Pirate Laureate of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream


Je Suis Charlie

¡Viva Chávez!
César Chávez Celebration XIV / Celebración de César Chávez XIV
Wednesday 30 March 2016
/ Miércoles 30 de Marzo 2016
Circus Circus Reno

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   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. That's how it goes.
   Everybody knows.

— Leonard Cohen

Fighting for human rights on César Chávez Day
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 3-29-2016 Sparks Tribune and Reno Gazette-Journal

Reno Gazette-Journal online edition 3-28-2016

Fifty years ago right now, César Chávez and Maria Zamora labored among thousands on the legendary long march to Sacramento.


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Note: Alas and alack, Dondero did not make it in 2015.
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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.


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That 340-mile trek eventually resulted in the landmark California Farmer-Labor Act which gave field workers rights long granted to other workplaces. Sen. Omer Rains, D-Santa Barbara/Ventura, now a longtime Nevadan, was a principal legislative leader of that fight.

Thirty years ago, César Chávez came here to rally Reno-Sparks workers. Then-Mayor Pete Sferrazza declared July 15, 1986, as Reno's first César Chávez Day.

César Chávez and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., never met. They did converse by phone and still advise us today.

What do you get when you put them together?

Perhaps regionalized cooperation on human rights.

It started because of boxing. On the tenth of last month, I journeyed to Reno City Hall for the city council's tribute to former Reno Gazette-Journal writer Guy Clifton. (United Auto Workers boxing coach and Sparks resident George "Battling" Nelson is a big Clifton fan.)

I noticed another item on the council agenda, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve's request to instruct the city manager to look into forming a human rights commission.

Acting as vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, I endorsed her initiative. I noted that the Sparks City Council had unanimously authorized creation of a diversity commission on Jan. 22, 2007, but had not moved forward.

At Sparks City Hall on Feb. 22, former Reno-Sparks NAACP President Lucille Adin and I accepted the city's Black History Month proclamation. I reminded the council that we were present in that chamber for the 2007 vote and that the current council has an opportunity to make its proclamation mean something by coordinating with Mayor Schieve.

Sparks Mayor Geno Martino commented that City Manager Steve Driscoll was taking notes.

On Feb. 24, I joined my NAACP colleagues to receive Reno's Black History Month proclamation and informed the Reno council about what had happened in Sparks two days before. Mayor Schieve said she would contact Rail City officials.

The circle was completed on March 15 — the Ides of March, an iconic day to honor someone named César.

Washoe County Commissioner Kitty Jung had agendized that body's annual Chávez proclamation. I accompanied Reno resident Ramón Chávez, César's nephew, who accepted on behalf of his family.

I informed the commission about the recent Sparks and Reno activity. Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler later requested that the county move forward as well.

Governments at all levels pass proclamations on every subject. In this case, they started an important discussion for a fast-growing and quickly-changing community.

What should a human rights commission do? That's up to you as the project progresses.

We will advance that process at northern Nevada's fourteenth César Chávez Celebration this Wednesday evening at Circus Circus. Maria Zamora will speak, as will Sen. Rains.

Reservations for the event may be made through or by calling (775) 786-1455.

Beginning on March 30 and thereafter, please consider becoming involved in the next round of the neverending fight for for fairness.

¡Si se puede!

¡HAIL, CÉSAR! Mark your calendar for César Chávez Celebration XIV March 30 at Circus Circus-Reno. For information, contact me or go to

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

The Underbelly of the News—>Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

BARBWIRE WEB EXTRAS —> TOMORROW'S NEWS TODAY: FEEL UP YOUR FIRE METER. The Reno Gazette-Journal did big spreads on threeconsecutive Sundays (Sept. 14, Sept. 21 and Sept. 28, 2014) on NV Energy smart meter fires. Welcome aboard. Barbwire readers were two years ahead on the fire meter issue. (Touch a Smart Meter, Go to Jail — 11 October 2012)

FIRE METER UPDATES: THE NEVADA FIRE MARSHALL'S INVESTIGATION concluded "don't worry, be happy." I'm still worried and will continue fondling NVE's precious equipment —> If your smart meter feels very hot, not just from sunshine, call 911.

In its Sunday 21 Dec. 2014 front page headline major story, the Reno Gazette-Journal published results of the NVEnergy-commissioned "don't worry, be happy" echo study. On 1-27-2015, the RGJ published an analysis based on veteran reporter Anjeanette Damon's review of more than 1,000 pages of documents. Barbwire bottom line: NVE handles this like auto manufacturers handle defects —> It's cheaper to pay legal settlements after people are injured or killed than to fix the problem.

Don'tcha worry 'bout a thing! If you can't trust your power company, whom can you trust?

Smoking guns: Rooftop solar assassination Energy War Room

DIDN'T THEY MAKE A MOVIE CALLED "THE INCREDIBLES"? On 2-6-2015, the RGJ reported that the Public Utilities Commission has ordered NVE to hire an independent laboratory to review the material.

UPDATE: The report said all is well. I still recommend feeling up your fire meter on a regular basis.

ANTE INTO THE GAME: Support the new season of Barbwire.TV by putting your money where my mouth is. A thousand thanks to those who keep sending show suggestions

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

  Stay tuned.

  I encourage you to donate to the cause at Barbwire.TV/ The medium that shapes public opinion needs at least one refuge where it is not filtered through the distorted green eye shades of prissy corporate accountants for whom profit is the only priority; where self-censorship is the journalist's normal work environment and where all sins of omission are tacitly encouraged and forgiven with the wave of a balance sheet. This is important. We've got a lot of work to do.

Get ahead of corporate-influenced news—>Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential.

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

Andrew Barbano is a 47-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 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 Sparks Tribune since 1988.

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Copyright © 1982-2016 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 47-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.

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