April fools, Yellowpages, yellowstripes & coneheads
Expanded from the 3-28-99 Daily Sparks, Nev., Tribune
Just in time for April Fools
Day, the Handi-Wrap Duncecap Awards for transparently foolish actions:
MA BELL gets a special pointy
hat made of Yellow Pages for failing to inform average ratepayers that the
1999 phone book won't be published until almost 2000. Rather than the normal
July, this year's won't arrive till the first week of November. Why? Advertising
"We have restructured our
Yellow Pages sales staff," said a Nevada Bell rep.
JOANNE BOND gets a special
waterproof conehead. The Washoe County commissioner already had voters fuming
over her support of imposing the Union Pacific railtrench taxes without ballot
approval. Now, some of her north valley constituents are seriously discussing
a recall petition after last week's vote to hand over to speculators water
rights acquired as part of the Honey Lake Valley fiasco.
SPARKS MAYOR BRUCE BRESLOW
deserves a personal wetlook duncecap to hold fishing licenses while he conducts
marketing research at the Sparks Marina Gasoline Sump.
SEN. MAURICE WASHINGTON,
R-Sparks, wins the last roundup cowboy hat for his bill to allow tourists
to carry concealed weapons into the legislature and other public buildings
like casinos. No drunk gambler would ever shoot up the place where he just
lost the ranch, would he?
Guns have a rich history
in gambling halls. Old mobsters visiting Las Vegas to check on their investments
will feel right at home.
"We are in the wild, wild
west," said Sen. Washington, a minister by profession. He didn't say if he'd
allow guns in church while he preaches or in the charter schools he supports.
Teachers should certainly be allowed to pack heat to match the firepower
of their pupils.
Praise the Lord, pass the
ammunition and double down on the hospitalization and boot hill insurance.
LEE DAZEY, head of Citizen
Alert, scores the Who's On First? trophy for a glowing factual error in a
letter published in the Daily Sparks Tribune last Thursday.
She wrote a hard-hitting
response to my March 7 column about transmutation, the best solution yet
proposed to keep nuclear waste out of Nevada.
"Transmutation would require
a reversal of the decades-old U.S. policy against reprocessing which would
increase the amount of accessible material in the world that could be used
to make bombs," Ms. Dazey wrote.
Wrong. Reprocessing leaves
you with more material than you started with, but transmutation drastically
reduces it. The nation's 70,000 tons of nuke power plant waste can be shrunk
to about 230 pounds, as the column noted.
BOB FULKERSON, Dazey's
predecessor at Citizen Alert, now heads the Progressive Leadership Alliance
of Nevada and gets the Critical Mass Confusion Cup.
"I agree with you most all
the time," he wrote last week, "but I take umbrage with your diatribe against
those who voted for SB255. The tracks gotta be lowered. We got the best of
a bad situation. It's time to move on."
I called and e-mailed asking
for confirmation that the message indeed came from my old friend Bob. Progressive
Leadership Alliance support for regressive (soak the little guy) taxes is
a contradiction in both terms and principles. I'm hoping it was an April
Fools' gag. Speaking of gagging...
WORLD CLASS GOLDEN SCREWBALL
DUNCECAPS go to the members of the Washoe legislative delegation Fulkerson
defended: Sen. Bernice Mathews, D-Reno, and GOP Sens. Lawrence Jacobsen,
Bill Raggio, Randolph Townsend and Washington; Assemblymembers Bernie Anderson,
D-Sparks, Greg Brower R-Reno/Incline, Vivian Freeman, D-Reno, and Sheila
Leslie, D-Reno, Mr. Fulkerson's ex-spouse.
All voted for Senate Bill
255 which retroactively ratifies whatever city and county officials did to
raise taxes without a public vote last year. Its very existence provides
all necessary evidence that the Reno rail trench levies were imposed illegally,
as the Nevada Supreme Court may yet find.
FIVE GOLD STARS to
Assemblymembers Sharron Angle, R-Reno/Verdi/north valleys; Jan Evans,
D-Sparks/Reno; Dawn Gibbons, R-Reno; Don Gustavson, R-north valleys; and
David Humke, R-Reno. They withstood Senate Majority Leader Raggio's screams
and threats to kill all their bills and voted against imposing taxes on which
their constituents were allowed no say despite the 1997 law.
The new sales tax goes
into effect this Thursday, April 1. Ironically, that's when the senate hears
SB477, casino mogul Steve Wynn's attempt to do to Clark County residents
what Raggio and his cronies just did to Washoe.
Wynn wants permission to
charge students $12 a head to tour his $300 million art gallery while retaining
the art collection tax break he pushed through the 1997 legislature. The
loophole, stopped so far by Sen. Joe Neal,
D-North Las Vegas, gives Wynn $18 million per year in corporate welfare,
much of it from the same students who would have to pay.
DIRTY JOKE. Blue noses turned
to red faces during a Nevada legislative committee hearing wallpapered with
examples of (gasp) porno solicitation flyers and newspapers from Las Vegas.
They were making good progress coming up with censoring solutions when in
walked a group of children on a legislative tour. For that sterling example
of cautious leadership, the entire Nevada Legislature gets the solid brass
Cure Worse Than the Disease Award.
THE JOKE'S ON ME. I've labored
and battled side-by-side with many of the above. Has the world passed me
by? Are the majority of Democrats and Republicans now in favor of corporate
welfare and tax breaks for the rich? Am I an anachronism for objecting?
Maybe I should just sell
out and offer myself to the highest bidder. Learn to stop worrying and love
the corporation. Maybe I'll try it for 24 hours, starting at 12:01 a.m. April
Be well. Raise hell.
Barbano is a member of CWA Local 9413. He is a 30-year Nevadan, editor
of U-News and head of
Casinos Out of Politics
(COP). In 1998 he served as gubernatorial campaign manager for
State Senator Joe Neal, D-North Las
Since 1988 Barbwire by
Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks, Nev., Tribune, where an earlier
version of this column appeared on 3/28/99.