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The Barbwire's Silver Anniversary
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.

The bloody guns of October fire on November
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 11-7-2013 Sparks Tribune
Updated 11-8 and 11-15-2013

   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.

— Leonard Cohen

April lost both her virginity and her title in Nevada. October now stands triumphant as our cruelest month.

HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins 3rd straight Nevada Press Association First-Place Award


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Watch for show times. Help us get the word out.

Support the project at

Updated 8-30-2011
Reruns on Carson-Dayton 226

Additional programs
on Boulder City cable. Go to and then
go to the BCTV link.

If Reform Fails: Health Care, Jobs and Unions — new power to the people on the public airwaves

The program premiers were available to every television set in the region because of a high-mileage media hybrid.

The shows appeared on both commercial and community stations. The non-corporate entity produced the events, commercial TV greatly expanded distribution.

Thus began an ongoing series of sane public interest programs which generate both entertaining heat and more than a little light.

Please spread the word and consider contributing to the cause online at ReSurge.TV.

You may also take the public option known as the U.S. Postal Service and send a check or money order to ReSurge.TV, P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

Your contribution will help fund the distribution as well as ongoing efforts at developing new media, including a regional, non-corporate community radio station and the return of community television to Reno-Sparks-Washoe.

You are present at the creation of what I hope can become a new media model where the programming accurately reflects what's happening on the ground and the media impact is powerful enough to forcefully pass the message upward.


Be well. Raise hell.


Click here for selected on-demand re-runs from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Barbwire.TV archives

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

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

HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins 3rd straight Nevada Press Association First-Place Award


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Ah, October, October, the time of pretty girls, golden beer, football hopes and hoop dreams—brilliant colors lightening leaves that bounce brightness into the eyes of booby beauties bustling and trundling toward an intemperate arena.

But baseball dies every October, the springtime hope of April squished.

Now, our fantasy fall has fallen.

As October crawls toward the contradiction of Thanksgiving, some will wait forever for next year.

I partook of community sorrow at long distance.

I knew no one at Sparks Middle School where heroic teacher Michael Landsberry was shot to death by a suicidal 12 year-old student on Oct. 28.

The name of the 80 year-old ex-Marine murdered trying to stop an Oct. 16 south Reno bank robbery was unfamiliar.

I suffered little collateral damage from the guns of autumn.

I could sit shiva as pirate laureate of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream, spraying innocuous words like rain on an impersonal ocean, all sensibility and sensitivity subsumed by the enormity of the task of sorting salty tears from seawater.

The best I could contribute was suggesting that our newest imported corporate welfare queen make weapons with the same fingerprint safety device as an i-Phone.

Before daylight hit Tribune delivery trucks, the moonhowlers bayed at the newspaper's website, united in wounded macho while missing the point entirely.

I appreciated one nameless guy who stated "Wow! The author has managed to combine anti-gun rhetoric with anti-Christian rhetoric. A polemical tour-de-force!"

Nobody ever accused me of that before.

Firearms as a religious experience. (He left out potentially offended Oldsmobile and Sony Walkman owners.)

The point of the Oct. 24 i-Gun piece was that Apple knows how to market things as cool and fashionable.

That's how previously shunned practices like tattoos (ow), body piercing (ouch) and even gunlocks (oops) unlock the pocketbooks of the impressionable public.

Alas and alack, little seems to stem the momentum of increasingly efficient killing machines like Oldsmobiles and dumb guns.

Our ingenuity at destroying people, as reflected in the resources devoted to the task, dwarfs our desire to heal or cure them.

Check the relevant budgets.

As that soulless reaper named deadline approached, there came news of more encroaching winter chill: Three local union workers were hit Tuesday by a motorist on Interstate 80 near Beowawe.

Two lie in hospitals, a 53 year-old sister lies dead as November extends Nevada's bloody October. [UPDATE: Four were hit and two now lie dead. See below.]

This comes on top of another recent revelation.

The person shot to death during the Bank of America robbery was well-known to me.

Media called him Charles Sperry but I knew him as Bob, a kind and generous man.

His wife, Milka, brilliantly sculpted my late wife's hair for our wedding all those years ago.

And so the sorrows of October finally engulfed my house.

Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.

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


FIGHT BACK. Support the new season of Barbwire.TV and the return of a community television channel to these parts.

If last year's elections didn't convince you of the need, the 2013 legislature certainly should have.

Join up. You may donate at ReSurge.TV or contact me.

This is important.

Thank you.

"Media is the plural of mediocre."
                              — Jimmy Breslin



HONOR YOUR DON. Keep sending comments supporting legendary Nevada photographer Don Dondero (1920-2003) for the Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame.

His life's work appeared worldwide, including the Tribune and most probably every newspaper in Nevada.

Enlist in the campaign to install Big Don.

Please send me your memories and endorsements via e-mail or to P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

The Barbwire got the late Reno Gazette-Journal columnist Guy Richardson elected last year.

Let's go for a repeat.

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)






Andrew Barbano is a 45-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, first vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of and 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...

We just come to work here, we don't come to die.
— Internationally acclaimed labor folksinger Anne Feeney

The most dangerous job in America

NOV. 7, 2013, UPDATE ON HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION WORKERS KILLED AND INJURED ON INTERSTATE-80 on Tuesday, Nov. 5 — The first reported dead was Vicky Stenovich, 53, of Spring Creek in Elko County. She died at the scene. Arthur Lucero, 47, of Gardnerville, Nev., was transported to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno where he later died. Mario Ramos, 50, of Reno was also transported to Renown and is in stable condition. Karen Martin, 50, of Battle Mountain, Nev., was transported to Battle Mountain Hospital with minor injuries.

All the workers are members of Laborers' International Union Local 169 employed by A-Core of Utah.

The driver of the auto involved, Candace Gittins, 69, and her husband Dallas Gittins, 75, both of Fort Bragg, Calif., were not injured. Both were wearing seatbelts. The High Desert Advocate reported that she failed to slow down in the construction zone. The incident took place 38 miles west of Elko, halfway between Battle Mountain and Elko, as Mrs. Gittins was driving east. The Nevada Highway Patrol stated that she failed to reduce her speed for slowed traffic as she approached the well-marked construction zone and swerved to avoid vehicles ahead of her, thus hitting the workers and a parked construction truck. All of the workers were on foot. The accident took place just after 1:00 p.m. PST, 22:00 ZULU/GMT.

As of the close of business on this date, no arrest has been made. Results of the investigation will be forwarded to Eureka County District Attorney Ted Beutel who will decide on any prosecution.

NEVADALABOR.COM EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: This was a horrendously bloody scene, a construction project turned into a combat zone. Sister Stenovich was launched and died instantly. Brother Lucero was dragged 50 feet on his face. The driver reportedly came to after crashing and said "what happened?"

Many members of the highway crew had worked together for years and all are in serious need of counseling which is now being provided. Some may refuse to return to the job. Staffing the construction site is now up in the air.

Stay tuned for updates. And if you are so inclined, consider saying a prayer for the dead, the survivors and their families.

Death on the job: Nevada workers remain cheap and disposable

In an unrelated incident also on Nov. 5, a worker at the sprawling distribution facility in Fernley, Nev., east of Reno, was killed when a forklift overturned on him.

In Las Vegas, a Cirque de Soleil performer remains hospitalized after he fell during the acrobatic show's "cage of death" routine at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.

The Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration last week announced the results of a four-month investigation into the June 29 death of 31 year-old French acrobat Sarah Guillot-Guyard. The agency cited Cirque de Soleil for safety six violations and proposed $25,235 in fines. OSHA also cited MGM for three violations and proposed a whopping $7,000 in fines for the mega-casino. Both the dark sun and the imperious lion told Reuters that they would appeal.

Also last week came news that the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration has cited Newmont Mining for negligence in the June death of Corey Vasquez, 43, of South Fork. He drove his front loader into an open hole where a protection barrier had been removed. The amount of the proposed fine has not been announced. Given U.S. law, expect another wet noodle and another appeal for the usual reductions to absurdity.

A worker at MGM's Mirage Hotel-Casino on the Las Vegas Strip died Wednesday, Nov. 6, after he fell while trimming trees. Clark County Coroner's Office officials identified him as Arturo Mendez, 31, of Las Vegas.

Once again, workers in America have been shown to be cheap and disposable. Welcome to Bangladesh. See The Barbwire of April 25.

National Workers Memorial Day of the Dead
You're not worth much dead or alive
Impose the death penalty on co
mpanies knowingly causing worker fatalities
Do you think your life is worth more than $566 a year?
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from
the 4-25-2013 Daily Sparks Tribune
UPDATED 5-7-2013 with Robert Reich commentary

...and more ammo..

Nevada Day Required Reading
The Lady in the Red Dress
The Barbwire's classic Nevada Day column written in 1983
The compleat history of the Silver State in 500 words

Sparks Tribune 10-31-2013 and previously

Barbano on the Barbwire plots new TV season
Barbwire Special Web Edition / 10-21-2013

Barbwire: Nevada not really a state
No, we were not Battle Born in Kenya
Top 10 reasons Nevada lives in the 19th Century

Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-17-2013 Sparks Tribune

Low-income penalty: Nevada socks it to the working poor
BARBANO: Nevada is one big company town
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 10-10-2013

State of Health
National health care comes up against a very sick state. WHAT'S IN IT FOR US?
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 10-10-2013

USA at crossroads: New Deal or new Confederacy?
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-10-2013 Sparks Tribune
UPDATE—>Bill Moyers: Shutdown is simply secession by other means

We Don't Need No Education
The continuing Barbwire series

...and more ammo yet

The Post-Dated Recession: Pay me now or pay me later
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 9-6-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

The Post-dated Recession
By Joshua H. Silavent / Daily Sparks Tribune / 5-3-2011

Union decline and rising inequality in two charts
by Colin Gordon
Economic Policy Institute / 6-5-2012

Used in
journalist Mark Robison's extensive Hard Labor: Nevada unions tout role in helping workers, firms, economy (Sunday 2 Sept. 2012 Reno Gazette-Journal, page one, Reno Rebirth section of the print edition). Union men Jim Burrell, Paul McKenzie and Guy Louis Rocha did the movement proud. Not included in the RGJ online edition.

The Barbwire Labor Day column
Reno Gazette-Journal / 9-3-2012

Nevada Press Assn. Better Newspaper Contest
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place three years in a row.

The winning entries
Suing for Schools: The 20-year shuck

Expanded from the 2-21-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

Click here to view the show on your desktop

RED flags flying low over Sparks
Expanded from the 1-10-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

The wrath of self-righteous racism
Expanded from the 11-8-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

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 | 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/cabellyup, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Food, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
We Don't Need No Education
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Copyright © 1982-2013 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 45-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee, He is producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and serves as first 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 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.

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

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