What do Sparks and Flint, Michigan, have in common? Lead in kids’ brains.
Last Saturday, Oscar-winning director Michael Moore pleaded with President Obama to come to Flint after attending the nearby Detroit Auto Show.
In his 1979 breakthrough documentary “Roger & Me,” Moore unsuccessfully tried to get another president, then-General Motors CEO Roger Smith, to visit Flint and explain the devastation caused by GM moving production to Mexico.
Eminent film critics Siskel & Ebert named “Roger & Me” best picture of the year – not best documentary, but best picture.
Big Mike has called for the arrest of Michigan’s Republican Governor Rick Snyder and assorted bureaucrats who polluted Flint’s water supply, gave the entire town lead poisoning with a dash of Legionnaires’ disease (10 dead), then tried to cover it up.
The disaster could have been avoided by an expenditure of less than 10 grand. Chalk one up for fiscal conservatism which will now cost an estimated $1.5 billion to fix.
“This is a city full of poor black people, a city where half the population (including myself) found a way to escape the misery and the madness,” Moore wrote, adding “the crime rate is so bad, we’ve led the country in murders for most years.”
Go to MichaelMoore.com to sign Moore’s petition asking the president to meet the movie Mahatma in beleaguered Flint.
LEADING QUESTIONS. Sparks City Hall can get the lead out when replacing the aging artificial turf at Golden Eagle Park.
The contaminated carpet is made of “crumb rubber,” a PR label for ground-up old tires. It’s so toxic that it can’t be dumped in a landfill but kids are playing on it. In addition to lead, crumb rubber also contains cancer-causing benzene and dozens of other questionable chemicals.
As I disclosed in November and December, the same contaminants suffuse UNR’s Wolf Pack Park, its Peccole baseball diamond and Mackay Stadium football field. Ditto the gridirons of McQueen, Damonte Ranch, Carson and Douglas high schools.
Most NFL and many college games are played on the stuff. Have you ever noticed the black dust kicked up by players’ cleats? That’s crumb rubber flying through the air with the greatest of ease.
Parents and candidates must push to get the lead out of Golden Eagle Park and all Nevada locations before children lose any more IQ points.
CONFLICTED AFFLICTIONS. Last week’s Barbwire resulted in Sparks City Councilman Ed Lawson denying conflict of interest when interviewed by the Reno News & Review.
Tribune alumnus Dennis Myers drew a parallel between Lawson’s conduct and former Councilman Mike Carrigan’s unsuccessful attempts to reverse Nevada Ethics Commission findings, which Carrigan took all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
On Dec. 14, construction company executive Lawson voted to repeal all training and certification standards for plumbers and electricians.
EBONI NICOLE FEEMSTER, 1982-2016. The pretty little girl’s Monday, Jan. 25, memorial service has been moved to 11:00 a.m. at Reno’s Second Baptist Church, 1265 Montello.
Updates at RenoSparksNAACP.org/
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 47-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail <email@example.com> Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.