Empire Strikes Back
The Daily Sparks Tribune 8-25-2002
TO BARBANO: THE PEOPLE DESERVE THE TRUTH
BY GREG KRAUSE,
RTC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
As a columnist for the Sparks
Tribune, Mr. Andy Barbano apparently has free reign to say whatever he
wants without regard to truth and without the public knowing his professional
ties to those whom he appears to support only philosophically. His report
in last Sundays paper
concerning a collision between a bicycle rider and a Citifare
bus is an excellent example. It is designed to vilify a person, an organization
and anyone who doesnt agree with his personal view of life
supported by the Teamsters Local 533, a fact he neglects to mention.
Barbano: reported a collision between a bicycle and
an errant driver who apparently left the scene of the accident,
leaving the cyclist in intensive care at Washoe Med.
Truth: According to the police report and the video tapes collected
from the bus, the bicyclist was in the far right lane at the time the
bus entered the left turn lane. On his own steam, and through his own
questionable judgment, the bicyclist veered over two lanes of traffic
to enter the lane in which the bus was beginning a left-hand turn. The
cyclist positioned himself between the bus and the curb and as the police
report indicates, the bike struck the south curb of Prater, ejecting the
rider and caused the bus to run over the front wheel of the bike. The
police report indicated the bicyclist had made an improper lane change
and improperly overtook the bus.
Barbano: The rider was in serious condition in the
Intensive Care Unit.
Truth: The rider was, indeed, taken to Washoe Medical Center, where
he was treated for an ankle injury and hand abrasions, but not admitted,
let alone admitted to intensive care. The police report also noted that
the bike rider confirmed he had a pre-existing injury to the ankle.
Barbano: The errant driver left the scene.
Truth: The Citifare driver, who was videotaped by striking workers
in order to identify him, did not know there had been an incident (since
there never was a collision) and returned to the scene immediately upon
notification and cooperated fully with authorities. The bus driver was
not cited in any way since the cyclist was documented to have made an
improper change of lanes and improper overtaking of the bus.
Barbano: Says that the previously locked-out drivers probably
cant make their voices heard
Thanks to a bogus court injunction
cant get into the building
where the RTC board meetings
Truth: A temporary restraining order was issued prohibiting pickets
from interfering with buses, passengers and/or drivers who are providing
service at CitiCenter. This was issued by a district judge who found sufficient
evidence to warrant the TRO. Further, RTC meetings are open
and members of the public are invited to give public comment. In fact,
Barbano and a group of coach operators did attend an RTC Citizens
Advisory Committee meeting on Wednesday and the RTC Board meeting on Friday,
without restriction. Of course, they first called local television stations
stating that they were to be barred from the meetings, inviting the cameras
to view the confrontation. There was no confrontation.
It must be made known to the readers of the Sparks Tribune and to the
community that Mr. Barbano is not simply a columnist who has an opinion
about current events. He also is a consultant to the Teamsters Union
local 533, involved in the labor dispute with TMW. Mr. Barbano has a financial
stake in the discrediting of TMW, Citifare and the Regional Transportation
Commission. His report last Sunday was so erroneous it can
be considered no more than propaganda, designed to promote a specific
perspectivewithout the publics knowing his affiliation to
Let me be clear about one thing: The RTC--in its relationship with Citifare
contractor TMW, or any of our other contractors--has no complaint with
the Teamsters or any other union that represents employees that do work
on our behalf. We respect their role in the employer-employee relationship.
What is an issue is a blatant distortion of facts for the purpose of swaying
public opinion to a perspective that suits Mr. Barbano, if no one else.
He must be recognized for what he is--a union representative, posing as
© 2002 The Daily Sparks Tribune
Reprinted with permission.
responds: Before Mr. Krause
engages in a game of Truth or Dare, he should prepare. He apparently does
not even know what's going on in his front yard, let alone in the news.
Locked-out workers and myself were indeed admitted to the two public meetings
he notes, above. I wrote him in
advance in order to clear the way. You
may read his letter for yourself. I contacted him because locked-out
Citifare workers told me that out-of-town rent-a-cops had barred them
from Citifare offices, despite Mr. Krause's above admission that Judge
Breen's order only applied to the downtown Reno switching station. He
apparently failed to inform his hired muscle.
really running the store? Perhaps more important is the inescapable
conclusion to be drawn from the very fact that Mr. Krause personally responded.
RTC purportedly long ago hired a British-owned management company to run
the bus system and for a very fancy fee at that. Four of five commissioners
have played Pontius Pilate and washed their hands of the continuing labor
unrest, leaving the crucifixion to their subcontractor. If RTC's elected
board has backed away, why is Mr. Krause superseding the authority of
his hired guns and getting into a fight with me so late in the game? Who's
on first? The only possible answer: Mr. Krause and the board are actually
calling every shot and merely using the subcontractor for political cover.
Get them to blow their collective cool and they'll voluntarily blow their
from the 8-25-2002 Daily Sparks Tribune: Both
the Sparks Police Dept. and Washoe Medical Center gave me erroneous information
at deadline last week. The hit-and-run accident between a bicyclist and
a Citifare replacement driver did indeed occur on Aug. 17. However, the
cyclist was treated and released by Washoe Med and was never admitted
to intensive care. At least Washoe Med's PR people apologized for the
error. The nursing staff, always undermanned, had more than a dozen trauma
deaths over that weekend. I can forgive them, but Sparks PD treated me
like the local agent of Osama bin Laden.
Read the Tribune's
next edition followup from the 8-19-2002 front page.
Barbano to Krause
from the 9-1-2002 Barbwire Annual Labor Day column:
UNION BUSTERS. I really enjoyed Regional Transportation Commission
Executive Director Greg Krause's rant against me in last Sunday's
Tribune. For those who missed it, you will find it reproduced in
its entirety at NevadaLabor.com.
The short version will suffice here: I'm a liar and clandestine
labor propagandist to boot. I've printed my union credentials in
every column in this paper for years, including the one Krause griped
about. They've also been uploaded to NevadaLabor.com since 1996.
Since he apparently doesn't read websites, I've included a capsule
with this column.
Mr. Krause also neglected to note that by calling me a liar, he
said the same about Washoe Medical Center and the Sparks Police
Dept., which provided the items in the August 18 column about which
He also neglected to note that I posted corrections as soon as Washoe
Med and Sparks PD informed me of their previous inaccuracies.
Those were uploaded to the website and distributed via e-mail
on Saturday evening, August 17, well before the Sunday paper even
hit the streets, but unfortunately long after the Tribune's deadline.
Most disappointing of all, Mr. Krause never wrote a word defending
RTC's actions in royally screwing over its Citifare bus drivers,
dispatchers and support workers. His silence spoke volumes
he has no defense. So he spent 800 words attempting to behead the
messenger. That's a waste of money for the guy we taxpayers pay
a minimum wage of $111,675.20 per year, before bonuses or merit
to CitiStrike War Room Page