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An Alternative National Anthem

   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 that the boat is leaking.
Everybody knows that the captain lied.
   Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died.
   Everybody talking to their pockets.
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
   And a long red rose.
Everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that you love me, baby.
Everybody knows you really do.
   Everybody knows that you've been faithful,
Give or take a time or two.
   Everybody knows you've been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
   Without your clothes.
Everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that it's now or never.
Everybody knows that it's me or you.
   And everybody knows that you live forever
When you've done a line or two.
   Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
   For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that the plague is coming.
Everybody knows that it's moving fast.
   Everybody knows that the naked man and woman —
Just a shining artifact of the past.
   Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
   That will disclose
What everybody knows.

   And everybody knows that you're in trouble.
Everybody knows what you've been through
   From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach at Malibu.
   Everybody knows it's coming apart.
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
   Before it blows.
And everybody knows.

Everybody knows. Everybody knows.
   That's how it goes. Everybody knows.

By Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson.
© 1988 CBS Records, Inc.

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

What if they gave a murder and nobody came?
BARBWIRE CONFIDENTIAL: Sheriff Balaam's icy hot patch
by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the Wednesday 5-8-2019 Sparks Tribune / Updated 5-9 & 5-10-2019 GMT / 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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This column will be on the press when Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam hosts his Tuesday, May 7, press conference to "announce" a major break in the 1982 Sheep Flats Murder cold case.

The same major break that the DNA Doe Project announced last year. The same one The New York Times reported on April 25 and I picked up in this newspaper on MayDay.

Anyone with web savvy knows that you can set up a keyword retrieval that will send you everything that pops up on the Internet with your parameters, e.g., "police involved shootings."

So what's wrong with this picture?

JUSTICE DELAYED. Did no one in law enforcement or the legit news media implement such a standing websearch? I hope some of my colleagues will have asked Sheriff Balaam some hard questions rather than act as PR stenographers.

I called around when his press release broke last Monday. Mainstream media had no idea that this story was already stale. So whassup?

Balaam certainly needs some positive press after four jail deaths in the first four months of his administration. Aw hell, who cares if jailbirds live or die, anyway?

In 2015, former Sheriff Chuck E. Cheese announced using a radical "new" cold case investigative technique, better known as Facebook. That turned out be an early warning of a one-termer.

Here's last week's Barbwire item: "WTF DEPT. Online genealogical criminal investigation was poo-poohed by law enforcement until it caught Golden State Killer Joseph DeAngelo, a retired cop now charged with (so far) 26 counts of murder, rape and kidnapping. On April 25, The New York Times reported that a week before DeAngelo's April 2018 arrest, the dogged group of crime-tracking women at the DNA Doe Project [received DNA to identify] a woman found shot to death on a Reno hiking trail in 1982. So why did I read about it in the Times? As of Monday (4-29-2019), it had received no coverage by local media."

I e-mailed Reno Police Chief Jason Soto for info and police drawings last week but I guess the body was found outside the city limits. (Turned out he was out of town.)

Here's the DNA Doe Project writeup from last year. (The DNA Doe illustration is better than either of the local efforts. See the expanded web edition of this column at Barbwire.US/)

"Sheep Flats Jane Doe was a woman found shot to death near Lake Tahoe in Nevada in 1982. Her nickname originated from the fact that she was discovered in the Sheep Flats area outside of Mt. Rose on a hiking trail. When discovered, there were two sets of foot prints leading to the scene from the parking area, and one set returning. No one had seen her in the Tahoe area in the days before her body was found. An autopsy has shown that her last meal was a salad.

"She was originally believed to be from Europe due to inoculation scars on her arm and her dental work. An independent dental examination in 2010 has discredited this original assumption. She was dressed for a day at the lake: jeans and t-shirt over a blue bathing suit. Upon close forensic inspection, it was determined the t-shirt was sold only on the West Coast, leading investigators to believe she may have visited or had been residing in one of the western states before her murder. Sheep Flats Jane Doe is currently buried at Our Lady of Sorrows on North Virginia Street in Reno, NV.

"In July 2018, DNA Doe Project announced Sheep Flats Jane Doe had been tentatively identified; in September her identity was confirmed by the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.
[Emphasis added] The Sheriff’s Office is withholding further information due to the ongoing homicide investigation.

"Many thanks go out to all who dedicated their time and energy to identifying Sheep Flats Jane Doe, both those in law enforcement and the DDP volunteers. It took the coordinated efforts of many individuals with diverse skills working many hours to finally uncover the identity of this unfortunate young woman."

This story has been online since last July and hit The Times last month. Sheriff Balaam damn well better have an arrest rather than being pushed to get in front of the story by two newspapers.

UPDATE 5-9-2019 — Sheriff Balaam has so far gotten a free ride from the legit media. Starting after his Tuesday morning May 7 press conference, the three local network TV news departments ran similar items on all of their newscasts for the full 24-hour cycle thru May 8 mid-day. On the morning of May 8, the Reno Gazette-Journal published a front page story with a huge photo of the sheriff standing in front of a slide of the DNA Doe illustration. The story wrapped to an internal page displaying another photo of the sheriff with Dr. Margaret Press who, along with retired rocket scientist Coleen Fitzpatrick, last year identified Sheep Flats Jane Doe as one Mary Edith Silvani of Detroit, Michigan (born 9-29-1948).

The DNA Doe founders appeared in the April 26 New York Times above a photo caption which stated that they "used a genealogy site to identify a Jane Doe found shot to death on a hiking trail near Reno, Nev., in 1982. Now, investigators are trying to find her killer."

That story hit ink on April 26 which probably meant that it was uploaded to on April 25. (The caption may not have made it to the web.) So was the identity of suspect James Richard Curry (identified by Balaam on May 7 and who had committed suicide in police custody in 1983), only just discovered in the 10 days between April 26 and May 7 when Ms. Silvani's identity had been known for some eight months?

So, what did Sheriff Balaam know and when did he know it?

More important, why was the identification of the victim withheld for almost a year? The Times said Ms. Silvani's DNA was submitted to DNA Doe (on former Sheriff Chuck Allen's watch) one week before accused Golden State Killer James DiAngelo was arrested in April of 2018. Ms. Silvani was identified "within a few months," according to The Times.

Did it take most of a year to track down Curry whose DNA was not in the federal CODIS system, according to a TV report? The clue that led to Curry, also identified via DNA, was apparently provided by family or acquaintances of Ms. Silvani or Detroit police. Local media apparently have not asked such questions, or if they have, they chose not to report responses. (Or perhaps I missed it.)

Two Reno-Gazette-Journal reporters and one editor received bylines as well as a staff photographer. Their story took up all of about 175 words with no information on the background of the murder or, most important, when the identifications were made and why the information had been withheld from the public for so long.

At minimum, Sheriff Balaam might have invited his predecessor Sheriff Allen, on whose watch the DNA genealogy research began.

No one has yet called Mr. Balaam to account for the four jail inmate deaths (so far) on his watch. Media just report what the county PR department spoonfeeds them. Are more jail staff needed? Better training? Better intake and followup? Better mental health care? I suggest that the answer is "yes" to all of the above and much more. Shortstaffing and under-training endanger both jailers and inmates. Such issues were debated by the 2018 sheriff candidates but who cares now that the election is over and local elected officials have more important things to do than worry about the sub-par flesh warehouse on Parr Blvd.?

As the few capable journalists left standing have oft-remarked about green reporters who use Reno as a short rung on a career ladder, the newbies are indeed too new in the market with employers providing few if any experienced editors to guide them. Budget and staff cuts have infected media institutional memories with Alzheimer's. And DNA research can't cure the as-yet unidentified defective gene for corporate greed.

Robert Frost might say that they are "neither out far nor in deep."

Comedian Bill Maher was more direct: "Americans don't do nuance." So stay tuned.

POLLCATS. Sen. Heidi Gansert, R-Reno, and the GOP are polling public opinion to see if voters will support Gov. Sisolak changing course and advocating a tax increase for education now that the state budget is looking stingy, as usual. Such is the hangover of decades of corporate welfare addiction. Aw, who cares about schools anyway? Kids can always get jobs parking cars at casinos.

Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (And my French.)
Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)

¡Sí se puede!

Andrew Barbano is a 50-year Nevadan, executive producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, first vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, superannuated labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of and BallotBoxing.US and and and Protect Our As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail He has lived in both northern and southern Nevada during his half-century+ in the Silver State. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988 and received its ninth Nevada Press Association award (6th first-place) at the 29 Sept. 2018 NPA annual convention in Las Vegas. His multi-media road construction zone safety campaign for Laborers' Union Local 169 won a first-place award from the National Safety Council in a nationwide competition. (Such ephemera and about six bucks will get you a Latte Mocha Cotsafracas Chingade at just about any Starbux worldwide, guaranteed.) His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian of London/UK and more important publications.

WEB XTRAS & SMOKING GUNS —> GAS CON. The corporate Oilogopoly raises pump prices on any publicity. The latest goosing has nothing to do with Iran or Venezuela. The US is now a net energy exporter. I've written on the con for decades but BigOil has more clout. See the Oilogopoly Archive at

REAL NEWS DEPT. In January, Culinary Union Local 226 defeated an attempt by Circus Circus-Reno to decertify (terminate) the union's representation of its workers. No word on whether management plans to appeal the result to the National Labor Relations Board which was recently put out of business for 35 days. Thank you, Czar Donaldov.

[UPDATE 4-20-2019] — About 100 demonstrators from almost all the region's unions, local community service organizations and political activists joined Culinary Union members picketing Circus Circus in the late afternoon of April 18. A couple of CC suits came out to see what all the fuss was about, as if they didn't already know. In addition to the familiar union "contract now!" chants came calls for a strike against the Carano jocks. ¡Viva Huelga! ¡Sí se puede!

CONSUMER CONUNDRUMS: PINK SLIPS, PURGES AND PRUNING. I need to hear from recently purged Eldorado Hotel-Casino, Circus Circus-Reno and Silver Legacy employees. Barbwire spies report perhaps 100 workers got the ax just in time for the holidays. In the Tribune, at Barbwire.US and in the London Guardian, I have lamented the deepening desperation of renters here in Tesla boomtown. I'm now getting complaints about medical and dental practices purportedly pruning their patient loads, cutting loose the less-lucrative. That's de facto malpractice but medical professionals are lawsuit-proof under Nevada law — unless you're rich enough to personally pay a few hundred grand in legal fees. That's why TV lawyers only advertise for arrest or accident cases these days. If you've been cast adrift by patient pruning, call me at (775) 882-TALK or e-mail me.

Sore-oppressed Soul-Sister Cities: Menlo Park and Reno-Sparks-Fernley share similarly sad high-tech stretch marks.
"All humanity has left the area": paying for Tesla's Gigafactory
Barbano and Nevada conservatives decry corporate welfare depredations
By Rory Carroll / The Guardian 7-3-2018
Editor's Note: The Guardian publishes 180,000 newspapers daily in London and environs and generates ONE BILLION monthly web page views.
(I should live so long.)
"Facebook is taking everything": rising rents drive out Silicon Valley families
Property companies advertising their proximity to Facebook’s campus are giving low-income residents a choice: pay a huge rent increase or move out
By Sam Levin / The Guardian 6-20-2018

Peruse the Underbelly of the News —> Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

For all the news you never knew you needed to know 'til now: Tell your friends and friendly enemies to subscribe to Barbwire Confidential for warm laughter, cheap thrills, hot scoops and occasional cold logic at BallotBoxing.US/ Cheap at twice the price. (Hush Hush!)

Last year's dark foreshadowings unfortunately became reality. I thus suggest inoculation by signing onto the HushHush! list at BallotBoxing.US/ It's cheap as well as enlightening entertainment. Thank you kindly for your support.

Smoking Guns—>
MayDay for renters, movie fans and avengers
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 5-1-2019 Sparks Tribune

Sen. Ira Hansen announces his pregnancy
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 4-24-2019 Sparks Tribune

Priorities for butt-, rent-, birth- and gun-control
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 4-17-2019 Sparks Tribune

Relieve Rent & Pillage: Save SB398 & AB399

Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Special Online Legislative Edition / 4-12-2019 / Updated 4-13 and 4-14-2019 GMT
Fairness for tenants dies 4-12 unless lawmakers throw it a lifeline

Politics does not reward the shy
Rent justification and a death penalty for corporate depredation
by Andres Luis Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 4-10-2019 Sparks Tribune / Updated 4-11 and 4-12-2019 GMT
Fairness for tenants dies 4-12 unless lawmakers throw it a lifeline

A liberal case for a new, brutal death penalty
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 4-3-2019 Sparks Tribune

50 years in Nevada: Trying to outlive them all
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-27-2019 Sparks Tribune

Guns, gouging and guts: once upon a time in the west
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-20-2019 Sparks Tribune

Guv keynotes César XVII: 17-year overnight success
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-13-2019 Sparks Tribune

Judge not lest ye be judged — or misjudged
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-6-2019 Sparks Tribune

Even in Sparks, God works in mysterious ways
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-27-2019 Sparks Tribune

OF CRABS AND CLANS: White bibs or white sheets tonight
Barbwire Confidential by Andres Luis Barbáno / 2-23-2019 SPECIAL ONLINE HUSHhush E-EDITION

Trump's Wall: First step toward ending Nixon's War on Drugs
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-20-2019 Sparks Tribune

BLACK LIKE ME 2119: The problem as solution
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-13-2019 Sparks Tribune / Updated 2-14 and 2-16-2019
Breaking News —> Culinary Union defeats decert at Circus Circus Reno
Dear Readers: The above column served as the conclusion of remarks I submitted before the "Tahoe Talks: Racism in America" symposium at the Incline Village, Nev., Library on February 12, 2019. So you might want to read "FADE TO BLACK" before you read "Black Like Me 2119".

Andrew Barbano, former governor of Nevada
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-6-2019 Sparks Tribune

Downtown Sparks: New taxes, gun controls & a wall
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-30-2019 Sparks Tribune

Striking sex: The only thing Trump understands
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-23-2019 Sparks Tribune

Sands of time blast the milestones of life
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-16-2019 Sparks Tribune

Bob Price: Cowboy, lawmaker, union man and Elvis fan
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-9-2019 Sparks Tribune

Crystal Balls: Peerless Predixions 2019 & Beyond
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 12-26-2018 Sparks Tribune

$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 © 1982-2019 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 50-year Nevadan, editor of and; 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 serves as first vice-president and political action chair 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.

Betty J. Barbano
2-7-1941 / 12-27-2005

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