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"Our republic and its press will rise or fall together." — Joseph Pulitzer

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, historical items appear courtesy of longtime Nevada reporter Dennis Myers' daily Poor Denny's Almanac [PDA]. Items highlighted in blue are of interest to labor in particular and seekers of justice in general. Red means war. Occasionally but not surprisingly, magenta will mean both. Copyright © 2007-2018 Dennis Myers. More Myers.]

Updated 3-17-2018 GMT

Poor Denny's Almanac:
Remember: St. Patrick was once a slave who returned to minister to the land which shackled him

On St. Patrick's Day: in 1934, thirty African American students were ejected from the U.S. House of Representatives dining room when they sought service as a protest against the firing of a waiter who tried to serve blacks, with police shoving the students out of the restaurant, down the hallway, and outdoors, fists swinging and blows landing; in 1966, farm workers led by César Chávez began a march from Delano to Sacramento; in 1970, U.S. postal workers struck.

The César Chávez Long March, 3-17-1966
by Reno artist Erik Holland

The original watercolor above was displayed for several years in the Nevada Legislature offices of Sen. (now Congressman) Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas, prime sponsor of the 2009 César Chávez Day bill. Mr. Holland is preparing a new painting to be unveiled at César Chávez Celebration XVI on March 31, 2018, at Circus Circus-Reno. Click here for event reservations and sponsorship opportunities.

Copyright © 2009 Erik Holland. All rights reserved.

Buyer beware the Ides of March
Full house: Renters face a bleak future in the Truckee Meadows
Barbano: Shoddy developers still call the shots
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 3-8-2018
And we didn't even get kissed afterward

A world in fear: It's always 9/11 somewhere
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-14-2018 Sparks Tribune

And a little child shall lead them

Wednesday, March 14: National student walkout for gun control. Stand by for detention, you rambunctious little protestors. The University of Nevada-Reno says OK. The Washoe County School District says you're busted, you truant juvenile delinquents.

DETENTION JUNCTION: Reno-Sparks students will risk reprisals for walking out against guns
By Siobhan McAndrew / Reno Gazette-Journal 3-13-2018

Walkout date is an opportunity for Washoe students
Washoe School District Trustee Scott Kelley Op-Ed / Reno Gazette-Journal 3-13-2018

Hope for a nation more interested in butt control than gun control —  Andrew Barbano, Sparks Tribune, 3-14-2018

March for Our Lives — and against guns — March 24 in front of the Bruce Thompson Federal Building, W. Liberty at S. Virginia, Reno, 11:30 a.m., concluding at the Reno City Hall BELIEVE PLAZA at 1:30 p.m. Info: Nnedi Stephens, 775-338-4561

Washoe County Commissioner Kitty Jung wins poll position on candidate filing day

West Virginia teachers: Strike one, strike won
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-7-2018 Sparks Tribune

LATEST Barbwires

Mayorga muerto

Tony Mayorga (Español)


Mayorga Memorial Celebration Saturday March 10

RENO (19 Feb. 2018) — Brother Mayorga passed away at 3:01 p.m. PST at Renown Regional Medical Center. He was hospitalized early last week with a respiratory illness. His wife, family, close friends, union sisters and brothers watched over him. Please monitor this website for updates. If you are not on the NevadaLabor.com mailing list, you may want to join now. Whatever your core beliefs, please send powerful prayers, projections, thoughts, vibrations and emanations toward our friend, Tony. Thank you.


Tony Mayorga dies at 65
Advance notice to NevadaLabor.com union lists

VETERANS — Left to right, Maria Zamora, Librado "Lee" Chávez and Tony Mayorga. Lee Chávez holds up a hand-crafted United Farm Workers of America flag signed by his late brother. The flag is part of Ms. Zamora's collection of Chávez/UFWA memorabilia which she displayed at the 2004 Chávez Celebration. Ms. Zamora marched with César Chávez in the 1960's and cooked for the multitudes as they trekked across California. She traveled from California to attend the 2014 event and has been our guest several times since. She weaved wonderful stories for the audience in her Hall of Fame address. As always, the Chávez family was well represented by Reno resident Ramon Chávez and his family. Tony Mayorga served many years as director of training and President of Laborers' Union Local 169, a founding sponsor of the celebration. [Librado Chávez and a dozen family members attended the 2008-2011 events. Lee and Tony are now gone. César Chávez Nevada Labor Hall of Famer Maria will induct Tony into that exclusive club on March 31, 2018. Adios, hermano.]

Photos at NevadaLabor.com/

CARLOS GOMEZ (775) 303-1328
Andrew Barbano (775) 786-1455

Memorial celebration March 10, Hall of Fame induction March 31

RENO, NV (March 10, 2018) — All Nevada labor mourns the loss of longtime union leader Tony Mayorga who died Feb. 19 at Renown Regional Medical Center.

A memorial celebration will be held at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, March 10, at Walton's, 1745 Sullivan Lane in Sparks.

"He didn't want tears, he wanted joy, music, dancing and laughter, so that's how we will remember him," stated Carlos Gomez, his son-in-law.

In lieu of flowers, his family asks for contributions to the Domestic Violence Resource Center (formerly the Committee to Aid Abused Women). In his training capacity, Mayorga led the crew that re-paved their big parking lot for free in 1999. He did the same in 2005 for the American Red Cross as well as for several local churches among other organizations. (Stories and photos at NevadaLabor.com/)

Mayorga was honored with the César Chávez Distinguished Labor Educator Award at the 2015 Nevada César Chávez Celebration. He will be inducted into the César Chávez Nevada Labor Hall of Fame on César Chávez Day '18 on March 31, only the second posthumous honoree in the event's history. (The first was Fred Ross, Sr., the legendary organizer who taught César Chávez how to organize workers.)

Mayorga, 65, worked with his hands all his life and earned his way to the top. He spent 18 years in the field on construction projects before becoming Laborers' Local 169 training instructor in 1997 and president in 1999. He held both positions for the 1,400-member union until his 2015 retirement.

"He was a strong and proud union man throughout his working life," stated Local 169 Business Manager and State Assemblymember Richard "Skip" Daly, D-Sparks.

"Beyond his family, colleagues and friendships, Tony's impact will be felt for decades to come through the thousands of women and men he educated in skilled construction," Daly added.

He was hospitalized in mid-February with a respiratory illness. His wife, family, close friends, union sisters and brothers watched over him.

Jose Antonio Mayorga Torres was born to Elias Mayorga Ovalle and Catalina Torres Araujo on October 25, 1952, in Chihuahua, Mexico. He grew up and went to school in Tijuana before emigrating to the United States.

He met Filipino immigrant Leah Aranda in Nevada. They became U.S. citizens and were married 36 years, residing in Sparks since 1972.

"Theirs is truly an American success story," stated Eloy Jara, Mayorga's successor as president of Local 169.

"Tony earned our admiration as a leader, teacher and mentor. We honor him by using the skills he taught us," Jara added.

Mayorga is survived by his parents of Tijuana, Mexico; his wife, the former Leah Aranda; children Antonio Mayorga, Elias Mayorga and Amalia M. Gomez (Carlos); brothers Adrian, Elias and Ismael, all of Nevada, and six grandchildren.

UPDATE 3-7-2018 [From Barbwire by Barbano, SPARKS TRIBUNE] — SATURDAY ADIOS. My friend Tony Mayorga will be inducted into the César Chávez Nevada Labor Hall of Fame on March 31. First, his family, friends, union sisters and brothers will have a high-hearted going-away fest for the good man who died Feb. 19 at 65. He didn't want tears, he wanted joy. So be it.

The Mayorga Adios happens at 3:00 p.m. this Saturday, March 10, at Walton's, 1745 Sullivan Lane in Sparks.

In lieu of flowers, his family asks for contributions to the Domestic Violence Resource Center (formerly the Committee to Aid Abused Women).

A few years back, Tony led the crew that re-paved their big parking lot for free. He was like that.

RENO, NV (20 Feb. 2018) — All Nevada labor mourns the loss of longtime union leader Tony Mayorga who died Feb. 19 at Renown Regional Medical Center.

Mayorga, 65, worked with his hands all his life and earned his way to the top. He spent 18 years in the field on construction projects before becoming training instructor in 1997 and president of Laborers' Local 169 in 1999. He held both positions until his 2015 retirement.

"He was a strong and proud union man throughout his working life," stated Local 169 Business Manager and State Assemblymember Richard "Skip" Daly, D-Sparks.

"Beyond his family, colleagues and friendships, Tony's impact will be felt for decades to come through the thousands of women and men he educated in skilled construction," Daly added.

Mayorga received the César Chávez Distinguished Labor Educator Award at the 2015 Nevada César Chávez Celebration. He will be inducted into the César Chávez Nevada Labor Hall of Fame on César Chávez Day '18 on March 31, thus becoming only the second posthumous honoree in the event's history. Watch CesarChavezNevada.com for additional information as matters proceed.

Brother Mayorga was hospitalized early last week with a respiratory illness. His wife, family, close friends, union sisters and brothers watched over him.

He leaves his wife, Leah, three children, six grandchildren and a union family of thousands.

Please monitor NevadaLabor.com for updates. For additional information and family contact, you may e-mail Carlos Gomez, Tony's successor as Local 169 training instructor.

Your kind remembrances will be appreciated.

Thank you.

In Solidarity,

Tony's Sisters and Brothers

A version of the above will appear in the Feb. 21 Sparks (Nev.) Tribune.

Poor Denny's Almanac

March 5: On this date in 1885, Assemblymember David Allen of Washoe County introduced legislation providing for the appointment of “state detectives”, which, after the bill was enacted, were paid by commercial interests like the mining and cattle industries and empowered with deputy’s powers to serve those interests, often being employed against labor; in 1981, President Reagan called for an end to legal aid for the poor.

March 4: On this date in 1887, twenty-three year old William Randolph Hearst purchased the San Francisco Examiner; in 1911, a million acres of federally managed land was transferred to the State of Nevada under the Carey Act [Editor's note: Read what happened to 4 million acres of Nevada land originally intended to benefit education in perpetuity, also by Dennis Myers, of course); in 1914, the new $110,000 University of Nevada library was dedicated; in 1944, four Jewish women found in the Aryan section of Warsaw were murdered; in 1970, over the objections of ABC network executives, Johnny Cash hosted blacklisted folk singer Pete Seeger on the Johnny Cash Show (Cash called Seeger’s critics “crackpots” and called Seeger “one of the best Americans and patriots I’ve ever known”); in 2002, Matthew A. Commons of Boulder City died near Gardez, Afghanistan; in 2007, the Associated Press reported that U.S. troops threatened the lives of Afghan reporters unless those reporters erased images of a U.S. attack on civilians: “Delete them or we’ll delete you.”

March 3: On this date in 1994, Nevada Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa issued a legal opinion saying that the county supremacy movement’s “Plan for Public Land” (which argues that Nevada holds title to federally managed lands within the state) does not have a “theory with any measure of respect in the legitimate legal community” [Editor's note: Cliven Bundy and Wesley Snipes, please call your laywers]; in 2003 at a food court in Crossgates Mall near Albany, New York, where he was having lunch with his son, attorney Stephen Downs was ordered by security guards to remove the “Give peace a chance” shirt he had purchased at the mall and was arrested and charged with trespass when he refused (the mall later backed down and asked that the charge against Downs be dropped after about a hundred people wearing peace shirts entered the mall and refused to leave until the complaint against Downs was withdrawn).

March 2: On this date in 1934 Tom Mix, Wallace Beery and other movie stars having lunch at the Brown Derby failed to get their food when the restaurant’s twenty-seven waiters walked out in a pay dispute; in 1946, the National Assembly named Ho Chi Minh president of Vietnam; in 1955, “Bo Diddley” by Bo Diddley was recorded for the Checker label, introducing the driving, insistent beat that was so influential that “Bo Diddley beat” became the term to describe it; in 1960, the Reno Evening Gazette and Nevada State Journal began moving from their offices on Center Street to a new building on Stevenson Street; in 1979, Norma Rae, a movie about union organizing at a J.P. Stevens textile plant, was released and its star, Sally Field, eventually was nominated for the Academy Award, Golden Globes, New York Film Critics Circle Awards, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, and award competitions of the National Society of Film Critics, the National Board of Review, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and the Cannes Film Festivaland won all of them; in 2009, Fox network personality Megyn Kelly and U.S. Representative Trent Franks claimed on the air that U.S. Sen. Harry Reid had language in the federal recession stimulus legislation that would be used to build a railroad from Disneyland in southern California to the Moonlite Bunnyranch in northern Nevada, which was false (and Reid opposes legal prostitution). [Editor's note: Did Harvey Weinstein know about this?)

Lousy lawyering for pun and prophet
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-28-2018 Sparks Tribune

Latest Barbwires


ToddBQ '18
The Building & Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO roasts Brother Todd Koch into retirement on Saturday, 24 Feb. 2018 at Circus Circus-Reno. Mandalay Ballroom doors open at 5:30, Dinner at 6:30 p.m.
Click here for sponsorship, table and ticket information. Show up and make it hurt!

Labor leader Todd Koch departs with praises sung and feathers singed

RENO, NV (24 Feb. 2018) — Public officials and union members will roast longtime Nevada labor leader Todd Koch into retirement this Saturday evening, Feb. 24.

The Koch Retirement Roast begins with cocktails at 5:30 and dinner at 6:30 p.m. in the Mandalay Ballroom of Circus Circus, 5th & Sierra in downtown Reno. Valet and garage parking are both free.

Tickets are $150 per person in advance, $175 at the door. Seniors over 65 and students with identification are $135 per person in advance, $150 at the door. Advance reservations may be made online through NevadaLabor.com or by calling the Building & Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO, (775) 355-9200. Proceeds will benefit union member education activities.

Reno City Councilmember Paul McKenzie (NP) will emcee the event.

"I have worked side-by-side with Todd for many years in my capacity as executive secretary-treasurer of the building trades council," McKenzie stated.

"For his entire life, he has been a tireless advocate to enhance the value of hard work and there is no better example than his own career," McKenzie added.

Koch's 40-year tenure will be honored by public officials including U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto, D-Nev. (via video), State Sen. Julia Ratti, D-Sparks, County Commissioner Kitty Jung, D-Washoe, and Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve (NP).

Koch focused on drafting and architecture during four years split between Mt. San Antonio College and Cal-Poly Pomona.

He then pursued hands-on architecture by enrolling in the Painters Union state-certified apprenticeship program. After graduating early, he joined his father, Sonny Koch, in the trade. He soon became a foreman running major construction industry projects within his field.

APPRENTICESHIP CLASSTodd and his fellow macho studs prepare for Chippendales dancer auditions. The handsome skinny kid at left is tonight's guest of honor. (Oh, the humanity of it.) Fully dressed in the photo are Kenny McCune, second from right, and Todd's dad, Sonny Koch, at far right. The guys tried their best to unionize Chippendales. Todd did not receive a callback. Legend has it that his father did.

Koch was elected business manager of Sparks-based Painters & Allied Trades Local 567/AFL-CIO in 1997 at age 39. He served in that capacity until 2003 when he became a regional director with International Union of Painters & Allied Trades District Council 16. The council's jurisdiction covers northern Nevada and northern California.

In addition to his duties for his fellow union members, he served as president of both the Northern Nevada Central Labor Council and the Building & Construction Trades Council. He also became a principal organized labor representative to the Nevada Legislature and was elected vice-president of the Nevada State AFL-CIO.

In 2015, Koch was appointed to the board of the Nevada Governor's Workforce Development Board. In 2011, he was honored for his community service at the Washoe County Democratic Party's annual Virginia Demmler Dinner.

"We want good jobs and an end to raging inequality. We want our democracy back. That's why bus drivers, nurses, construction workers and so many other working people are taking to the streets across the nation," Koch said at the Demmler event.

At 59-ish, he will continue involvement with his union, starting as leader of the District Council 16 retirees club in northern Nevada.

He and his wife Debbie are longtime Reno residents and have one daughter and one grand-daughter.

District Council 16 honored him with a testimonial dinner in California in January. This Saturday promises much spicier fare, Nevada style.

No country for old men (Carson City, Nev., 3-27-2013) — Superannuated union guys in front of the Nevada legislative building at a noontime rally to preserve Nevada's prevailing wage law. Left to right are Gary Peck of the Nevada State Education Assn., Andrew Barbano—CWA 9413/AFL-CIO, Todd Koch—Painters & Allied Trades Local 567/District Council 16/AFL-CIO; Danny Thompson, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Nevada State AFL-CIO and Anthony Rogers, International Brotherhood of Machinists & Aerospace Workers Lodge 845-Las Vegas. César Chávez/NevadaLabor.com Hall of Famer Sam Lumpe of Sheet Metal Workers Local 26, wearing a white cap, may be seen in the background behind Bro. Koch's head. (Photo: Annie Jantzen, High Desert Gypsy Photography)

Building Trades Council responds to GOP misrepresentation
KOCH: Sen. Dean Heller attempts to stage illegal political rally at federally-subsidized housing complex
Todd on the picket lines
Labor Day then and now
Painters Local 567 apprentices paint the historic Lake Mansion
Credit Todd for the looks of this union-created website


"They gave us the shortest month of the year" — Chris Rock

African Americans in Times of War

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
1301 Valley Road, 2nd floor, Reno NV
Snacks, Displays, Books and Small Talk Provided
For more information contact
Patricia Gallimore, Reno-Sparks NAACP President
(775) 746-9453
Don Gallimore, Second Vice-President
(775) 303-7050


2018 Black History Month Almanac
Courtesy of journalist Dennis Myers and friends

March 1: On this date in 1942, a citizens’ committee complained about the brutality of riot police who arrested 101 African Americans and three whites when white pickets prevented black families from moving into the newly completed Sojourner Truth defense workers housing project in Detroit.

February 27: On this date in 1898, the Nevada State Journal raised the issue of the 35 year-old debt supposedly owed by the U.S. government to Nevada for the cost of fighting against state tribes during the Civil War: “As there is now a probability of an appropriation being made for the payment of those claims, as several States are interested in the passage of the bill, the press of the State should agitate the subject and publish facts from old settlers relative to the manner in which the depredations were committed and the hardships endured by reason of the loss of their cattle, and provisions and the burning of their houses by hostile Indians.”; in 1920, Woodrow Wilson set a pattern for U.S. presidents by rebuffing a friendly overture from the Soviet Union; in 1933, the Nevada Senate approved a $4 a day minimum wage (the Assembly had passed a $5 version of the bill); in 1939, the NBC Radio series I Love A Mystery began a month-long serial, “The Case Of The Nevada Cougar” about killings at a Nevada gold mine; in 1951, Nevada assemblymembers who previously had stopped ratification of the 22d amendment to the U.S. Constitution (limiting presidents to two terms) were informed by reporters that Utah was about to become the next-to-last state needed for full ratification, whereupon the Assembly rushed it through and sent it to the Senate and the Senate sat on it until informed by phone that Utah had acted, the senators then approving it 16 to 1 (small counties Senator Harry Wiley voted no); in 1964, heavyweight champion Cassius Clay confirmed that he had converted to Islam (the World Boxing Association suspended him because his conversion was “conduct detrimental to the best interests of boxing” but state boxing regulators declined to honor the suspension); in 1973, Native Americans took control of a richly symbolic settlement at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota to protest federal treatment of Native Americans and alliances between federal officials and entrenched tribal leaders; in 1994, candidates Jan Jones and Robert Miller, running for governor against each other in the Democratic primary, spoke against an anti-gay initiative petition at a rally at a Reno gay bar, Bad Dolly’s; in 2013, gasps were heard in the U.S. Supreme Court hall when Justice Antonin Scalia referred to the Voting Rights Act as an example of “racial entitlements” (a week later, U.S. Representative Jim Clyburn said he was told by Scalia, “The 15th Amendment of the Constitution ain’t got no concerns for me because I’m white and proud.”)

February 25: On this date in 1925, Klansman Gutzon Borglum was fired as the sculptor of the Stone Mountain Confederate memorial project in Georgia (Borglum had earlier sculpted a statue of John Mackay for the University of Nevada campus and would later plan the sculpting of Mount Rushmore; in 1991, Adrienne Mitchell was killed in the U.S./Kuwait war, the first African American woman in history to die in combat for the United States.

February 21: On this date in 1982, Ain’t Misbehavin’, about the African American musicians of the Harlem Renaissance, closed in New York after 1,604 performances.

February 20: On this date in 1881, Matt Canavan of the Comstock said, “Among these Indians no one has ever found a harlot, a coward or a thief” to which the Nevada State Journal responded, “This is a pretty high compliment to pay to an ‘inferior race;’ but, thinking over it, we cannot say that it is undeserved. We know the male Piutes are a fine brave, manly set of fellows. We will have to take Mr. Canavan’s word for the [females].”; in 1929, The Vote, a London suffrage publication, reported on U.S. legislation sponsored by Senator Tasker Oddie of Nevada to restore citizenship to a U.S. woman who lost it by marrying a foreigner and was later divorced.

February 18: On this date in 1546, Martin Luther died; in 1861, under pressure from federal officials, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal leaders agreed to surrender much of Colorado that was guaranteed to them by an 1851 treaty, only to face the fierce opposition of their tribes to the land cession;in 1930, Clyde Tombaugh, a 24-year-old high school graduate, discovered the planet Pluto; in 1942, the Mills Brothers’ “Paper Doll” was released by Decca; in 1960, the U.S. Post Office began sale of a new winter olympics stamp on opening day of the Squaw Valley games.

February 17: On this date in 1864 President Lincoln fired Edward Beale, surveyor general of California and Nevada, because of mishandling of Native American funds; in 1909, two weeks after alleged adults in the Nevada Legislature enacted anti-Japanese legislation in defiance of President (Theodore) Roosevelt’s expressed wishes, a group of boys in Reno with a slingshot tormented a Japanese man named Hashamura (an article on the incident in the Goldfield Chronicle ran just beneath an article on plans for juvenile courts in Nevada); in 1919, African American veterans, not permitted to march in the main New York parade for veterans returned from the World War, held their own parade; in 1944, U.S. Representative Charles MacKenzie of Louisiana denounced “with all the intensity of my soul” the CIO’s wartime canteen in D.C. for U.S. servicepeople because both blacks and whites were served (Eleanor Roosevelt had appeared on opening night); in 1972, Beverly Harrell defended her decision not to admit an African American man to her brothel at Lida Junction in Esmeralda County (“A bordello should have a choice of who they entertain.”) but Nevada Equal Rights Commission director Tony McCormick said a formal complaint would be filed against her. (Editor's Note: Two years later, Republican Harell ran for Nevada State Assembly and probably won because of her anti-BLM campaign centepriece. Although central Nevada was far from sacrosanct back then, the good old boys nonethless worried about their public image. The power structure's worst nightmares came true a few years later when national media started looking into Nevada's Cow County feudal system. Hangovers remain and some of them still get elected to this very day.)

February 16: On this date in 1863, [an ad appeared in] the Boston Journal: “To Colored Men: Wanted. Good men for the Fifty-Fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers of African descent, Col. Robert G. Shaw (commanding). $100 bounty at expiration of term of service. Pay $13 per month, and State aid for families. All necessary information can be obtained at the office, corner Cambridge and North Russell Streets”. (After African American men had been lured into enlisting, their pay was cut to $10 a month, less than that paid to white soldiers, and they were forced to pay for their clothing, also not required of white soldiers.)

February 15: On this date in 1896, an effort was underway in Topeka to obtain federal pensions for African Americans who were enslaved before the civil war.

How to befriend a racist: Because that’s one way to change someone’s mind
By Wade Gainer / Reno News & Review 2-15-2018

Happy Valentine's Day

February 14: On this date in 1955 in Florida, Dade County Republicans walked out of the Miami downtown Urmey Hotel—and later threatened legal action—after hotel president E. N. Claughton ordered 24 African American guests at the dinner out of the hotel because “this place is for whites only.”

February 13: On this date in 1905 President Theodore Roosevelt, speaking to the New York City Republican Club, gave a patronizing analysis of race relations in the U.S. that urged “that the backward race [African Americans] be trained so that it may enter into possession of true freedom while the forward race [whites] enabled to preserve unharmed the high civilization wrought out by its forefathers"; in 1920, President Wilson fired Secretary of State Robert Lansing, who during Wilson’s extended convalescence from multiple strokes had called cabinet meetings and urged consideration of Vice-President Thomas Marshall becoming acting president; in 1937, when rumors circulated that Michigan union members, fresh from the victory of the General Motors strike, were traveling to Indiana to support fellow unionists, Indiana Governor Clifford Townsend declared martial law to keep them out (in Detroit, a union official denied the rumor).


February 12: On this date in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded; in 2001, Earl Washington, a mentally disabled African American, was sentenced to a halfway house instead of being freed after being exonerated by a DNA test of a murder for which he spent 19 years under sentence of death in a Virginia prison.

Feb. 11: In 1960, sixty members of the NAACP appeared at the doors of the whites-only Hawthorne, Nev., casino, the El Capitan, and were refused entry. (Editor's Note: Former Reno-Sparks Branch President Eddie Scott [1928-2017] remembered it well.); in 1916, Reno’s Twentieth Century Club heard author Jean Morris Ellis (Character Analysis/Subhuman or Superman) speak on eugenics; in 1950, two days after making his first charges that there were communists in government, U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy spoke in Reno at a Republican fundraiser at the Mapes Hotel (Edward Connors of the Nevada State Journal reported that on the senator’s reading copy of his speech text where he named the number of communists, McCarthy had scratched out the number “205” and written in the number “57”); in 2006 on a quail hunt, Vice-President Richard Cheney shot a friend, Harry Whittington, in the face.

Feb. 10: in 1865 legendary western lawman, attorney, politician, educator Elfago Baca, a champion of Latinos against white prejudice, was born in Socorro, New Mexico; in 1887 the St. Joseph [Missouri] Daily Herald reported, “CARSON CITY, February 9.—Both houses of the legislature, to-day, adopted resolutions disenfranchising Mormons in Nevada.”; in 1909 a few weeks after whites in Reno burned the city’s Chinatown down, the Chinese Benevolent Association of San Francisco, also known as the Six Companies, wired President Roosevelt asking him to help “right the wrongs suffered by the Chinese of Reno.”;

Feb. 8: In 1865 Martin Delany, founder of one of the first African-American newspapers (the Mystery), physician, and colleague of Frederick Douglass, was appointed the first black major in the U.S. Army.

February 7: On this date in 1941, Nevada consumer activist Betty Barbano was born in Enid, Oklahoma.

Feb. 7: I In 1956 African-American student Autherine Lucy was expelled from the University of Alabama after mobs interfered with her attending classes (24 years later, the university lifted the expulsion and Lucy graduated in 1992).

Feb. 6: In 1820 the U.S. census reported that just under two out of every ten citizens was black — except that under article one, section two of the U.S. Constitution, each black counted as only three-fifths of a citizen.

Feb. 5: In 1962 four days of work began at Capitol Studios in New York and United Recording Studios in Hollywood on Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, the blockbuster Ray Charles LP that cut across musical and racial lines, included songs by Hank Williams, Don Gibson, Jimmie Davis, Floyd Tillman, Eddy Arnold and Zeke Clements, produced several charting singles, and is listed on a couple of dozen essential album lists, including those of Stereophile and Rolling Stone (the track “I Can’t Stop Loving You” received an Emmy and the album was entered in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999); in 1990, The New York Times wrote: “BOSTON, Feb. 5 — The Harvard Law Review, generally considered the most prestigious in the country, elected the first black president in its 104-year history today. The job is considered the highest student position at Harvard Law School. The new president of the Review is Barack Obama, a 28-year-old graduate of Columbia University who spent four years heading a community development program for poor blacks on Chicago’s South Side before enrolling in law school. His late father, Barack Obama, was a finance minister in Kenya and his mother, Ann Dunham, is an American anthropologist now doing fieldwork in Indonesia. Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii. ...”; in 1994 Byron de la Beckwith was sentenced to life in prison for the assassination three decades earlier of civil rights leader Medgar Evers.

Feb. 3: In 1865 in a conference arranged by newspaper publisher Horace Greeley, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and C.S. Vice President Alexander Stephens met on a steamboat in Virginia to try to negotiate an end to the civil war, but the conference promptly broke down when Lincoln refused to negotiate unless the south first surrendered, and refused to make any concessions such as recognition of the Confederacy; in 1910 Robert Earl Jones, one of the first black motion picture actors to achieve prominence (Odds Against Tomorrow, Mississippi Summer, The Sting, Trading Places, The Cotton Club) who was blacklisted by Hollywood in the 1940s and ‘50s and was the father of actor James Earl Jones and producer Matthew Earl Jones, was born in Senatobia, Mississippi; in 1956 after the NAACP obtained a court order against her being rejected and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the order after a five-year legal battle, Autherine Lucy enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Alabama (on her third day of classes, a mob prevented her attendance, which the university used as a pretext for her suspension and then expulsion, which was reversed a quarter century later, followed by her graduation in 1992).

Feb. 2: In 1870, Samuel Clemens married Olivia Langdon in Elmira, New York; in 1951 two days after U.S. High Commissioner John McCloy pardoned and released 21 Nazi war criminals, the State of Virginia began two days of executions of seven African Americans convicted of rape in dubious circumstances by all-white juries.

[Most of the above courtesy of Nevada Journalist Dennis Myers' Poor Denny's Almanac, © 2018]

More Myers

On Feb. 1, 1960, four black college students began a sit-in protest at a lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where they'd been refused service. (NY Times)

8 the hard way!
Barbwire wins 8th Nevada Press Assn. award

Je Suis Charlie

West Virginia teachers: Strike one, strike won
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-7-2018 Sparks Tribune

Lousy lawyering for pun and prophet
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-28-2018 Sparks Tribune

Recognizing the red flags of instant replay
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-21-2018 Sparks Tribune

Valentines for Cleopatra & wayward beautiful girls
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-14-2018 Sparks Tribune

On Feb. 7, 1941, Betty Joyce Luffman (Donlevy Barbano) was born in Enid, OK.

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

Bliss Barbies: The yellow brick road to anorexia
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-7-2018 Sparks Tribune

DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME ON PRESIDENTE NARCISSIO GRANDE'S PEAL OF THE ONION. Read this and then watch something important. Barbwire Confidential Union Yes! Special Edition

6:09 p.m. PST Jan. 30 / 2:09 GMT/CUT Jan. 31, 2018

9:58 p.m. PST Jan. 30 / 05:58 GMT/CUT: I watched that show. I wept. AB

Barbwire Confidential—>HUSHHUSH!
For tomorrow's news today, subscribe to Barbwire Confidential at BallotBoxing.US/
Turn on, tune in and tell a friend —>before subscription prices rise on Feb. 1.

DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME ON TONIGHT'S PEAL OF THE ONION. The best TV this p.m. will air on that dirty commie liberal should-be-scuttled PBS at 9:00 p.m. PST/8:00 in the provinces.

"The American Experience" reruns the story of America's labor holocaust, the infamous 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City which claimed 146 lives and injured 71 others. Most of the dead were young, immigrant Italian and Jewish women. Some of the former most probably came thru Ellis Island with my family. Hell, some of the latter may well have, too. Requiescant in pace.

If there was a most significant spark (pardon the expression) for safer working conditions in sweatshop America, this was it. The battle remains joined as Czar Donaldov and his cossacks unravel what took more than a century of struggle, blood, sweat, tears, murder and mayhem to achieve.

The Triangle fire spurred the growth of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, now part of UNITEHERE/AFL-CIO which happens to represent culinary workers at Circus Circus and the Grand Sierra in Reno and throughout southern Nevada. The GSR is doing its damnedest to destroy the union. Stay tuned to the Barbwire for more, but tune in KNPB TV-5 at 9:00 tonight (and probably KLVX TV-10 in Gomorrah South). It's the most relevant TV you will see. (Check local listings for reruns. I have requested info and will post times with this bulletin at NevadaLabor.com/)

The country's first woman cabinet member "witnessed the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, a pivotal event in her life. It was because of this event that Frances Perkins would leave her office at the New York Consumers League and become the executive secretary for the Committee on Safety of the City of New York." (Wikipedia) She served 12 years as President Franklin Roosevelt's secretary of labor, "longer than any other Secretary of Labor. She became the first woman to hold a cabinet position in the United States and thus, became the first woman to enter the presidential line of succession." (id.)

IRONICALLY DISGUSTING UPDATE: A photograph of one of the murderous Triangle Factory moguls remains featured on the Emmy-winning open credits of the longrunning and still-syndicated "Cheers" TV sitcom. Worth just $75 dead, the workers continue to be exploited after 107 years.

ILLEGAL BETTING. Anybody making book that El Presidente Narcissio Grande says that the state of the union is the best it's ever been? With the bodies still smoldering in 2001, he couldn't help bragging that with the World Trade Center towers down, his palace became the tallest building in Manhattan. So my bet's safe.

We Don't Need No Education Part LXXXV—>
Awards season: bad bids, bad hits and bad attitudes
Excerpted from Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-24-2018 Sparks Tribune and affiliated publications

Links and references may be accessed at the latter URL including how the artificial turf your kids play on could kill them. It's everywhere and it's deadly. But who cares? It's Nevada.

U-NEWS. Culinary Union Local 226 beat back a decertification attempt by the Reno Grand Sierra and remains in negotiation. Another decert has been filed. Time perhaps for another Hot August Strike during Hot August Nights? (Every union that ever used that headline — my all-time number one — won.) The only other union hotel in northern Nevada is Circus Circus, which hosted last October's Reno-Sparks NAACP Freedom Fund Awards and has two majors coming up.

The Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO will roast Sparks labor leader Todd Koch into retirement at ToddBQ '18 on February 24. I'm editing the commemorative program and need choice insults about the man I first met many years ago when he was young, handsome and promising. Alas, Todd today stands 0-for-3. Send entries to the e-mail below.

César Chávez XVI happens on the great man's 91st birthday on March 31. Ticket/table info for both events may be accessed above and via CesarChavezNevada.com/

Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and SenJoeNeal.org/ He serves as first vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are strictly his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us> (775) 882-TALK.

NOW ON THE PRESS FOR TOMORROW'S SPARKS TRIBUNE (and already distributed to Barbwire Confidential Co-Conspirators) —>

We Don't Need No Education Part LXXXVI—>
Terrorism in the Nevada outback
Mississippi West 2018: Sexy moral depravity abides
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-31-2018 Sparks Tribune and affiliated publications

Available via Barbwire.US sometime betwixt now and the first cherry blossoms if the Good Lord's willin' and the nukes don't rise.

For all the news you never knew you needed to know—>Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

Hie thee to BallotBoxing.US before subscription prices rise Feb. 1. Tell your friends. And your enemies.

HOT TV TIP: CesarChavez.TV is coming soon. Stay tuned.

BRWR V1/30 HushHush/HH/BRWR/OPSN18


Oh, you beautiful doll!

Forever a Fox: Rosie in 1995

Naomi Parker Fraley, aka Rosie the Riveter, dies at 96
Mrs. Fraley’s connection to Rosie was made public in 2016, ending years of speculation over who was the model for the fictional 1940s war worker.
By Margalit Fox / The New York Times front page 23 January 2018

Los Angeles Times journalists vote 248-44 to unionize
Journalists at the Los Angeles Times have overwhelmingly elected to form a union and be represented by the NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America. It's a historical first for the 136-year-old news organization that for much of its history was known for its opposition to organized labor.
By James Rufus Koren / Los Angeles Times 19 January 2018
Editor's Note: This website's editor/publisher is a longtime member of Nevada CWA Local 9413/AFL-CIO. Mazeltov!

Bizarro R Us: Win bar bets predicting the 51st state
Terrorism in the Nevada outback

Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-17-2018 Sparks Tribune and affiliated publications

Poor Denny's Almanac for January 11, 2018

On this date in 1885, Alice Paul, chair of the National Women’s Party and author of the Equal Rights Amendment, was born in Moorestown, New Jersey; in 1901, the Reno Evening Gazette denounced U.S. Senator Henry Teller of Colorado for what it called a “treasonous” act—presenting a petition signed by 2,000 Filipinos, whose nation the United States was in the process of conquering and colonizing; in 1917, the day after William Cody died, the Nevada State Journal editorialized: “ ‘Buffalo Bill is dead.’ Some day this will be seen as a landmark along the road of history traveled by these young United States. Every word is significant. The Buffalo died before ‘Bill’ did. The Indians died before the Buffalo. And now ‘Bill’ himself, before whom, both in point of history and location, red- and brown-skin, biped and quadruped, went into oblivion,— ‘Bill’ dies.”; in 1937, General Motors security guards and Flint Police Department officers attacked striking workers at the Flint, Michigan, General Motors plant (eventually Governor Frank Murphy—with the support of President Roosevelt—sent in the national guard not to evict the strikers but to prevent the police from terrorizing strikers); in 1949, United Press reported, “Las Vegas, Nev., whose slogan is ‘Fun in the Sun,’ today was brushing off two inches of snow which fell during the night on top of three inches deposited yesterday.”; in 1956, U.S.-backed Saigon dictator Ngo Dinh Diem issued Ordinance No. 6, providing for internment of his political enemies in concentration camps; in 1965, Buddhists launched anti-war and anti-government protests in South Vietnam; in 1968, Jack Webb, who revived his Dragnet television series in order to preach against the 1960s, had his “Joe Friday” deliver a lengthy lecture to a Timothy-Leary-like character: “Marijuana is the flame. LSD is the fuse. Heroin is the bomb. ... Marijuana is a narcotic. It never did anybody any good.” (Webb, a heavy smoker and drinker who peddled cigarettes in advertising for Fatima and Chesterfield, died of a heart attack in 1982; in 1976, the Reno Repertoire Club and the Reno Banjo Club held a bicentennial concert (preceding a performance by the Utah Symphony) to raise money for John Carrico’s Tahoe Music Camp; in 2001, the Pentagon admitted U.S. massacre of civilians at No Gun Ri, Korea, in July 1950, though the report put a pro-U.S. spin on the events, relied on incomplete documents, and continued a coverup of essential information. — More Myers

The spirits of MLK and Bull Connor live right here
Terrorism in the Nevada outback
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-10-2018 Sparks Tribune / Updated 1-11, 1-12, 1-13 and 1-14-2018
"The good Lord created the world. Mankind built the cities. And the Devil thunk up the small town."Auld folk wisdom

Déjà vu all over again

Sexist climate: Casinos long noted for harassment
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 4 Jan. 2018

The True Face of Nevada Gambling
Institutionalized Discrimination: Dare to grow older and you're fired — the law of the land
Barbwire by Barbano / Daily Sparks Tribune Oct. 8, 2000

Chickens Beware! Reno Gazette-Journal names fox its citizen of the year
Reno News & Review Editorial 4 January 2018
BONE DRY MARTINI always drank the corporate welfare Kool-Aid
EXTRA EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT! —> Barbwire by Barbáno Special Internet Edition 12 Dec. 2015


JANUARY 4, 2018

ELOY JARA (775) 856-0169, 750-9134


MINDEN, NEV. — A misdemeanor complaint was filed today against six members of the Douglas County School District Board of Trustees for violation of Nevada law regarding Construction Manager At Risk (CMAR) contracts. [Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 338.169(2)]

At their meeting of October 10, 2017, Douglas County school trustees voted to engage in a single CMAR contract that included six scopes of work with a single contractor.

The complaint states that the bundling of six separate and distinct projects at six different locations is in direct violation of the limitation established by statute in NRS 338.160(2) which states:

     2. A public body in a county whose population is less than 100,000 may enter into contracts with a construction manager at risk pursuant to NRS 338.1685 to 338.16995, inclusive, for the construction of not more than two public works in a calendar year that are discrete projects.   

"Bundling six separate and distinct ('discrete') projects into one CMAR cannot be done legally by a public body in a county with a population of less than 100,000," stated Eloy Jara, Assistant Business Manager of Laborers' Union Local 169, who filed the complaint with the Douglas County Sheriff's office.

"According to latest estimates, the county does not approach even half that threshold," he added. The Reno-based union's jurisdiction includes Douglas County.

Prior to filing the complaint, the union asked Douglas County District Court for a declaratory order. The school district challenged the union's standing to seek a declaratory order and the case was dismissed on that ground.

"The filing was made by a Douglas County taxpayer and the union. If a taxpayer does not have standing, who does?" Jara asked.

The court did not make a determination regarding the underlying issue over what constitutes a “discrete” project or who might have legal standing.

"The common definition of discrete is 'individually separate and distinct,' Jara said, adding that "we believe the plain language of the law is clear and that the legislative intent of NRS 338.169(2) was to limit by law the number of CMAR contracts in the smaller counties to two per year."

The misdemeanor criminal complaint was filed pursuant to NRS 193.170.

     NRS 193.170 Prohibited act is misdemeanor when no penalty imposed. Whenever the performance of any act is prohibited by any statute, and no penalty for the violation of such statute is imposed, the committing of such act shall be a misdemeanor.

"By not allowing or seeking on their own a declaratory order from the court as to the legality of their course of action prior to taking it, the Douglas County School District has placed the individual school board members, the projects and the taxpayers of Douglas County at risk," Jara added.

Jara's complaint further asks for a change of venue: "I hereby request that this complaint be given to another jurisdiction for prosecution due to the fact that the Douglas County District Attorney has a conflict of interest based on the fact that the Douglas County District Attorney also represents the Douglas County School Board and provided the School Board with the legal advice that has resulted in this complaint."

Laborers' Union Local 169 was established in Reno in 1902 and represents more than 1,400 workers throughout northern Nevada.

Union claims school board violating state law
Gardnerville Record-Courier / Uploaded 10 Jan. 2018


All the Money in the World: The greatest story never told
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-3-2018 Sparks Tribune

Breaking News, Bulletins & Almanac 2017

Happy 152nd Birthday, Ms. Nevada
Nevada Day Required Reading
The Lady in the Red Dress
The Barbwire's award-winning Nevada Day classic written in 1983
The compleat history of the Silver State in 500 words
Sparks Tribune 11-4-1990 and oftimes since

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

In memoriam, 59 years ago on a lonely road

January 16, 1959, brought the births of Debra Joyce Donlevy/Carson High '77 (1959-1978) and Donna Leslie Cline (1959-1999). Their youth was cut in twain on the same night in 1978 within the loneliness of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream. Remember them fondly.

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

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