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Confused by Councilman Dave Aiazzi, the council takes no action
on the committee's long range plan

To: (Dave Aiazzi)
From: Andrew Barbano <>
Subject: Long range cable TV plan and CCCC bylaws

5:50 p.m. PDT

Regarding: Citizens Cable Compliance Committee (CCCC) recommendation that the city implement a long range backup plan to ensure continuity of cable TV service

The Hon. David Aiazzi, Member
Reno City Council

Dear Councilman Aiazzi:

Per your statements at this afternoon's Reno City Council meeting wherein you noted that the CCCC has gone outside its purview in recommending the long-range cable TV backup plan (upon which the council took no action), I refer you to Article II of our bylaws, hereinbelow.

Your Citizens Cable Compliance Committee has reviewed that issue several times in public meetings. It appears well within our charter to formulate and make such a recommendation and that no amendment to our bylaws is necessary. (See the Article II statement of purpose and sections 7, 8 and 10.)

The council, of course, can ask us to perform any task and we would be happy to go forward. We think the long range plan is of utmost importance for the reasons delineated in committee, in print commentaries and testimony before the council.

If, as you stated, you think it too much of a burden on city staff, I think your citizens committee will certainly be willing to roll up our sleeves. Of course, there are some things city staff can do which we cannot, so some of the activity must by its nature be a collaborative effort.

I will agendize this for discussion at our regularly scheduled October 28 meeting (New City Hall, 6:30 p.m.). I look forward to seeing you there and to move this matter forward before the council in the next month. It would be helpful if the city staff research which the council requested today could be completed in time for our October session.

Thank you.


Andrew Barbano, Chair
City of Reno Citizens Cable Compliance Committee

ec: Mayor and Council
City Attorney
City staff
CItizens Cable Compliance Committee
Cable consumers

"Media is the plural of mediocre."

— Jimmy Breslin


10-25-2004 — An inquiry about why our cable meeting does not appear on SNCAT's schedule got this response: "I did check with (Executive Director) Vivienne French and the Citizens Cable Compliance Committee is not a meeting that has been negotiated in our new contract with the City of Reno as one that will be covered on a regular basis. In addition, at this point we have not received any request from the City of Reno for coverage."

Kim Anhalt

UPDATE 10-27-2004 — Councilmember Jessica Sferrazza's office called to say it was a mistake and will be rectified in the future, but it looks like we're off TV for this month, five days ahead of election day.




The purpose of the CCCC shall be to serve as an advisor to the City of Reno ("City")

   1. To monitor franchise contract compliance by each community antenna television ("CATV") company and to report to the City Council on the status of compliance at least once per year;
   2. To review reports filed by each CATV company;
   3. To assist in performing rate regulation as provided under Federal and State laws;
   4. If the Committee or a Committee member receives consumer complaints from the general public, to refer those complaints to City staff;
   5. To review and advise the City Council regarding CATV company’s complaint resolution process;
   6. To review and advise the City Council regarding the City’s complaint resolution process;
   7. To make recommendations to the City Council about the performance of each CATV provider so that the best information is available to the City in case of a minor or major default, and when preparing for a renewal of franchise, permit, license, contract, certificate, or agreement;
   8. To encourage the widest and most innovative development of CATV service to the public working with CATV providers, any public or private group, organization, or person; and,
   9. To review and make recommendations to the City Council regarding CATV discounts for economically and socially disadvantaged citizens;
   10. To perform such other tasks as the City Council might direct regarding CATV.



   CHARTING THE FUTURE AT CITY HALL. On lucky Oct. 13 at the new downtown black tower, the Reno City Council will hear a recommendation from its Citizens Cable Compliance Committee, which I chair. Given fast-breaking new technology, a prejudicial new 15-year franchise agreement and Charter Communications' chronic financial troubles, we have advised the city to develop a long range cable backup plan in conjunction with Sparks and Washoe County.

   As I reported on Aug. 1, further complicating matters is Charter's new digital system in Long Beach, Calif. The company recently unveiled technology to bypass any cable regulation by calling everything broadband Internet service.

   City staff, as always, has recommended that the council turn down the citizens committee's very detailed proposal. I need your support. Contact the council, three of whom are seeking re-election, and tell them to give us some insurance against a major new abuse of consumers by our local cable monopoly. If you can't make it to the meeting, you will be able to see reruns through the weekend on SNCAT cable channel 13. Full details and contact info at

Complete contact info for mayor, council & key staff


Charlatans, welfare queens and heroes

Last Wednesday, Reno City Councilman Dave Aiazzi once again showed why immature, toxic personalities have no place in public office. At the new City Hall black tower across the street from the Mapes Memorial Graveyard, I presented the case to adopt a long range cable TV backup plan.

The Citizens Cable Compliance Committee, which I chair, worked long and hard on the issue. Committee member Noel Thornsberry composed a very compelling strategy to ensure continuity of service should financially troubled Charter Communications melt down or provide degraded service. (Stop laughing. It can actually get worse.)

The council looks to Mr. Aiazzi for guidance as liaison to our committee. He derailed the plan by challenging our authority to bring forward such a proposal. We discussed that issue several times in our meetings. Mr. Aiazzi would have known this had he attended.

The council will fortunately revisit the issue once staff has researched our bylaws. I e-mailed the council a copy before they adjourned for the day. You may see it for yourself, along with my cover memo, at

WEALTHY WELFARE QUEENS WIN AGAIN. I had to wait all day for the council to get to the cable issue. It will come back to haunt all several powerful entities, including the insurance/HMO lobby. (See below.)

Just before noon, the council voted to give the Nevada Museum of Art $50,000 in taxpayer money to pay expenses for Gomorrah South gambling mogul Steve Wynn's "I'm rich so I can buy me some culture" art collection.

As usual, guitar-slinging gadfly Sam Dehne was the only one signed up to speak against this latest of Mr. Wynnderful's many outrages. I couldn't fill out the form fast enough. I told the council that Mr. Wynn's collection has been heavily subsidized by tax breaks largely at the expense of Las Vegas area school children. I noted my columns questioning whether or not the museum is breaking the law by not giving Nevadans the required half-priced tickets to see the subsidized artwork. (Page 3203, Statues of Nevada, 1999)

I informed them that Mr. Wynn will increase his tax break if Ballot Question 8 passes in November. Alas and alack, the councilcritters voted 7-0 to give the $50,000 to this thinly-veiled attempt to influence the election.

After a little research, I found that the council also established a slush fund for itself last year. Each member and the mayor have up to $10,000 a year to sprinkle on community organizations, a great way to buy favors and votes. Reno has had to cut some worthy programs but somehow found an extra $70,000 in the budget.

They may now consider the issue as raised for the waning days of the campaign...

Be well. Raise hell.



City should get out of TV business
Reno Gazette-Journal Editorial 9-17-2004

Cable Committee wants backup plan
Reno Gazette-Journal 9-16-2004

Charter financial problems continue
Daily Variety 10-8-2004

Back to information about
the August 26, 2004, CCCC meeting

The 2003 legislative fight to change some
of the anti-consumer laws noted above

Charter's potential plan to avoid the meager remains
of regulation and access TV support

Fool me twice, shame on me
Charter tests end-run around regulation
Daily Sparks Tribune 8-1-2004, Comstock Chronicle 8-6-2004

Latest cable TV con jobs
Tol'ja So — Charter closes Reno call center, fires 40

Councilman Aiazzi re-defends April employment ploy

Daily Sparks Tribune 7-25-2004, Comstock Chronicle 7-29-2004



      Watch this website and Barbwire by Barbano in the Sunday Sparks Tribune and Friday Comstock Chronicle for updates. Click here to request placement on our mailing list.

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