BUY LOCAL? ‘BYE LOCAL. A local couple of my acquaintance is into big trucks for business and pleasure – to the tune of buying new ones very frequently. They have found the 16-hour drive to Boise, Idaho, worthwhile, saving an average of $20,000 on each purchase. I’d like to hear from local dealers as to why that’s so.
PAUL LAXALT, FINANCIAL GENIUS. At Monday presstime came news of the death of former Nevada Lt. Governor, Governor and U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt at age 96. It was not generally known, but the Republican legend was arguably the most successful investor in Nevada history. Court records in his 1983 libel case against the McClatchy newspapers showed the he got his now long-closed Ormsby House Hotel-Casino in Carson City built for a total personal investment of $60. That’s sixty dollars, SIX-OH, 60 percent of a hundred, six sawbucks, a tenner over half-a-hundred. Top that, Sheldon Adelson or Warren Buffet.
BAD TO WORSE TO WORSER. In the past two weeks, I have reported about the 2006 Washoe County Commission’s cowardly caving to Minnesota developers by handing them $15 million plus attorneys’ fees for hurting their feelings by trying to acquire the Ballardini Ranch for a park. The 1,019-acre southwest Reno tract remains the last large swath of undeveloped land in the Truckee Meadows.
The Great Recession stopped the previous development and the carpetbaggers now appear desperate. They’ve resorted to posting signs on southwest McCarran offering the property for subdivision. Which means they have been unable to market it in a dozen years, even at the height of the now-fading Tesla boom. Construction in the hilly region would probably be quite expensive not to mention all the potential environmental issues.
With the looming Great Depression2 (see BarbanoMedia.com), I think the public can play fire sale before any more of their windfall goes to taxes.
My previously published numbers have twice been incorrect. I first reported the above figure. Then I was informed that the county financed the deal and it’s now cost Washoe County taxpayers more than $30 million.
The latest shocker: Total costs to date stand at a whopping $35,175,000.00 of which $3,560,000.00 remains outstanding with Interest costs still accumulating. Time to stop putting Band-Aids on this hemorrhaging machine-gun wound. You may access the entire sordid saga of Love’s Labours Lost via ProtectOurWashoe.org/
THE FOUR PERPS: Only former Reno mayor and now Judge Pete Sferrazza voted against the Ballardini debacle in 2006. The Democrat said he could have supported the settlement if the public had gotten something out of it. He could see nothing.
By popular demand, here are the four RepublicanS who chickened out in face of mean ole nasty lawyers: Bob Larkin, Jim Galloway, David Humke (a recently disgraced Washoe Family Court judge) and Bonnie Weber (now running a second time for Reno City Council after losing to Paul McKenzie four years ago).
SPEAKING OF NON-RESPONSIVE. The ACLU has not responded to my question about the execution drug its fighting. If it’s a prescription drug, is the state breaking the law by threatening to use it or has some MD actually prescribed it?…Last week, TV-4/TV-11 News advised people NOT to use fans to cool their homes. Huh? The Washoe County Health Dept. advised no such thing. It was bad editing by a green reporter. I complained to no avail.
THE BIG 3-0. This coming Sunday marks 30 years since the first Barbwire appeared in the Rail City’s newspaper of record since 1910. “The Chilling of Hot August Nights” brought the first of my eight Nevada Press Association Awards.
I’ll add more memories of the early days of the Barbwire as time, space and the political season allow.
1910 REDUX. That year not only spawned the Tribune but also the Fight of the Century. “Great White Hope” and undefeated former champion James Jeffries was soundly thrashed by Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion. The fight took place in a wooden stadium built for the occasion at E. 4th and Toano, site of state historical marker. Johnson trained at a resort on Mayberry Drive. Tim Elam, the current property owner, built a monument at the corner of Mayberry at Sherwood.
On Friday, August 17, at 4:30 p.m., we complete the triangle. The Reno-Sparks NAACP, United Auto Workers Local 2162/AFL-CIO, the Sparks-based Northern Nevada Central Labor Council/AFL-CIO and the Great Basin Youth Soccer League will place a plaque at Johnson’s training site, now the soccer fields on West Moana Lane. It will precede the first UNR women’s soccer game of the season at 5:30. Food trucks and other fun stuff will be announced soon. Watch RenoSparksNAACP.org/
CORRECT AGAIN. The Reno Gazette-Journal last Sunday published news of a major push to expand the Reno-Sparks Convention Center to the tune of a quarter-billion or so. Barbwire readers were tipped off on May 9.
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since Aug. 12, 1988. E-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>