardian, I have lamented the deepening desperation of renters here in Tesla Valhalla. I'm now getting complaints about medical and dental practices purportedly pruning their patient loads, cutting loose the less-lucrative. That's de facto malpractice but medical professionals are lawsuit-proof under Nevada law — unless you're rich enough to personally pay a few hundred grand in legal fees. That's why TV lawyers only advertise for arrest or accident cases these days. If you've been cast adrift by patient pruning, call me at (775) 882-TALK or e-mail me.

Peruse the Underbelly of the News —> Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

For 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!)

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.

Smoking Guns—>

Hip-hopping mad over molesters and Mad Kings
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 9-25-2019 Sparks Tribune

Trade the Confederacy straight across for Greenland
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 9-18-2019 Sparks Tribune

Cut in twain
(Myers' favorite photo)

Dennis Myers: Enroute to the universe next door
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 9-11-2019 Sparks Tribune
Obituary, 1948-2019
[En Español — La Voz Hispana En Nevada 9-18-2019]

Philippines to Burning Man to Ireland: Adios GOAT
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 9-4-2019 Sparks Tribune

Nevadian Dennis Myers: The Greatest Of All Time
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 8-28-2019 Sparks Tribune

Veteran Nevada reporter Myers removed from life support
Dennis C. Myers 1948-2019
[En Español — La Voz Hispana En Nevada 9-18-2019]

Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Special Internet Edition 8-25-2019 Sparks Tribune

Reno City Council passes rent control
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 7-17-2019 Sparks Tribune

Relieve Rent & Pillage: Save SB398 & AB399

Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Special Online Legislative Edition / 4-12-2019 / Updated 4-13 and 4-14-2019 GMT
Fairness for tenants dies 4-12 unless lawmakers throw it a lifeline

Politics does not reward the shy
Rent justification and a death penalty for corporate depredation
by Andres Luis Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 4-10-2019 Sparks Tribune / Updated 4-11 and 4-12-2019 GMT
Fairness for tenants dies 4-12 unless lawmakers throw it a lifeline

Sore-oppressed Soul-Sister Cities: Menlo Park and Reno-Sparks-Fernley share similarly sad high-tech stretch marks.
"All humanity has left the area": paying for Tesla's Gigafactory with outrageous rents and scrambling schools
Barbano and Nevada conservatives decry corporate welfare depredations
By Rory Carroll / The Guardian 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.)

"Facebook is taking everything": rising rents drive out Silicon Valley families
Property companies advertising their proximity to Facebook’s campus are giving low-income residents a choice: pay a huge rent increase or move out
By Sam Levin / The Guardian 6-20-2018

A cuckoo coup and a president, too
Barbwire exclusive: Secret 2017 meeting set the setup in motion
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Uploaded 7-23-2019 / Expanded from the Wednesday 7-24-2019 Sparks Tribune

Alfred E. Neuman for Washoe school superintendent
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 7-10-2019 Sparks Tribune

Witness at the execution
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 7-3-2019 Sparks Tribune

Gang banging on 9th Street
by Andrew Barbáno
/ Special Barbwire Confidential Extra Edition / Monday 7-1-2019 / Updated 7-3-2019 We Don’t Need No Education Archive

BLACK LIKE ME 2119: The problem as solution
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-13-2019 Sparks Tribune / Updated 2-14 and 2-16-2019
Breaking News —> Culinary Union defeats decert at Circus Circus Reno
Dear Readers: The above column served as the conclusion of remarks I submitted before the "Tahoe Talks: Racism in America" symposium at the Incline Village, Nev., Library on February 12, 2019. So you might want to read "FADE TO BLACK" before you read "Black Like Me 2119".

$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

Triangle tragedy recalled as requiem
"The Fire in My Mouth," a new oratorio by Pulitzer honoree Julia Wolfe, premiered with the New York Philharmonic Jan. 24

By Michael Cooper / The New York Times 1-23-2019

SITE NAVIGATION TIPS: When all else fails, read the instructions (A favorite John Hanks aphorism I've been using for decades) | U-News | Bulletins + Almanac
Casinos Out of Politics (COP) | Sen. Joe Neal
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors
| BallotBoxing.US | Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
The Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Columniator Hall of Flames
Annual César Chávez Celebration
War Rooms:
Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's/cabellyup, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Food, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
We Don't Need No Education
Search this site | In Search Of...


Copyright © 1982-2019 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 50-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

Get ahead of corporate-influenced news—>Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

Comments and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins