Geewillikers Batman! No melarkey? Heavy-hitting local leaders are telling people to avoid our superspreader bus system? Have the powerful finally figured out that the great unwashed are human, too?
Not quite. But even backhanded support is better than no support at all.
KOLO TV-8 is airing a spot with a bunch of local luminaries begging people to stay home on New Year’s Eve. That’s just un-American in a state where drunk driving is considered a constitutional right.
The commercial leads off with local bus boss Bill Thomas, followed by Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, Washoe County Commissioner Bob Lucey and county health officer Kevin Dick. They all sing some version of the same tune: Stay safe and stay home on New Year’s Eve.
As a disincentive, Mr. Thomas and the Regional Transportation Commission mass transit system have canceled New Year’s Eve free rides, although regular bus service remains.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the frontline transit workers who have maintained essential transit service during the past ten months,” Thomas said in a press release.
The official statement added that “masks are required when taking transit and transit passengers are reminded to practice social distancing while onboard and at transit stops.”
Pardon me while I take my allergy pills because I just broke out in a rash. I’m allergic to bullshit.
RTC propaganda even states that they are 99.9 percent mask-compliant. Au contraire, chingades madres.
Do any of these people actually ride the buses they are getting paid to mismanage? Do any of our hallowed public officials ever talk to drivers? (Anybody who wants a dose of reality, please call me.)
As best I can determine, they get their information from Mr. Thomas and his taxpayer-funded media propaganda machine.
RTC’s foreign-owned subcontractor, Keolis-19, has threatened drivers with firing if they insist that Trumpistas and other lemmings wear masks. It’s a national disease. Keolis also manages part of Los Angeles mass transit and fired an African American driver recovering from breast cancer for insisting on masks because her immune system was compromised. Nice guys, eh wot? But the local guy brags about keeping ridership at pre-plague levels.
The new KOLO TV-8 propaganda commercial even includes the station’s general manager, proof positive that “KOLO Cares.” Especially for those with paid ad budgets.
The real star of the Channel 8 spot is Washoe County Commission Chair Bob Lucey who says “at RTC, we care about keeping you safe.”
My rash itches.
As the Reno Gazette-Journal noted two weeks ago, Lucey chaired a county commission meeting filled with death-desiring lemmings ranting against business regulations designed to keep people safe during the plague. Masks were optional, as was public safety, something Mr. Lucey has learned can be ignored with impunity as Regional Transportation Commission Chair. He was just re-elected, praise the Lord.
“I had a full agenda and didn’t have time to remind people to wear masks,” Lucey said.
County staff did not disinfect the microphone and lectern between speakers. Aachoo.
Meanwhile, RTC boss Bill Thomas is saying that RTC is supports compliance with Gov. Steve Sisolak’s safety mandates.
Everyone noted above has been hit many times by screams for safer conditions by my sisters and brothers at the Teamsters Union and the Reno-Sparks NAACP.
No one has responded. Officials at the federal, state and local levels have passed the buck: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Sheriff Darin Balaam, local police departments, both city councils and the county commission all the way up to Sisolak’s office. They talk a good game. They do nothing. About two dozen local drivers have been infected with COVID-19, as have some support staff and RTC employees. Two drivers have spent time in hospital intensive care units.
Would death bring attention? No, just more PR.
Meanwhile, upwards of 20,000 passengers a day ride the three local bus systems with drivers powerless to enforce safety rules. (See NevadaLabor.com for smoking gun proof.)
Mayor Schieve just announced a new mental health PR campaign this week as her town drips with disease. I believe the appropriate clichéd analogy has something to do with using Band-AIds to treat gunshot wounds.
Hope is on the way. Reno is now proud to be the first member of the Hopeful Cities Campaign, another great example of compassionate conservatism. Compassionate means they care. Conservative means you’re on your own in the Mitch McConnell fan club.
Contact info to make your opinion known to our fine public servants will be available with the expanded web version of this unfortunately oft-repeated paean at NevadaLabor.com/
MOLTO GRATO. I am indeed most grateful to everyone who responded so positively to my Christmas Day Barbwire Confidential bulletin. If I could make a few lives brighter during dark times, this all becomes worthwhile. Grazie.
Take care of each other and be careful out there.
Happy New Year. Felice Anno Nuovo. Próspero año y felicidad. Frohe Weihnachten und beste Wuensche fuer 2021.
¡Sí se puede!
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
NevadaLabor.com/CesarChavezNevada.com Editor Andrew Barbano is a 52-year Nevadan whose reputation remains impervious to further augmentation or denigration. He serves as first vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are strictly his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988. E-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>