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ANDREW BARBANO
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Photo: Debra Reid, Sparks Tribune



   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 the scene is dead
   But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
   What everybody knows...
   Everybody talking to their pockets.
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
   and a long red rose.
   Everybody knows. Everybody knows.
That's how it goes.
Everybody knows.

By Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) & Sharon Robinson
© 1988 CBS Records, Inc.


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


Déjà vu all over again. And again.
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 11-23-2022 / Expansions in blue


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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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Gov. Steve Sisolak and Gomorrah South Sheriff Joe Lombardo beat hell out of each other with corruption allegations.

Apparently their highly-paid campaign consultants told them that "so's you're old man!" constitutes an adequate response to schoolyard insults.

Mr. Sisolak has been a very good governor under the most trying conditions in Nevada history. Lombardo of course blamed him for all the ills of society from pothole to porridge to president.

Many candidates have been hit with low blows and nonetheless took the bull by the horns and won. In 1974, Lt. Gov. Harry Reid, leading the U.S. Senate race, legitimately criticized ex-Gov. Paul Laxalt for the Chicago wiseguy financing of Laxalt's Ormsby House Hotel-Casino. Reid demanded full disclosure. Laxalt called it an attack on his family and asked "what does he want, a financial statement from my sister, a Carmelite nun?" That red-herring dragged across the path of the attack dogs worked magic. Laxalt won by a hare's breadth.

Sisolak's loss is almost Shakespearean poetic justice. He won the 2018 Democratic primary by accusing Christina Giunchigliani of years of skimming campaign funds to her husband's company. Actually, Gary Gray ran an advertising agency and worked for a lot of candidates. Gary was a primo political strategist, one of the best.

I spent a long time in that business. Ad agencies retain roughly between 10 and perhaps 20 percent of what they charge candidates. The rest goes to media schedules and ad production. All Chris G. had to do was explain that. She did. Sorta. To a single solitary Las Vegas TV station and thought that was the end of it. Dumb campaign management.

Gary Gray had been killed in 2015 when his car got rear-ended at a stop sign. Otherwise, his wife and client could well have been Nevada's first woman governor.

Fast forward to Lombardo's attacks on Sisolak's wife for acting as a consultant to an incompetent COVID-19 testing contractor retained with federal funds. Sisolak apparently chose not to respond, just like Chris G. He merely stepped up his negative attacks on Lombardo.

Whatever either was paying their high-priced consultants, it was way too much. Did Lombardo win on that issue? I think so


Like Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, Sisolak prevailed only Clark and Washoe counties, but he won both by far less than the senator. The guv failed to respond with either a factual explanation or clever diversion like Laxalt .

Believe it or else, voters will listen to reason. They want to believe in their governor. As I noted last week, the Donkeykongs did their best to commit suicide in many races but did rather well despite their consultants in Tahoe Blue Nevada. Perhaps Mr. Sisolak is the latest example of the adage that Democrats don't win elections, Republicans lose them.

Responsibility for each campaign lies with the candidate. Winners know how to manage their managers.

LOWEST OF THE LOW: Rich carpetbagger and powerbroker wannabe Robert Kingfish Beadles who published a smear against a candidate which I refuse to even describe. The candidate he trashed won in a walk. Somebody get out the insect spray for this petty pestilence.

TOLJASO DEPT. PART 1. As I predicted several times, "gas prices will magically start dropping after election day as BigOil has done all it could to elect moonhowlers who will set in cement the Trumpista tax cuts for the corporately wealthy."

As of last Friday, the price of gas fell to $3.71 a gallon nationally, down from $3.87 a month earlier. In oil-rich Texas and other parts of the Confederacy, gas is now close to $3.00 a gallon, about the same as November 2021. (NY Times) Nevada is down 25 cents a gallon from a month ago and almost a dollar from a year ago (AAA) A miracle, eh wot?. Alleluia!

TOLJASO, PART DEUX. In 1984 during the early days of gambling's nationwide explosion, I responded to a letter from a Nevada grandmother worried about the U.S. military allowing gambling on bases. She wasn't worried about her grandchildren. Growing up in Nevada, she had taught them how to handle themselves.

She worried about young people who had never been exposed until they got to a military base, so she wrote her congresswoman. Sen. Paul Laxalt had gotten his former office manager elected to Congress in 1982.

Slot playing was "healthy" and "cost effective" recreational activity, keeping young soldiers "off the streets and away from drugs and other illegal activities," Rep. Barbara Vucanovich stated in her response. At the time, slots were illegal almost everywhere in the United States.

I distributed the story. United Press International sent it worldwide. The Reno Gazette-Journal printed it in their early out-of-town edition, realized they might anger big advertisers, and nuked it in Washoe/Carson. They just wouldn't allow this scurrilous Democrat to say bad things about gambling. The Las Vegas Sun hit me the same way.

Mrs. Vucanovich's husband, a very personable fellow, was then vice-president of the nation's largest device maker which had a $15 million Pentagon slot contract.

Today, there are 3,141 slots on foreign U.S. bases generating about $100 million a year. The minimum number of U.S. soldiers who have developed gambling problems now stands at 56,000 according to the Center for Problem Gambling and the non-profit Pew Research Center.

One of two tough grandmothers proved correct.

STRIKE 4? If members of the Virginia Amalgamated Transit Union go on strike against foreign-owned manager Keolis-19, the work stoppage could spread to Reno and Las Vegas. Watch NevadaLabor.com/

THANKS TO ALL who have responded to help the family of RTCRide transit operator Mike Guerra who died at 65 on August 31 due to complications from Parkinson's disease.
Please go to gofund.me/c1fed539/ or send checks or money orders payable to Mike's mother, Olivia Baker, addressed to her attention at Teamsters Local 533, 1190 Selmi Drive No. 100, Reno 89512. Formal obituary at NevadaLabor.com/

Happy Thanksgibleting to you and yours.

Vaxx up, stay safe and pray for Ukraine and 53 other currently war-torn lands.

¡ se puede!

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (Pardon my French.) Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)
__________________
_
Andrew Quarantino Barbano is a 54-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, DoctorLawyerWatch.com, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, ChantalCoalition.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO. As always, his comments are entirely his own. He is retained by no political campaign. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

The Barbwire Blue-footed Booby Prizes
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 11-16-2022
Updated 11-19 & 11-21 GMT / Expansions in magenta

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of elections decided by a cat's whisker. Sooner or later, we're gonna run out of cats.

The Barbwire herewith antes a new critter into the governmental menagerie and freak show: the blue-footed booby. (I'm not making this up.)

Said booby is a marine bird which resembles a long-beaked seagull with webbed feet wider than a duck. Bright baby blue footsies.

The booby's vivid paddles "play a key role in its mating display," according to bird watchers, "a sexually selected trait." Politics with a lascivious mating dance. What's not to like?

The booby's distinctive face looks at photographers with a slightly irritated expression which says "my, you poor human, born so plainly repulsive."

Herewith, the first and perhaps last Barbwire Blue-footed Booby Prizes, researching for which we spared every expense, as usual.

BOOBY GOLD.
Czar Donaldov
's favorite senator-in-waiting Herschel Walker, who uttered epigrams for the ages like "the U.S. is the greatest country in the United States" and "what's a pronoun?" (An NFL linebacker, as opposed to an amateur noun?)

If Molly Ivins was alive, she'd be turning over in her grave. (Props to Yogi.)

The procreatively prolific dumb jock from Georgia is worthy of Ivins' most memorable appellation: "If his I.Q. gets any lower, we'll have to water him twice a day."

BOOBY SILVER.
A tie between two pimples upon the body politic for years to come, Senator-elect J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, and Governor-elect Joe Lombardo, R-Gomorrah South. Both chose public degradation over self respect.

On the same stage with the Count of Mar-a-Crisco, the burly Vance endured Trump's accurate boast that his former critic "is now kissing my ass" after earlier harshly criticizing Trump's election theft lies. Sometimes, kissing ass works for the toxically ambitious.

Giuseppe "This is Joe" Lumbago did pretty much the same thing. When the Florida Orange Squeezer heard that Lombardo would not call him a great president who had been cheated of re-election, Trump rolled the Republican national chairwoman out of bed and gave her an hour to whip the sheriff into submission. The macho cop quickly issued a press release and at the following Minden Airport rally called Trump "the greatest president, right?"

The new governor of Nevada: ChapStick poster child, right?

BOOBY BRONZE. Washoe County Assessor Mike Clark who misled voters into thinking he might cut their property taxes in winning the job eight years ago. Clark was later barred from his own office after wholesale charges of sexual harassment and dictatorial nonfeasance. He showed up for work sporadically after hiring his defeated opponent, incumbent Joshua Wilson, to run the office for him.

Clark showed the same moral obtuseness in scoring a county commission seat. He and fellow Republican, incumbent Jeanne Herman, used county facilities for a thinly-veiled campaign event at which Clark promised tax cuts for aggrieved Swan Lake homeowners. A county property valuation assessor has no power over tax rates.

He must recuse himself from any involvement in budgeting, staffing or administration of the assessor's office for his entire term, right? Surely, I jest, right?

Clark has done the public one favor. His daughter, Meghan Ehbert, a Democrat, has apparently defeated Republican incumbent Reno City Councilmember Bonnie Weber.

BOOBISH BEHAVIORS. Outgoing Gov. Steve Sisolak and Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, both of whom failed to take advantage of skyrocketing gas prices to produce effective responses. All they had to do was look at Nevada history from about 25 years ago when state lawmakers reigned in corporate ownership of multiple retail outlets. (The law was sunsetted after five years. (See the Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive.)

You didn't think I'd let the Donkeykongs off, did you Booby?

COMING SOON: Gov. Sisolak lost as he won, a Barbwire Confidential exclusive. STAY TUNED.

HELP STILL WANTED.
As noted last week, I've been contacted by a major TV network looking for student athletes injured on artificial turf. Call or e-mail me.

PLAY AT YOUR OWN RISK. Two professional high school teams again play for Nevada's big-school championship this Saturday when Reno's Bishop Manogue plays LV's Bishop Gorman. As wealthy private institutions, both can recruit athletes nationwide like major colleges. They thus dominate state championships over public schools limited to choosing from the children of peons within local districts.

Carson High will host the playoff. On cancer-causing, brain-damaging, knee-tweaking crumb rubber turf, mostly comprised of ground-up used tires. Pray for the kids used as sacrificial rubes by their boorish booboisie elders. (Props to H.L. Mencken.)

CUT THE PACK SOME SLACK. This is not the first time the University of Nevada-Reno has suffered a losing season after a previous coach's quitting eviscerated the team. I can't blame former football head coach Jay Norvell for blowing out to Colorado State for a $1 million a year raise. Many of Norvell's players followed him out the door leaving newbie Ken Wilson holding an empty bag. Does redemption await in two weeks in Gomorrah South?

Perhaps not. Ex-Wolf Pack coach Jeff Horton added insult to injury by beating UNR and his mentor Chris Ault who stepped into a losing season after Horton emigrated south. Déjà vu all over again, Yogi?

BOOBY, TOO. Last week, madcap Congresscritter Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Confederate Georgia, said that Donald Trump had been "politically persecuted worse than any human being in our country's history."

Jim Crow, call your office.

THANKS TO ALL who have responded to help the family of RTCRide transit operator Mike Guerra who died at 65 on August 31 due to complications from Parkinson's disease.
Please go to gofund.me/c1fed539/ or send checks or money orders payable to Mike's mother, Olivia Baker, addressed to her attention at Teamsters Local 533, 1190 Selmi Drive No. 100, Reno 89512. Formal obituary at NevadaLabor.com/

Vaxx up, stay safe and pray for Ukraine and 53 other currently war-torn lands.

¡ se puede!

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (Pardon my French.) Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)
__________________
_
Andrew Quarantino Barbano is a 54-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, DoctorLawyerWatch.com, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, ChantalCoalition.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO. As always, his comments are entirely his own. He is retained by no political campaign. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Help wanted: athletes wounded on toxic turf
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 11-9-2022 / Expansions in blue

I need injury, pain and mayhem. Blood optional but helpful.

No, I'm not doing publicity for Dr. Hannibal Lecter. I need athletes and recreational users who've been injured at places like Sparks' Golden Eagle Park.

A major television network is planning stories about "non-contact" injuries on artificial turf.

Perhaps the most famous example happened to Ronnie Lott, the San Francisco 49ers' Hall of Fame defensive back. He fell on a sideline play and got one of his pinky fingers caught in a turf seam and broke the finger. (Some of the phony green is even installed using zippers.) Doctors informed him that he would have to call it a season while the pinky healed, and then undergo extensive rehab to get everything working again. Instead, he chose to have the tip of his pinky finger amputated so he could return to competition as quickly as possible.

The most serious artificial turf maladies happen to knees, especially anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL). "Turf toe" is perhaps the most frequent affliction and can be so painful as to sideline an athlete.

Invented by Monsanto, the first "ChemGrass" was laid at Moses Brown High School in Providence Rhode Island in 1964. Re-named for its most famous installation, it became Astroturf in the Houston Astrodome in 1966. Because it was so hard underneath and caused so many serious injuries, Astroturf was replaced by "field turf," a kinder, gentler source of mayhem.

Fast forward to the 21st Century and the state of the green art now sports a crumb rubber dark side.

In order to look pretty for TV, something was needed to keep the phony blades of grass from being stomped into a ghastly pancake.

Going with the cheapest alternative in the finest American tradition, manufacturers began using ground-up old tires as spacers between blades. Watch the feet of athletes during games and you will see them kicking up fine clouds of black dust.

Award-winning former Tribune photographer John Byrne got a picture worth a thousand words, some poor lout riding a turf fluffer at Golden Eagle and kicking up a black toxic cloud.

A FieldTurf employee steers a machine to scrape the artificial turf on one of the multi-purpose fields at Golden Eagle Regional Park

Company brushing artificial turf at Golden Eagle park [Photo: John Byrne]
Sparks Tribune 11-10-2015

Official: Sparks not seeking warranty replacement of artificial turf at Golden Eagle Regional Park
By Kent Lauer / Tribune 9-1-2015

 

It was pre-COVID and he was not wearing a mask. He should have.

Ground-up tires contain about 100 chemicals, the full effects of which are mostly unknown. However, benzene and lead lurk among them. Both are recognized cancer and brain damage hazards. especially for kids.

Research done at Yale University noted that soccer players are the worst affected for cancer, especially goalies who contract lymphomas and leukemias. (Hartford Courant 9-29-2015)

They breathe the hazards countless times per outing, kinda like that hapless Sparks turf fluffer.

Last week, a network TV producer noticed an installment of the longrunning Barbwire toxic turf series, "DO NOT risk your kids at Golden Eagle Park." (Barbwire 11-6-2019) It came up on a Lexus/Nexus search and I got a call.

The network wants to talk to parents and student athletes who've been injured on the made-for-TV phony grass. (Hey, it's photogenic and cheap. What's not to like?)

Sparks City Hall has bragged that Golden Eagle is the broadest expanse of the green plague in the United States, so this is a chance for another public relations coup for the Rail City and Nevada.

A few years back, I tried to warn our eminent city fathers not to re-carpet the place and instead try this new-fangled stuff called grass.

I ventured up to McQueen High to get down with the plastic pollution. Student athletes were practicing on the football field. I talked to a couple of coaches about the hazards of crumb rubber turf.

They were embarrassed and knew full well the danger to their charges. But they had no power to do anything and I got the impression that they were scared to raise the issue with school administrators.

Crumb rubber turf is epidemic throughout northern Nevada. In addition to McQueen, it infests Carson, Douglas, Manogue and Damonte Ranch high schools as well as the Jan Evans Juvenile Detention Center, UNR's Mackay Stadium, Wolf Pack and Peccole parks. That list is by no means exhaustive.

Crumb rubber turf is so toxic that it cannot legally be dumped in a landfill.

The University of Nevada-Reno athletic department has never responded to my inquiries.

Since I started exposing this plague seven years ago, I have not succeeded in getting anyone in power to listen.

The Nevada Press Association awards the series has garnered are thus cold comfort. Cancer clusters are hard to pin down and take decades to manifest. (Just ask Fallon.)

But this potential international exposure about the injury factor can provide a good, high profile addition to the literature on the issue.

So please spread the word. Contact me if you or someone you know has been injured on phony grass.

You will be doing the world a good deed and maybe save some kid from severe illness or injury.

REMEMBER MY PEERLESS PREDIXION: Gas prices will magically start dropping after this week's elections as BigOil has done all it could to elect moonhowlers who will set in cement the Trumpista tax cuts for the corporately wealthy.

In a dark foreshadowing, Wall Street jumped up on Monday in anticipation.

THANKS TO ALL who have responded to help the family of RTCRide transit operator Mike Guerra who died at 65 on August 31 due to complications from Parkinson's disease.

Please go to gofund.me/c1fed539/ or send checks or money orders payable to Mike's mother, Olivia Baker, addressed to her attention at Teamsters Local 533, 1190 Selmi Drive No. 100, Reno 89512. Formal obituary at NevadaLabor.com/

Vaxx up, stay safe and pray for Ukraine and 53 other currently war-torn lands.

¡ se puede!

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (Pardon my French.) Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)
__________________
_
Andrew Quarantino Barbano is a 54-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, DoctorLawyerWatch.com, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, ChantalCoalition.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO. Phone (775) 786-1455. As always, his comments are entirely his own. He is retained by no political campaign. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Web xtras and smoking guns —> The complete Barbwire artificial turf archive, including John Byrne's photo, may be accessed at ConsumerCoalitionv.org/

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$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 © 1982-2022 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 54-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and SenJoeNeal.org; 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 a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us.

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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