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BARBWIRE TRANSLATION: "You provide the unity, I'll provide the racism"

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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

People get ready, that train's a comin'
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Special Barbwire Confidential Internet Edition 11-12-2019 / Updated 11-14 & 11-15-2019 / Expansions in blue
A version of this column appeared in the Wednesday 11-13-2019 Sparks Tribune
An excerpt of the following was included in Andrew Barbano's address to the school board on Nov. 12.

SPECIAL REPORT FROM THE SCENE OF THE CRIME: Clever maneuvering prevents vote after 4 of 7 trustees announced support for Feemster.

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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

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Americans have a problem about needing to win-win-win. Sometimes the game drowns the meaning. This is one of those times.

Today, the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees re-names the former Hug High School. They stand stand on the threshold of history although they little realize it. Shall our educators light a beacon of hope for the future or admit that nothing matters but political pressure?

Reno City Councilmember Oscar Delgado and I both independently submitted the same recommendations to the school naming committee: Relocate Hug High to the new facility planned at the Wildcreek Golf Course and re-name Hug for Dolores Feemster. One for two.

The existing school in northeast Reno will be repurposed as a vocational center. Three finalists made the cut for today's school board meeting. Reno-Sparks NAACP matriarch Dolores Feemster finished second in the semi-finals (24 to 19 to 12).

The two other finalists are well worthy of having schools named in their honor. Just not Hug. There are plenty of new schools in the pipeline, paid for dearly by the residents of northeast Reno.

Dolores Feemster (1929-2018) and her large family have labored well over 100 years at Hug High as students and administrators. Dolores' daughter-in-law, Dr. Debra Feemster, served as principal. Dolores worked as a counselor at Hug for decades and continued past retirement.

When Hug officials confronted an especially thorny problem or a troubled student, their reaction was very often "call Dolores,"

Dolores Monica Mendocino Feemster was born in an Italian-American enclave on E. 6th Street in northeast Reno. Her father was white, her mother black. I always stood amazed that she grew up in old apartheid Reno and emerged unscathed. There was no bitterness in Mother Dolores. She liked everyone and people reacted that way to her.

She lived most of her life about a mile north of her birthplace in a little house on Sutro. She worked a mile further north at Hug.

Councilman Delgado grew up in the northeast Reno 'hood (as Dolores sweetly termed it).

"It was the house that never turned anyone away," Delgado said.

"It was a home that took everyone's issues in the context that they were real, they were important and that they were important to her and her family. One of the beautiful things about Dolores is she took every issue personally and wanted to find a way to help you, from connecting you with others in the community that could support you, or just putting her arm around you and saying, 'Things are going to be OK. I'll stand with you to see you through it.'"

Nevada's state and local governments run the lowest-taxed havens in the nation. Gambling was first legalized to save mining-busted Nevada from oblivion and pay for needed services like schools. That promise has been broken many times. The gambling-industrial complex and foreign-owned mining, our "extractive" industries, have been emulated by corporate welfare queens of larger appetite.

Sparks and Reno downtown redevelopment districts. The Sparks Scheels-Marina-Target district. Cabela's. The Reno Aceholes ball club. The Oakland Rapists. Tesla, Apple and Switch and so many more. The list of Nevada tax giveaways was about 16 pages long 20 years ago. Now it's an inch-think book.

As a result of our tax largesse to morally obtuse corporations, schools, parks, roads and first responder protections go begging. The Clark and Washoe County school districts opened this year about $50 million in the red. Reno can't afford desperately needed fire engines or firehouses.

The Tesla effect is all around you from angry, crowded streets built for the 1960s to old, overcrowded schools. So what did our betters do? Raise taxes on the poor, many and perhaps most of whom live in Dolores Feemster's northeast Reno neighborhood.

Washoe County voters passed two sales tax increases in the past few years for roads and schools. They were not allowed to vote on any other tax. Low income people and seniors pay the most because one-size-fits-all sales taxes hit them the hardest. An $89 space heater will cost grandma almost a Benjamin with taxes. That's three meals or a prescription.

A wealthier person thinks little of the extra nine bucks.

The recycled Hug High must become the shining symbol of hope on the hill for those who have paid the most for all the new schools and streets. To name it for anyone but Mother Dolores would stand as a constant reminder that no matter how hard you work, you don't count for as much because you're from the 'hood. Except you're allowed to pay higher taxes.

The presstime lobbyist count says it's all over before the pledge of allegiance, three against Dolores and perhaps two more. Why? Heavyweight political pressure and the desire to win-win-win.

If the new school is not Feemster High, the community loses for the next 50+ years and we once again prove that Mississippi West still snarls.

So do, something. The school board meets starting at 4:00 p.m. at 425 East 9th Street. If you know any of them, contact by any means necessary. You can mass e the panel at <>

A VISION OF THE FUTURE. As I walked into a SaveMart (a union shop) last week, I noticed a shopping cart piled high with large trash bags. As I left, I saw a small SaveMart bag hanging off it. The cart's driver had made a small purchase. I got out my wallet and looked for five.

I stopped next to a trash receptacle between myself and the cart. A homeless individual, weathered, white, dressed literally in rags, came up to me and stopped at the trash can. He bent over and picked up a half-eaten lollypop.

Oh, no.

Then he placed it in the trash can. A good citizen doing something for the community that does little for him. I held out ten. He backed away and said "I don't need it."

"Take it anyway and good luck to you, brother," said I. Was he deprived of the tools he needed to thrive, tools like a trade school, perhaps?

I went to my car.

And wept.

So, people get ready, there's a train a-comin'
Picking up passengers from coast to coast
Have pity on those whose chances are thinner.
There's room for all among those loved the most
Curtis Mayfield

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!

UPDATE 11-14-2019: Officially, they didn't cut the baby in half Tuesday night — they went for stillbirth.

School Board President Katy Singlaub Simon Holland saw it wasn't going her way to name the ex-Hug as either Feemster Smith or Smith Feemster (Who was that guy? Can't Google him or her and there's nothing in history books). So Katy punted to Angie Taylor to make a motion. It was supposed to be a motion about having the naming committee come up with other recommendations for the late great State Sen. Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, including re-naming the AACT academy for her.


Katy had earlier polled the trustees and FOUR OF 7 said they'd vote for Feemster, including Angie, who instead put together a convoluted, rambling, sententious, oblique, syntaxless Trumpian motion that even the experienced board secretary could not decipher. (The other pro-Feemsters were Jacqueline Calvert, Melayna Raymond and Ellen Minetto. Mme. President, Andrew Caudill and Scott Kelley went on record for the inchoate Ms. Feemster Smith.)

After perhaps 20 minutes of nebulous, stultifying, meandering stream-of-consciousness digression between all 7 and their lawyer, they bounced the whole thing back to the naming committee, delaying matters by at least two months and probably more. They asked Interim Superintendent Kristen McNeill about the necessity of moving on the new name this fast. She firmly answered in the affirmative, but they paid to no attention.

Mesdames Holland and Taylor thus slyly paved the path of least resistance and their peers predictably followed. Indecision means never having to say you're sorry.

There are many books analyzing group dynamics and how to manipulate them. I venture that the K&A Consortium have read more than a few. Katy and Angie have been thru hundreds of such meetings all their bureaucratic lives and know how to shimmy and shake, twist and shout, ingratiate and manipulate, swing your project and turn a win (OR A LOSS) into a tie while keeping their fingerprints off anything.

In that sense it was a dual-diva virtuosa performance. I am impressed.

"Business as usual," stated a former local elected official who attended. "Even the union guys said 'what a mess' as we were walking out. The Alphas did it to themselves. They have been working on this for two years," the longtime observer said.

Now, we go back to rolling the rock up the hill all over again. Rock 'n' roll, children.

Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.

Andrew Barbano is a 51-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 (including 6 Golds) 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.

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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—>

DO NOT risk your kids at Golden Eagle Park
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 11-6-2019 Sparks Tribune

Tale of 2 city halls: Cancer kids & brain damage
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 10-30-2019 Sparks Tribune

Written in the stars: UNR football for racial justice
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 10-23-2019 Sparks Tribune

Goodbye, Columbus: A mirror for America
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 10-16-2019 Sparks Tribune

Déjà vu all over again: Bernie turns 2020 into 1968
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 10-9-2019 Sparks Tribune

City of Reno turns W. Plumb Lane into horny street
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 10-2-2019 Sparks Tribune

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

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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

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