Expanded from the 8-19-2007 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
Updated 8-21-2007, 8-27-2007, 2-21-2008
Perhaps fittingly, Nevada has once again made national waves due to a recurring case of Tumbleweeds journalism. One of the players is the same as the following Barbwire item from June 30, 1996:
One of the running gags in T.K. Ryan's Tumbleweeds comic strip involves the title character always shunning the unwanted attentions of the local spinster. One day, 'Weeds is standing in front of the Grimy Gulch Bar when the newsboy from the Desert Denouncer runs by.
"Extra, extra, read all about it. Tumbleweeds to marry Hildegarde Hamhocker."
Mr. Weeds immediately confronts the newspaper's wacko editor.
"Why did you print that story about me and Hildegarde?"
"Because it's news boy, big news," said the newsman.
"But it's a lie!"
"That ain't news."
RENO (8-20-2007) Because of management stonewalling (standing fast on an offer of a measly 13-cent per hour raise!), Culinary Local 226 has scheduled strike votes on Aug. 30 for its members at the Grand Sierra (formerly the Reno Hilton, northern Nevada's largest gambling property) and Circus Circus in downtown Reno.
Deja vu all over again More than 600 union protestors line up at Circus Circus to march through downtown Reno on 2-18-2000 in support of Culinary Union contract negotiations. Current Secretary-Treasurer D. Taylor led the workers.
Grand Sierra might see Culinary strike
Reno Gazette-Journal 8-21-2007
We live in Grimy Gulch. Just ask John Edwards.
GOING? Last week, the Associated Press put out a story that the Democratic presidential candidate was pulling staffers out of Nevada and pretty much folding his presidential campaign to concentrate on eastern states.
Other campaigns jumped on it, calling the media saying things like "We're still here and we care about your godforsaken cathouse of a state," or somesuch.
John and Elizabeth Edwards now know how Tumbleweeds felt, although they either did a weak job of counterspin or the media failed to report their side.
The facts belie what was generally published. The Edwards campaign moved something like three staffers to eastern states, still leaving a couple dozen working here. Pretty much the status quo ante.
One labor leader told exactly that to a local TV reporter who simply did not use it but aired a more innocuous statement which did not contradict her pre-formed conclusion.
I guess we should be thankful whenever Nevada's January 19 presidential caucus gets any ink at all outside our borders. We have been consistently ignored by most if not all of the eastern talking heads. Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina are players and the Silver State usually isn't mentioned.
Nevada beat out several other states for the new caucus for three reasons: union density, a growing Latino population and recent election results that show what author Jeff Greenfield three decades ago called a Republican solid west is now becoming winnable for the Donkeykongs.
Alas and alack, new signs of the easterly diss are popping up all over, the most significant being Sen. Hillary Clinton's late scratch of her speaking engagement at the Nevada State AFL-CIO convention this Tuesday at the Reno Grand Sierra Resort. [ See sidebar> ]
I hear she made a videotape.
Sen. Edwards is sending former House Whip David Bonior, D-Mich. Sen. Barack Obama is dispatching a former Illinois labor leader. Gov. Bill Richardson, Sens. Joe Biden and Chris Dodd are still on the bill along with that most rare of birds: a female Democratic governor from a blood-red state, in this case Janet Napolitano of Arizona.
[8-21-2007 UPDATE Dodd has also gone AWOL. Why? Read the ultimate diss-claimer.]
Organized labor's talent at motivating its members has proven critical to Democrats in recent election wins, but early warning signs are appearing that this caucus may be our last. Nevada won the honor of hosting the event because of our increasing union density, a growing Latino population and our western location. The first two factors are increasingly problematic.
National unions have ordered their local affiliates not to endorse before next year's primary season is over. So labor's clout in the making of a president will be severely diminished in one of the few states with a growing union membership.
Registering and motivating Latino citizens is a problem neither party has solved, although the Republicans have done just about all they can to alienate the emerging Latino plurality (and in many places, a majority). Comedian Bill Maher, a non-partisan libertarian, recently told Jay Leno that, while he does not endorse candidates, Edwards-Obama would be a helluva ticket.
However, Edwards-Richardson would sew up the Latino contingent for a generation and guarantee Democratic ascendance and GOP devolution for the next 20 years. As usual, the Democrats will probably not be that smart.
And Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, remains the only Democratic presidential candidate talking like a real Democrat and not a moderate Republican.
Sue Toland passed away this morning at 9:30. Watch ReSurge.TV for additional information. Now free from pain, may dear sweet Sue rest in peace.
GOING, GOING. Sunshine Sue Toland is dying young and will be comforted with help from her friends, including me. I am a longtime customer of Crystal Springs Water, her employer.
Sue has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Her co-workers are raising money to make her final months memorable. (The courageous lady still works full time while fighting the Big C.)
Over Labor Day weekend, Crystal Springs staff will hold a yard sale for the colleague they lovingly call Suzi Q. The event is scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1, at the company store, 901 S. Center Street in Reno. A silent auction will be conducted concurrently at Bar USA, next door at S. Virginia and Taylor with a free barbecue beginning at 4:00 p.m.
Sue's friends are seeking donations and will pick them up. I encourage you to call Jennifer Roblyer at (775) 240-2612 or e-mail her at email@example.com
Items not sold on Sept. 1 will be transported to 2166 Canyon Vista Drive in Sparks (off Los Altos which is off Sparks Blvd.) where the sale will continue Sept. 2 and 3. Checks payable to Sue Toland may be mailed to Crystal Springs at the above address, 89501.
More on this as it develops, including information on PayPal contributions.
GONE. Longtime business executive and political pollster Brent Tyler passed away last week at age 79. He wore two media hats for many decades, one as a sales representative for Young Electric Sign Company in Sparks and the other as the best political pollster I ever worked with. On occasion, he would call an election result to within a tenth of a percentage point.
His daughter, former State Sen. Stephanie Tyler-Jackson, R-Reno, informs me that a memorial service is planned for 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 4, at Rancho San Rafael.
I'll be building web pages for both the Sue Toland campaign and for remembrances of my old Republican compadre, so send along whatever you may have.
ADIOS. While I'm on the subject of transitions, Trib columnist Harry Spencer a few weeks ago noted the passing of longtime KTVN TV-2 sales manager Jackson Fleming.
When I saw Jackson's obituary, I went scrambling through grocery receipts.
Sure enough, I had seen the grand old man at Albertson's in northwest Reno on the day he died.
Jackson had just returned from a good time golfing in Oregon. He was frail but still the kind, gentle giant I had known for 36 years.
I saw him load his groceries into his car and drive toward his home a few blocks from mine, where he passed away shortly thereafter.
I felt blessed to have been able to say goodbye in person.
The rest of us remain to do what we can in the time we have.
Be well. Raise hell.
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Copyright © 1982-2007, 2008 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 38-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and a member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.
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