Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter cable channels 16 & 216
High-definition channel 80-295
2:00-4:00 p.m. PDT M-F, 21:00-23:00 ZULU/GMT
Call 775-882-TALK (882-8255)
Streaming at Barbwire.TV, reruns statewide.
What may well be the first marriage of talk radio, talk TV and webcast webchat

Shining light into dark places
Expanded from the 9-27-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune
Barbwire wins second straight Nevada Press Association first-place award
Updated 9-28, 9-29 and 9-30-2009 (Roger Maillard Memorial Service Announced)
Updated 10-27-2009

A few weeks back, I reported on the Reno City Council coming dangerously close to breaking Nevada's open meeting law by polling consensus behind closed doors. Another nail in the coffin of open government will be quietly pounded down this Tuesday.

Barbwire column on the depredations of Charter Communications and the Reno City Council wins 2009 Nevada Press Association first-place award

The Barbwire TV/webcast show will return as soon as new studio construction is complete. Your contribution will be most welcome. Keep an eye on the Barbwire print edition for updates.

Past 12 months
Use the search tool you will find at page right at the above link. It will return the 19 newest. A button for older shows is being installed. You may also search by date — M-F for the past year save holidays.

Click here for on-demand re-runs
from the 2009 legislative session

(775) 882-8255

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

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

Charter Communications, which victimizes about half the households in the Truckee Meadows, will terminate government access programming to its basic and expanded basic customers.

The blackout results from an outrageous deal the Reno council made last year in selling out its ratepayers.

I'd feel a little better about being sold out if the city or the citizenry had gotten something for it.

Alas and alack, the denizens of the downtown black tower didn't even score 30 pieces of silver.

If you sell cheap, you are cheap.

In order to keep public, educational and governmental (PEG) access channels widely available, Reno originally threatened to go to court. My cable ratepayers group and Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., were likewise ready to rock 'n' roll.
Other jurisdictions have successfully sued cable providers for pulling such skulduggery.

At the last minute, Reno officials folded for less than nothing and didn't even get kissed afterward.

Sparks, Washoe County and community access stations were moved to the higher cost, lower-surfed digital tier. Government meetings were supposed to appear for awhile on a single shared outlet, Charter Channel 13.

It was bad enough that the agreement gave Reno control of Sparks and Washoe programs, but the cable bandidos quickly broke the deal. Turned out that it was technically too difficult or bothersome for Charter to stream Sparks and Washoe government meetings over the shared station, so Charter violated the contract and Reno got to keep its exclusive channel. Rolling over for corporate interests as always, the Sparks City Council and the Washoe County Commission never complained.

The never-shared channel goes away this week and Reno will join Sparks and the county in placing about one in six of their cable constituents in the dark about government activities. PEG programming will be permanently banished to channels 200, 213, 215, 216 and 217 unless you pay Charter extra for a digital converter. (Some, by no means all, newer TV sets don't require it.)

All of this underscores the importance of fighting to maintain and expand community media. In 1991-92, I served on the founding board of Sierra Nevada Community Access Television (SNCAT). We saved it from extermination before launch.

In recent years, I have done what I could to help it survive in an era when community media are dropping like flies all across the country, but not for lack of interest. The terminal disease is corporate greed which lusts after the cable bandwidth to scam for profitable new high definition channels. Charter adds 16 of them this week, using roughly the same amount of bandwidth formerly reserved for the PEG stations.

SNCAT continues the good fight to survive in a tough environment.

I am heading fundraising for the new community radio entity, which, with any luck, will broadcast over a new full-power fm station not too many months down the road. For now, we are working at re-engineering the radio-TV-webcast studio in SNCAT's new digs at Reno's Meadowood Mall.

KJIV Radio should be back webstreaming soon and with it, my show and its TV simulcast.

Please consider supporting the cause. Go to ReSurge.TV to contribute online or send a check or money order to ReSurge.TV, P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

You will find the complete history of these issues at the website or linked to the web edition of this column at

I know times are tight, but this is important.

We must get non-corporate media off the endangered species list.

THE POWER OF COMMUNITY MEDIA. Last week, the Northern Nevada International Center at UNR hosted a very impressive delegation of women leaders from various French-speaking African nations.

I let my AfricaCorps know about it.

Last year, NNIC brought in a large group of journalists from Africa. They toured SNCAT, including my radio-TV-webcast postage stamp of a studio. We had a great time.

As I compulsively do with everyone, I collected their e-mail addresses. The list proved useful for informing African media about the UNR event. I have already heard from several of last year's visitors who thanked me for the news.

ADIOS TO A UNION MAN. "I am sad to report that brother Roger Maillard died on Tuesday, Sept. 22, in Carson City," came a late-breaking memo from Nevada State AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Danny Thompson.

"Roger was one of our full time lobbyists during the past several sessions of the Nevada Legislature," Thompson added.

"Those of you who worked with Roger over the years knew him as a tireless advocate for state workers, retirees and labor in general. We will inform you on his funeral arrangements once they have been made," Thompson stated.

The Carson City Nevada Appeal reported that "Roger Kirby Maillard, 72, of Carson City, died Sept. 22, 2009. He was born July 17, 1937, in Dover, N.J. He is survived by his companion, Eloise Koenig; daughters, Kelly DiCianno-Pawley and Kristina Crandell; and three grandchildren. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Walton's Chapel of the Valley is in charge of arrangements."

UPDATE 9-30-2009: A Celebration of Life will be held for Roger Maillard on October 11, 2009, between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. at the Brewery Arts Center Blackbox Theater, 449 W. King Street, Carson City, Nevada. In lieu of flowers those wishing may make a donation to the charity of their choice.

Roger Maillard put his money where my mouth was. When I approached the Carson City labor lobbying corps about supporting the expansion of my TV show into the capital city during the 2009 legislative session, Roger was the first to ante into the game with a personal check to defray expenses. As I go forward, I will always work to justify his faith in me.

GARY WOLFF UPDATE. The Reno Gazette-Journal's pay-to-play website for Gary Wolff (1944-2009) has now expired. As I promised in the July 26 Barbwire, I have uploaded all the personal remembrances to You will find the permanent Wolffman memorial linked to the July 26 column at the Barbwire archive. All additional comments are most welcome. The retired Sgt. Wolff was the longtime leader of the Nevada Highway Patrol Assn., now a CWA affiliate.

ADL REDUX. The Anti-Defamation League is reconstituting its northern Nevada operations under the leadership of former Reno City Councilmember Judy Pruett Herman. I represented the Reno-Sparks NAACP at its formative meeting last summer. The ADL's first event happens on Oct. 27 at the Atlantis Hotel in Reno and the guest speaker is very impressive.

Tom Martinez was a longtime member of the ultra-violent neo-Nazi white supremacist organization called The Order, best known for the murder of Denver radio talk show host Alan Berg. (Law & Order Criminal Intent star Eric Bogosian's play and motion picture Talk Radio was based on Berg's life and death.)

Martinez is co-author, with John Guinther, of Brotherhood of Murder, which became a 1999 Showtime Networks movie starring Peter Gallagher, William Baldwin and Kelly Lynch.

Acting at great risk as an FBI informant, Martinez helped foil major terrorist activities including a Brinks armored truck robbery which would have funded bombings and mass murder throughout the west. He also saved the life of Southern Poverty Law Center founder Morris Dees after The Order put out a contract on the high profile civil rights lawyer.

Martinez has courageously refused federal witness protection in order to speak out against domestic terrorism. An Internet search turns up a plethora of moonhowler websites trashing him.

Given recent arrests all across the country, I think the event will be well attended.

Students will probably get in free with a small charge for adults. [UPDATE: Mention that Barbano sent you and get in free.]

Be well. Raise hell.


Andrew Barbano is a 40-year Nevadan, second vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of 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 Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Smoking Guns...

Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced 9-19-2009

The campaign against forcibly-paid newspaper obituaries
And they wonder why the newspaper business is dying?


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

The 2009 first-place Nevada Press Association award winners
Tony the Tiger & the flaky NFL
Barbwire / 11-30-2008
Deregulation is never having to say you're sorry
Barbwire / 8-3-2008
Nevada: A good place to visit, but do you want to live here?
Barbwire / 6-15-2008

...and more ammo

BARBWIRE Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive

Propaganda fuels gasoline price fixing
Barbwire 8-14-2005

Donate to the cable ratepayer legal defense fund at our PayPal-enabled ReSurge.TV Consumer War Room

Phillips, Kevin; Numbers Racket: Why the economy is worse than we know

Harper's Magazine; May 2008; page 43
Phillips has authored numerous books on history and politics over the past 40 years. His most recent, Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism, was published by Viking on April 15, 2008.

NAOMI WOLF: Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps
There are some things common to every state that's made the transition to fascism. Author Naomi Wolf argues that all of them are present in America today.
Alternet 5-20-2007

Johnson, Chalmers; REPUBLIC OR EMPIRE? A National Intelligence Estimate on the United States; Harper's magazine; January, 2007. I love it when heavy hitters validate what I've been saying for years in the tiny Sparks Tribune.

Barlett, Donald L. and Steele, James B.; America: What Went Wrong? (1992); America: Who Really Pays the Taxes? (1994); America: Who Stole the Dream? (1996) ; Andrews & McMeel/Universal Press Syndicate.

Review of Alex Carey's Taking the Risk Out of Democracy:
Propaganda in the US and Australia

The Orwell Diversion by Alex Carey
Excerpted from the book available below

ORDER Taking the Risk Out of Democracy
Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
By Alex Carey
Edited by Andrew Lohrey
Foreword by Noam Chomsky
University of Illinois Press

     SEE ALSO: Lapham, Lewis H.; Tentacles of Rage: The Republican Propaganda Mill, A Brief History; Harper's Magazine cover article; September, 2004, page 32.

     By one conservative estimate, the corporate right has spent about $3 billion over the past three decades manufacturing public opinion to suit big business goals. Lapham's number covered the early 1970's to the present day. Alex Carey noted that by 1948, anti- New Deal corporate propaganda expenditures had already reached $100 million per year, not adjusted for inflation, for advertising alone. (Carey, ibid; page 79)

     Adjusted for inflation, that 1948 $100 million becomes $801,659,751.04 in 2005 dollars.

Conservatives Help Wal-Mart, and Vice Versa
As Wal-Mart struggles to rebut growing criticism, it has discovered a reliable ally: conservative research groups.
New York Times 9-8-2006; Free registration may be required.

      BARBWIRE: Labor Day '94: People vs. corporate con job, 9-4-94
Chilling forecasts from Alex Carey

      BARBWIRE: The Nevada Republican Party Becomes Communist, 3-30-97
A prescient Plato on the dangers of oligarchy

The sands of time do not cloud the long memories of the sheiks of Araby
Barbwire 9-10-2006

      Rinfret, Pierre A.; Peace is Bullish; Look magazine, 5-31-1966 | 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
Annual César Chávez Celebration
War Rooms:
Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
Search this site | In Search Of...


Copyright © 1982-2009 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 40-year Nevadan, editor of and, former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee and serves as second vice-president, political action chair and webmaster of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail

Barbwire by Barbano premiered in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in those parts ever since. Tempus fugit.

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

Comments and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins