“He’ll never admit that,” protested the poor underling.
“You don’t understand. I want him to refuse it so we can print his denial,” snorted Citizen Kane.
Follytix hasn’t changed in the intervening century, so let’s grease up and plunge in.
Judge in the sludge
The open warfare between Washoe District Judge Bob Perry and District Attorney Dick Gammick came out of the closet yesterday as Gammick inserted a smarmy letter to Perry into the Reno Kazoo-Journal. It was paid for by the campaign of Perry’s opponent, Gammick deputy Elliott Sattler, who started the media war by publishing the tabloid Sattler Tattler in the Reno paper. Gammick’s surrogate accused Perry of all kinds of despicable things. (He stopped short of accusing the judge of unspeakable acts with barnyard animals, but otherwise left very little to the imagination.)
Let’s put on the gloves and settle matters. I have a mere 10 hours of live TV available every weekday between now and Nov. 4. (Gammick’s screed appeared on the first day of early voting.) I thus invite hizzoner and the D.A. to duke it out head to head on my show, which reaches about half of Washoe County households.
It’s time for each to put his mouth where the other guy can hit it. Let’s see who’s got the chops and who walks.
At the invitation of Carson City Supervisor Pete Livermore, I updated Carson and Douglas County officials on the machinations of the region’s cable monopoly to destroy public, educational and governmental (PEG) access TV stations.
Charter Communications’ point grease man George Jostlin offered Carson City nothing. The capital’s two analog community channels are slated for a slow death after banishment to the higher-cost, lower-audience, low-surfing digital tier so that the near-bankrupt cable operator can skim the bandwidth for lucrative high-definition channels.
In return, George of the Jungle threw the supervisors a bone: Charter will run delayed broadcasts of supervisor meetings on its infomercial channel.
At least they offered the city of Reno a phony deal to provide free digital receivers for one year to the 20,000 or so Washoe County viewers without them. I noted to the Carson officials that on this issue, Charter is like tobacco companies funding teen anti-smoking campaigns: They are all in favor of doing anything that they know won’t work. Charter’s proposal would put the onus on customers to apply for the digital receivers, a guarantee that few would do so.
Another 15,000 ratepayers outside Washoe can’t view programs on the digital tier. Most of those are in Carson City, where Charter enjoys a monopoly of about six in 10 households.
Two Douglas County commissioners and the county manager were in attendance on another matter. Carson Mayor Marv Texeira suggested that they stay for the cable debate, which they did.
The regionwide battle from Washoe to South Lake Tahoe is now joined. So, join my consumer organization, ReSurge.TV, which looks increasingly like the last line of defense against this exercise in corporate greed. And that means suing Charter for its illegal conduct. Watch this space and my daily show for updates.
Public access freebies
Not even over-the-air TV gives you free first-run Hollywood films. Once again proving the value of PEG channels, Sierra Nevada Community Access Television (SNCAT) premiered Michael Moore’s new feature “Slacker Uprising” earlier this month.
The Oscar-winning director’s latest opus is a full-length documentary shot during Moore’s 62-city tour leading up to the 2004 election. One stop was a standing room-only speech at UNR’s Lawlor Events Center, some of which is included.
The next broadcast comes at 8:30 tonight on Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter cable channels 16 and 216. The film airs again this Friday at 5 p.m.
You’ll be busy Friday evening, so catch the Mahatma’s film tonight. On Oct. 24, Rev. John Auer (named by Reno News & Review readers as the area’s best spiritual advisor), begins the next installment of his quarterly Martin Luther King celebrations. Rev. Auer started them in April, the 40th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination.
This weekend’s theme is “Citizen Action Conference: Global Justice and Hope for the Earth.”
The headliners are Rev. Sharon Delgado, author of the new book “Shaking the Gates of Hell: Faith-Led Resistance to Corporate Globalization,” and her husband, poet Guarionex Delgado, author of “Being Human: Poems of Resistance and Renewal.” I have read his work on my daily program and will voice more this week. I have asked Rev. Auer to make either available for a live appearance. Stay tuned.
“The system is designed to extract money from the earth and from human society to turn as much as possible into commodities in order to generate profits,” Sharon Delgado writes. “The system is designed for the results it is getting.”
The full weekend of activities commences at 7 p.m. Friday at the First United Methodist Church at First and West streets in downtown Reno, across the street from Java Jungle. Details at renofirstmethodist.org.
Good news for workers (at last!)
This Wednesday brings the groundbreaking of the Ironworkers Union’s new apprenticeship training center in Stead. The finished facility will encompass about 12,000 square feet on two acres at Alpha and Mt. Bismarck. Q&D Construction of Sparks is the general contractor. The $3.5 million facility is scheduled to be up and running by June 2009. Ironworkers Local 118 is celebrating its centennial year and has 1,600 members in Nevada and California, 400 of whom are based out of its Sparks offices.
Former business agents Al Van Tress and Richard Ciesynski, a longtime Sparks resident, will attend. As Barack Obama learned on a recent visit, you haven’t participated in politics as a contact sport until you’ve been grilled by Ciesynski. The union will hang the first steel at the new downtown Reno ballpark on Oct. 28. More at NevadaLabor.com.
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano is a 40-year Nevadan, political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and editor of NevadaLabor.com. He hosts live news and talk (682-4144) Monday through Friday, 2 to 4 p.m., on Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter cable channels 16 and 216, streaming at Barbwire.TV. E-mail email@example.com. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.