State Sen. Julia Ratti, D-Sparks, and Reno Councilmember Jenny Brekhus received the NAACP’s highest honor at the organization’s 74th Annual Freedom Fund Awards Dinner on Oct. 19. Named after two legendary presidents, the Eddie Scott/Bertha Woodard Human Rights Advocacy Award was richly deserved based on their lonely advocacy for the rights of renters and the dispossessed.
No matter what kind of whitewashing cosmetic hogwash you’ve heard from corporate shills, the local housing crisis proceeds unabated. The controlling figure came in a report from KRNV TV4 last July 18: The 10,000 new apartments in the pipeline are barely a drop in the bucket here in TeslaTown. (See Rentvolution.org/)
On the same day that the Reno Gazette-Journal printed news of the Brekhus and Ratti awards (see below), came Mayor Hillary Schieve’s early endorsement of one of two declared Brekhus opponents. Why: “I want to stay positive all the time,” quoth mademoiselle, then adding “It comes down to compassion for people over policy.”
Huh? For whom? Developers? Got it.
If you’re into courage rather than cheerleading, Ms. Brekhus is holding a fundraiser 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at Hub Coffee Roasters on Riverside Drive.
Mlle. Mayor has caught the Jeff Griffin/Bob Cashell city hall disease: If it’s good for developers, swing your project, here we go.
BRAIN DAMAGE MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOU’RE SORRY. Sparks City Hall is likewise slow on the uptake. Officials committed a sin of omission in ace Tribune reporter Kayla Anderson’s otherwise splendid story in last week’s edition.
The artificial turf at Sparks Golden Eagle Park is worn out. What will replace the carcinogenic crumb rubber turf that’s plagued children for the past dozen years? It’s made from atomized used tires which contain about 100 toxic chemicals, including lead. I’ve warned about it since the 11-24-2015 Barbwire (Nevada Press Association first-place winner).
Sparks joins UNR, McQueen, Damonte Ranch, Manogue, Carson and Douglas high schools as well as the Jan Evans Juvenile Detention Center, all besotted with cancer-causing benzene and brain-damaging leadlaced artificial carpet. But it looks great for NFL TV!
Coaches know it. I’ve talked to some who feel quite helpless and worried for their kids. If Golden Eagle replaces with the same horrors, I’ll lead a campaign against it, including lining up lawyers. UNR has never responded to my queries for more than two years after I asked about the Don Weir-funded baseball field resurfacing.
Crumb rubber turf is so toxic it’s illegal to dump in a landfill. UNR’s PR machine wouldn’t address disposal either.
Parents, time to get organized.
VOTE FOR DOLORES. The Washoe school naming committee meets Nov. 6 to make final recommendations for the new Wildcreek and re-purposed Hug High. NAACP matriarch and longtime Hug counselor Dolores Feemster, as well as her family name, are in the hunt for both. Send your comments about nominees to Riley Sutton at The committee meets at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday Nov. 6 in the East 9th Street school board chambers. The board will make final decisions on Nov. 12. More at RenoSparksNAACP.org/
CORREXION. As I reported last week, the undisclosed keynote speaker at the Oct. 19 NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner was 19 year-old Emily Hernandez Medina, the brilliant (5.3 gpa) North Valleys High School student who refused to back down when principal Jeanna Curtis ordered her to water down her (graduation) speech. I neglected to note that she earned and was prevented from giving the valedictory address. She rose above, becoming the first Latina or teen to keynote the 74th annual NAACP event and won a standing ovation (in front of her mom, too!). Unfortunately, her classmates missed it. You will find it linked to this column at NevadaLabor.com/
I introduced another teen to precede Emily, 16 year-old Taylissa Marriott from Yerington High School who is determined to graduate despite a hyper-racist environment that has already cost Lyon County economic development boosters national shame. She and her sister had their lives threatened, including one attempt at running them down on a parking lot. The cruel principal at YHS was replaced by an African American. Charges are still pending against the Yerington police chief for illegally shredding police reports because he didn’t believe the family. You can see it all for yourself (complete with photos of white students going hunting just like Mississippi 1861) at RenoSparksNAACP.org/
I told the assembled multitudes that hope for the future was before us in the presence of two teenagers.
The current Reno News & Review published a story, photo and editorial. The Reno Gazette-Journal ran a full page of photos last Sunday.
“The cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.” (Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass, remembering his brother, Robert, in 1968.)
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 51-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and first vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are strictly his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.