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


It's long been very personal: Blasts from our very checkered past
Fatal Conservatism: Killing our bodies & our minds
Expanded from the 4-2-2006 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
UPDATED 8-8-2006, 1-16-2008, 3-9-2008, 4-6-2008, 1-16-2011
and 1-16-2014


"Washoe Med: This community has been snookered!"
— From a Reno Gazette-Journal guest editorial
DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN — Washoe Med / Renown nurses picket during a one-day strike on 6-23-2001. The issues were the same as during a 1990 organizing drive and remain today: Understaffing which erodes patient care so that the conglomerate may profit and proliferate on the backs of health care consumers and taxpayers.

Breaking News –>

DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN— St. Mary's registered nurses picket hospital Friday, 2-11-2022 1:00 .m PST

Union members picket "greedy and unaccountable" St. Mary's-Reno Hospital
By Jeri Davis / This is Reno 11-9-2020

Intensive care
St. Mary's-Reno nurses picket Wednesday September 18, 2019
What's harder: Finding a doctor or Stormy Daniels?
Sucking up money: The ever-expanding tentacles of the voracious Renown medical octopus
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
Expanded from the 3-21-2018 Sparks Tribune

Labor's stake in the fight for veterans' health care
By Suzanne Gordon and Ian Hoffmann / Labor Notes 10-12-2017
Ian Hoffman is with AFGE 2152 representing workers at Reno's Ioannis A. Lougaris Veterans Medical Center

Profit-mongering health care crashing in northern Nevada

Rx for Rape and Pillage

SMOKING GUN —> The big picture ain't pretty. DC GOP lawmakers are trying to bludgeon thru Obamacare "repeal" because the budget cuts therein will substantially reduce projected deficits. Without those projections in law, under current revenue-neutral rules, they will not be able to pass their tax cuts for the corporately wealthy. No less than conservative Reason Magazine Editor Peter Suderman said that on the June 19 PBS/Bloomberg Charlie Rose TV program. As Lily Tomlin once opined, no matter how cynical you become, it's hard to keep up. The game's afoot. So use a foot to kick some ass.
Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.

Condemned at Birth
The diabetes establishment inhibits research on a very promising diabetes CURE
"Tell us how it will make ever make us money."
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 6-14-2017
Sparks Tribune / Updated 6-14 and 6-20-2017

Nevada consumers consumed again
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
Expanded from the 6-6-2017 Sparks Tribune / Updated 6-8-2017

Single-Payer Health Care Essential for America
Government allows unwarranted corporate profits from taxpayer-developed medicines
By Jake Highton
Sparks Tribune 10-25-2016

Don't ask Renown for marijuana to help your chemo
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-4-2016 Sparks Tribune

EXCLUSIVE! The Renown ripoff
1995 Washoe Med Grand Jury commentary

Additional columns just uploaded from our archives
Download the Grand Jury Report

Read it and weep
Nevada's hospital cost control law worked, so
the legislature repealed it, of course

When public interest is secondary to public relations
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 7-5-2016 Sparks Tribune

Good news, bad news and Machine Gun Michele
Washoe County schools norovirus outbreak spreads
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-6-2015 Sparks Tribune
Don't call a lawyer to sue a doctor
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 8-18-2015 Sparks Tribune

Tinkle-down economics: testing Tesla's testes
Theft of Washoe Med/Renown provides cautionary tale
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 9-9-2014 Sparks Tribune

Sexy scandals, whitewashes & black towers
In Nevada visit, new Veterans Administration boss proves all jobs require training
Media overlook federal sex/race/ethnicity investigation into Washoe County School District
Meanwhile, big money is spent strictly on abstinence
State panel to review militarization of police departments
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune / 8-21-2014

105 + 285 layoffs at LV public hospital called necessary
Las Vegas Sun / 8-21-2014

Study Shows the Madness of States Refusing to Expand Medicaid
Joshua Holland / Bill Moyers.com / 8-14-2014

How to assassinate Medicare and Medicaid
Health Savings Accounts: The insurance industry's Trojan Horse

Andrew Barbano / Reno Gazette-Journal / 7-19-2014

Las Vegas cancer center drops Obamacare patients
Culinary Union is part of cancelled co-op
Las Vegas Review-Journal / 7-17-2014

Nevada OSHA fines Summerlin Hospital in fatal TB outbreak
Las Vegas Review-Journal 4-10-2014

Fold your favorite charity, then go thank yourself
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 2-13-2014 Sparks Tribune

Grim picture painted of mental health care in Nevada
By Ed Vogel / Las Vegas Review-Journal 1-29-2014

RENO, Nev. (12-5-2013) — Former Nevada Assemblymember and hospital trustee Vivian Freeman died this morning at her home in Reno. She was 86 years old.

Freeman's distinguished career included Nevada's first mining reclamation law
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review / 12-12-2013

1995 Washoe Med Grand Jury commentary

Additional columns just uploaded from our archives
Download the Grand Jury Report

Read it and weep
Nevada's hospital cost control law worked, so
the legislature repealed it, of course

POOR DENNY'S ALMANAC 11-21-2013 — On this date in 2004, Ray Hagar and Sandi Wright reported in the Reno Gazette-Journal that local schools attended by low income students tended to be the most poorly maintained schools.
        THE BARBWIRE RESPONDS: So what else is new? Over the decades, the RGJ has done a sterling job investigating separate but unequal health care and education. Alas and alack, nothing much ever changes on the High Desert Plantation. For a quick sad summary, see the Barbwire of April 2, 2006 (updated periodically).

Staff, visitors and patients sue southern Nevada Summerlin Hospital over TB exposure
AP & Las Vegas Sun / 11-20-2013

Assemblymember Peggy Pierce, D-Las Vegas, 1954-2013

USA at crossroads: New Deal or new Confederacy?
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-10-2013 Sparks Tribune

State of Health
National health care comes up against a very sick state.
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 10-10-2013

Another public relations coup for Nevada
Report: Every nursing home in Nevada cited by inspectors
Chronic understaffing in a very lucrative & growing industry

"Nevada is one of two states where every nursing home was cited with one or more deficiencies by state health inspectors, and one in three nursing homes was cited for a severe deficiency, meaning a resident suffered actual harm or was in imminent danger."
Las Vegas Review-Journal / 8-12-2013

Major union leaders blast Obamacare for hurting health plans
Labor starts to bail: Democratic health care plan support erodes
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 8-1-2013
Full text of letter to Reid and Pelosi

Death panels hard at work right here in River City
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 7-4-2013 Sparks Tribune

Guilty of Murder: Las Vegas hepatitis C murder cases archive

Defrocked California doc allowed to practice in Nevada
by Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review / 5-30-2013

We Don't Need No Education Part XIV
Never trust gun runners, politicians or PR men

Barbwire by Barbano
Expanded from the 1-31-2013 Daily Sparks Tribune

Clinging to the ledge and paying for our sins
Governor pays back Nevada health insurance monopoly and major campaign contributor
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 1-24-2013 Daily Sparks Tribune

ALSO —As predicted last year, mass firings have begun as the union busters take over St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Reno as of June 30 . Looks like the Hot August Strike season may come early this year. Stay tuned and keep NevadaLabor.com posted.

Meet the unholy new owners of St. Mary's
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 6-21-2012

St. Mary's firings begin
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-8-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Nevada would profit handsomely from Obamacare
Hugh Jackson / Las Vegas CityLife 4-5-2012

A bunch of law-breaking, union-busting, profit-gouging sleazoids
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-1-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Renown 150th: Profiting at taxpayer expense
Barbwire by Barbano/ Daily Sparks Tribune 3-18-2011

Heart doctors accuse Renown/Washoe Med of fraud and conspiracy
Reno Gazette-Journal 11-13-2011

The Nevada initiative partially banning smoking in public buildings has resulted in a big drop in hospital admissions for heart attacks and strokes. Too bad casino and bar workers don't enjoy any protection.
Daily Sparks Tribune / 9-18-2011

Reno Catholic hospital sale rumored

UPDATE: Confirmed, controversial and perhaps corrupt
Barbwire by Barbano/ Daily Sparks Tribune 8-28-2011

What's the ugliest part of your body?
Barbwire by Barbano
Expanded from the 7-31-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune

Nevada government's license to kill
A funeral dirge for the disposable worker
Barbwire by Barbano
Expanded from the 6-5-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune

Running red in a frozen economy
Sparks and Reno face huge fines for labor law violations
Cancerexia: Ralph Lauren boycott widens
Barbwire by Barbano/ Expanded from Daily Sparks Tribune /

Health care in prime time, ready or not
Barbwire by Barbano/ Expanded from Daily Sparks Tribune /12-6-2009
If Reform Fails: Health Care, Jobs and Unions LIVE TV Dec. 6
Available to every TV set in N/E California and N/W Nevada

Click here to see the show live on your computer
NOTE: The above webstreaming link will not be hot until 5:30 p.m. PST / 01:30 ZULU/GMT, a half-hour before showtime on Dec. 6.
The above link is now disabled.
Catch the CW network re-run, 9:00 p.m. PST/05:00 ZULU/GMT

Turn on, tune in and tell a friend
If Reform Fails: Health Care, Jobs and Unions
LIVE TV Dec. 6, 2009

Barbwire by Barbano/ Expanded from Daily Sparks Tribune / 11-29-2009
Give 'em health Harry, part deux
Barbwire by Barbano/ Daily Sparks Tribune / 11-22-2009

Sick and tired of being sick and tired
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 11-15-2009

Déjà vu all over again
Renown/Washoe Med, always in desperate need of nurses, fires 15

1995 Washoe Med Grand Jury commentary

Additional columns just uploaded from our archives
Download the Grand Jury Report

Newly uploaded report
Nevada's hospital cost control law worked, so
the legislature repealed it, of course

Washoe Med's chairman of the board attempts to rewrite history while erasing a venerable name

     "Studies show that people still think we're a county-run hospital, but we haven't been that for over 20 years....There is a perception that a government-operated facility can't be that good and they will choose not to give money to the foundation because they think we are tax-subsidized, which is false."

— Mike Alonso, attorney and board chair

— From Washoe Medical Center renamed Renown Health
Daily Sparks Tribune,

Nothing could be further from the truth. Washoe Med/Renown has been receiving huge taxpayer subsidies for indigent care since 1985, when the hospital was given away by corrupt county officials under a false promise to permanently relieve the taxpayers of the costs of indigent care. See the Washoe County Grand Jury Report available exclusively at NevadaLabor.com.

DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN — Washoe Med / Renown nurses picket during a one-day strike on 6-23-2001. The issues were the same as during a 1990 organizing drive and remain today: Understaffing which erodes patient care so that the conglomerate may profit and proliferate on the backs of health care consumers and taxpayers.

Read it and weep
Nevada's hospital cost control law worked, so
the legislature repealed it, of course

Thursday, 4 Dec 2008, 12:24 p.m. PST, 20:24 ZULU/GMT/SUT/CUT

Nurses win contract with St. Mary's Reno
Washoe Med/Renown nurses also ink deal

RENO — Washoe Med/Renown nurses plan June 11, 2008, protest vigil against stonewalling, union-busting management

Monopolists and mass malpractice
Gasoline price fixing and greasing pols to exploit the sick

Barbwire / Sparks Tribune 4-13-2008

Washoe Med: Renowned for Ripping Us Off
Inhospitable Reno hospital terrorizes its nurses for daring to picket for an hour. Barbwire Special Web Edition 4-10-2008
Take it to the streets today!

Who's on Worst?
Nurses organize, governor Hooverized, regents piratize
Is anybody running this show?

Nurses schedule April 10 demonstration in Reno
Barbwire / Sparks Tribune 4-6


CNA v. SEIU: Discontent divides LV area nurses
Labor groups contest election results in fight for representation at three St. Rose Dominican hospitals

Cab passenger in accident finds no one has to pay for her injuries
After hit-and-run, she learns Nevada law contains insurance loophole for taxis

STRIKE LOOMS CLOSER — Culinary Union files for injunction against Reno Grand Sierra.
Health care costs are the issue.

BARBWIRE: The Wages of Sin
"My doctor killed me."
Daily Sparks Tribune 2-24-2008

Longtime St. Mary's hospital employee
"Fired for cancer?" in a fire-at-will state

A not very Christian tale

Reno News & Review Editorial 3-13

Fired for cancer?
Reno News & Review 3-6

Right-to-work / fire-at-will law plagues Nevada for more than half a century

St. Mary's Reno nurses vote 252-141 for union representation thru the California Nurses Assn.

Renown/Washoe Med nurses vote 491-213 (a landslide of almost 70 percent voting yes) to keep their union.

Climbing the walls at new Washoe Med
Reno News & Review 12-6-2007

   Washoe Health System got a free hospital by promising perpetually free indigent care and reduced health costs to the public. The behemoth has now used its exorbitant profits to open the most expensive hotel in northern Nevada. The palace built on the pain of patient and public purse comes complete with an imperious and imperial Steve Wynn-esque orgasm of attitude for the artsy set, as noted in the 12-6-2007 Reno News & Review puff piece, above. The Reno Gazette-Journal, as always taking care of a good advertiser, editorialized on 11-8-2007 that "Renown got priorities right in its new Mill Street tower." The Gannett chain gang newspaper may not reflect the community, but it certainly represents its own community of narrow self-interest.

President Harry Truman had it right on health care in 1949

SEIU split over Nevada leader

Comeuppance for corporate welfare queens
Renown/Washoe Med nurses vote, UAW strikes
California Nurses Assn. competes with SEIU for Nevada nurses

Reno City Council rolls over and goes belly up for Cabela's


Statewide 16,000-member senior citizens group supports
Renown/Washoe Med nurses union drive

BARBWIRE: Culinary negotiates, nurses agitate,
both may vacate and demonstrate

NLRB sets election for Reno Renown/Washoe Medical Center nurses

LABOR DAY 2007: Labors of Love
Party like it's 1929
Union-busting Reno hospital offers excuses for rape and pillage
Washoe Med renown for toxic sludge

1995 Washoe Med Grand Jury commentary

Additional columns just uploaded from our archives
Download the Grand Jury Report

NevadaLabor.com Statewide Health Care News Roundup & Archives


Copyright © 2004-2017 Andrew Barbano


DEAR NEVADA LABORITES: SINCE HEALTH CARE IS THE HOTTEST POLITICAL ISSUE IN THE COUNTRY, (yes, health care deficiencies are only magnified by our perpetual wars), it's high time that we started a health care war room to go along with all the rest. (See below.)

The Culinary Union is threatening strikes north and south.

The big sticking point — you guessed it! — health care.

The merger of the state's largest health care insurers threatens to make Nevada the most concentrated (translation: monopolistic) insurance market in the country. Once again, the Silver State aspires to the number one position at the bottom of the barrel.

Nothing illustrates the problem better than the bitter fruit of privatization known as Renown Medical Center, the former public hospital once called Washoe Medical Center in Reno.

For the first time, the damning 1995 Washoe County Grand Jury Report about the theft of the hospital is available online. Right here. Who else would do it? (Who else would keep a copy after all these years?)

I have also uploaded for the first time my 1995 Barbwires about the heist. Selected additional information will be posted over time, but right now, the front burner issue is the union re-election scheduled at Renown/Washoe Med for Sept. 25-27, 2007.

Here's the official word from Nevada State AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Danny Thompson:


TO: All affiliates

RE: Nurses fight at Renown Medical Center

Over the last few months, nurses at Renown Medical Center (formerly Washoe Medical Center) have decided to form a union with Service Employees Local 1107.

The nurses were previously members of Operating Engineers Local 3 and all of Nevada labor supported them in a difficult first contract. OE 3 is 100 percent supportive of the nurses joining SEIU.

The employer, Renown, is refusing to honor the election and has subjected the nurses to all kinds of harassment.

The delegates at the Nevada State AFL-CIO convention supported a resolution to stand with the Renown nurses in their demand that the employer stay neutral in the election and quickly get to the bargaining table and negotiate a contract that respects the hard work of Reno nurses.

The resolution also provided that each Nevada State AFL-CIO affiliate with a relationship with Renown commit to sending a formal letter of support to the nurses and a letter to the employer, condemning its actions.

Please send those letter today. The nurses' vote starts on Sept. 25.

FAX the company's top executives
Jim Miller, Renown CEO, (775) 982-4353
Ron Laxton, administrator, (775) 982-4111

Renown nurses fax: (775) 327-4911

Thank you.

In Solidarity,

Danny Thompson

For a depressingly complete picture of what Renown/Washoe Med has done to this community and its own employees since current management ripped it off from the public in 1985, use the NevadaLabor.com search engine for the words Washoe Med.Then get set to read awhile. (The 4-8-2001 Barbwire has a lot of archival links.)

Here are selected 1995 Barbwires commenting on the scandalous Washoe County Grand Jury Report.

Here's the Grand Jury Report itself downloadable in Adobe Acrobat Reader .pdf format.

Here's the title page, also in Acrobat Reader.

Now start writing and faxing those letters to the Washoe Med fat cat execs!

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano, Editor







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