Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them.
Paul Valery, French critic & poet (1871 - 1945)

Breaking News

Confidential —> Hush, hush!
All the News You Never Knew You Needed to Know: Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

The 9th Muse
Barbwire wins 9th Nevada Press Association award

Breaking News—>

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
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
Fairness for tenants dies 4-12 unless lawmakers throw it a lifeline
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 4-10-2019 Sparks Tribune

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak delivers the keynote address at César Chávez Celebration XVII 3-27-2019

Ballardini bears, birds and bunnies beleaguered again
Analog anachronisms and digital dinosaurs
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 8-1-2018 Sparks Tribune
Ballardini black hole: Let's get our millions back
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 7-25-2018 Sparks Tribune

FROM THE 7-18-2018 SPARKS TRIBUNE: Signs have popped up on southwest McCarran trying to drum up developer interest in the 1,019-acre Ballardini Ranch, the last pristine expanse of open space in the Truckee Meadows. You may access the entire sordid 2006 saga of Love's Labours Lost via ProtectOurWashoe.org/ Not to worry. The Great Recession killed the first attempt to bulldoze the bears and bunnies. Great Depression2 (Barbwire 12-27-2017 et seq.) will provide instant replay. Washoe County already paid $15 million plus attorney fees for the land without obtaining title, and karma will dictate that justice be done. Sometimes, depression cures depredation. Stay tuned. Be well. Raise hell.

Recognizing the red flags of instant replay
The ghost of Ballardini Ranch haunts Reno developments
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 2-21-2018 Sparks Tribune

We Don't Need No Education
The neverending series

Happy High Holly Days to all

Hope you and yours enjoyed enthralling Thanksgibleting.
HAPPY NEW YEAR / Feliz Año Nuevo

Frohe Weihnachten und beste Wuensche fuer 2018

Window of opportunity: 48 hours for human rights
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 10-11-2017 Sparks Tribune

Las Vegas 2017: Fire is the devil's only friend
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 10-4-2017 Sparks Tribune

Happy Thanksgibleting to you and yours

Toxins, turkeys, takeovers and true Nevadians
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 11-22-2016 Sparks Tribune

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil 2
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 11-15-2016 Sparks Tribune

Environmental champion Marge Sill dies

Downtown good ole boys never know when to quit
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-25-2016 Sparks Tribune

Oakland Rapists: Softshoe fascism on steroids
Nevada adopts official state religion: The NFL
Also: Bernie Sanders and Trump Jr. blow into Reno
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-18-2016 Sparks Tribune

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
A minor penance for the Ballardini Ranch betrayal
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 9-20-2016 Sparks Tribune

Report: Rise in poverty threatens to further weaken Nevada education system
Ian Whitaker / Las Vegas Sun 7-7-2016

Senior citizens hit with exploitive rent hikes in Tesla boomtown
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 6-14-2016 Sparks Tribune

Hundreds play in Nevada on toxic, cancer-causing, brain-damaging artificial field turf
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 6-7-2016 Sparks Tribune

Taxing issue: Washoe County Commission funds Koch anti-public lands political group
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 6-9-2016

Nevada utilities continually consume consumers
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-31-2016 Sparks Tribune

True love, machine guns and My Sharrona
EPA opens investigation of toxic field turf, epidemic in Nevada
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the Tuesday 3-22-2016 Sparks Tribune

Community Teach-In for Gun Sense – 3 March 2016, 5:30 p.m.
Bethel AME Church, 2655 Rock Blvd, Sparks NV

RSVP to Temple Sinai

Nevada workers strike megabucks Tesla battery plant
2-29-2016 / Updated 3-1-2016

Michael Moore begs President Obama to visit the poisoned people of Flint, Michigan
Sign the petition!

Martin Luther King, Jr., weekend traditional event schedule

In Sparks, politics isn't personal, just business
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 1-12-2016 Sparks Tribune

If you can't trust Dear Abby, whom can you trust?
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 1-5-2016 Sparks Tribune

Open season on law-breaking dangerous drones
Barbwire by Barbano/Expanded from 12-29-2015 Sparks Tribune, Updated 12-30-2015

Barbano on statewide Nevada Newsmakers TV show

Hope you and yours enjoyed Happy High Holly Days!

Love and laughter to you and yours
Almanac for Thanksgiving weekend

On artificial turf, don't breathe unless necessary
Toxic turf all over town
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 11-24-2015 Sparks Tribune
Updated 12-2 and 12-8-2015

Sorcerer's apprentices work cheap in Nevada
Want minimum wage plumbers and electricians building your house?
Barbwire by Barbano/Expanded from 11-17-2015 Sparks Tribune/Updated 12-8-2015

Clinton and Sanders records on Nevada environmental issues compared
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 11-12-2015

Water wars: How politics beat science in the West
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 11-5-2015

Fighting over public lands: Does the public care?
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 11-5-2015

Barbano on statewide Nevada Newsmakers TV show

Strange bedfellows and nubile wenches
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 9-29-2015 Sparks Tribune

Making it: Do casino jobs provide a way into the middle class?
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 9-17-2015

César Chávez Celebration XIII / Celebración de César Chávez XIII
Tuesday 31 March 2015
/ Martes 31 de Marzo 2015
Event Highlights at Circus Circus Reno

Support the return of a community TV channel
High noon for the high desert outback of the American Dream
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 3-24-2015 Sparks Tribune

St. Patrick, I need a green energy beer
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 3-17-2015 Sparks Tribune

True confessions from the back of the bus
Reno newspaper pushes new casino redline under guise of "university town"
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-7-2014 Sparks Tribune

The bitch is back: 1875 homes planned for Ballardini Ranch
By Joe Hart KRNV TV-4 / 6-2-2014

Negative Optimism: Making the best of being worst
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-8-2014 Sparks Tribune

Taxes smolder while citizens do slow burn
May Day in Reno, D-Day for teachers' union tax petition
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-1-2014 Sparks Tribune

The Obamacare Bitcoin online vote exchange
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-10-2014 Sparks Tribune

In search of the modern day Barbara Bennett
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-3-2014 Sparks Tribune

All the news you wish you didn't need to know
Memorials set for former Washoe Assemblymembers Anderson and Freeman
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from
the 1-16-2014 Sparks Tribune

Solar-powered insurance drones from hell
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 1-2-2014 Sparks Tribune

They don't do anything until somebody dies
University of Nevada-Reno and downtown Reno theaters demonstrate how little was learned from the Las Vegas Hilton and MGM disasters
Remembering Sen. Joe Neal's landmark high-rise fire sprinkler law
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 12-12-2013 Sparks Tribune

RENO, Nev. (12-5-2013) — Former Nevada Assemblymember and Washoe hospital trustee Vivian Freeman dies. Groundbreaking legislative advocate of recycling and mining reclamation was 86.

Barbwire: Nevada not really a state
No, we were not Battle Born in Kenya
Top 10 reasons Nevada lives in 19th Century

Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-17-2013 Sparks Tribune

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

Dirt cheap
Congress gave the new state of Nevada 4 million acres to pay for schools.
What happened to them?

Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 7-18-2013
We Don't Need No Education —> The Neverending Series

Massive flood danger: how this sorry state got to this sorry state—>
Watersports 2012: Reno-Sparks-Washoe governments blew millions, learned nothing and did even less after the killer floods of 1986, 1997 and 2005

Washoe County worker morale plunges amid union-bashing
Poor county commission decisions cause destruction of staff levels, services
Incline Village litigation, Pioneer Inn purchase and Ballardini Ranch settlement singled out

By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review / 12-22-2011

     RENO, Nev. (12 Dec. 2010) — A sewer line project including a larger pipeline to serve future development at the Ballardini Ranch soon will be completed in southwest Reno.

RENO, Nev. (18 Nov. 2010) — In early November, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported that "revenue raised through the latest round of sales through the South(ern) Nevada Public Land(s) Management Act also will provide $1 million for construction of a trailhead and trail system at Ballardini Ranch in southwest Reno."

     That may have been great pre-election PR, but it obscured the fact that the property in question was never at issue in the campaign to save more than 1,000 acres for public use (documented in detail at this website).

     The acreage to which the RGJ referred was remaining property the Caramella/Ballardini (actually Pershighel) families had retained, basically the ranch house area, which was never part of the condemnation acreage in question. Washoe County used an earlier announcement of the option to acquire the additional land to create a public impression that some portion had been "saved" — but that was just PR and political sophistry.

     The out-of-state developers scored much more than they would have gotten by going thru the normal approval process plus a $13.5 million bonus from the taxpayers — money the county had to borrow. They got planning and zoning concessions as part of the final deal that may someday allow a new mini-city and perhaps even a high rise hotel casino on that property — something they never would have gotten thru normal channels.

     Had the county commission stuck by its original decision to acquire the ranch, the people would very probably have prevailed in court.

     Then-Commissioner Pete Sferrazza cast the only no vote on the settlement. He said he could have supported it if the public could have gotten something out of it. The public got nothing but debt and the developers got carte blanche to do whatever they wanted on the last large undeveloped swath of the Truckee Meadows.

     The settlement called for the price of the additional acquisition to be driven by the highest and best use of the land IF it were used for something else like a casino, NOT as unimproved farmland, which it was at the time and probably still is.

     There is justice in the world —> As with so many other big projects, the vagaries of economic change bit it in the ass.

     Keep up the good work and the good fight.

     Be well. Raise hell.

— Andrew Barbano

     Nov. 19, 2008 —On Nov. 15, the Reno Gazette-Journal printed a press release about the Nov. 18 dedication of the last remaining sliver of the Ballardini Ranch. It was devoid of both relevant fact and proper context. Preservationist diehards and urban guerrillas are hereby invited to send their comments for potential inclusion in a rebuttal to place the truth on the record. Thanks for your abiding interest. Stay tuned.

     Be well. Raise hell.

     Subcomandante Cero


Developers sue Washoe officials over Ballardini Ranch site
Reno Gazette-Journal 9-4-2008
Note: RGJ links usually go stale in seven days.

Money for last remaining sliver of Ballardini Ranch still in flux
Number One BLM priority, but many obstacles remain
Reno News & Review 3-27-2008



A lesson for our times from long ago
What are they doing out there?

Sometime back in the mists of American history (1846), Ralph Waldo Emerson was informed that his friend Henry David Thoreau had been jailed for an act of civil disobedience. (Thoreau had refused to pay a poll tax, a fee for the privilege of exercising one's right to vote — something long illegal in the U.S. but still practiced in various permutations in Georgia and parts of Florida.)

"Henry, what are you doing in there?" exclaimed Emerson when he saw his incarcerated fellow philosopher.

"Waldo, the question is what are you doing out there?" Thoreau shot back.

Which side are you on?


Editor's Note: Many of the news links on this site are from Nevada dailies. In late 2006, the Reno Gannett-Journal began nuking much of its archive. If you encounter any broken links, I encourage you to contact them and send along a copy. Apologies for any inconvenience.


Washoe County Regional Planning Governing Board August 7, 2008, agenda
Political cartoon copyright © 2007 Erik Holland
Reproduced by permission; opinion is the artist's.



Second half of 2004 Archive

First half of 2004 Archive




2000-2001 NEWS ARCHIVE

In-depth historical background and issues
Reno Gazette-Journal Feb. 9, 2000

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