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Memorial Saturday in Silver City for legendary broadcaster, hellraiser and satirist Travus T. Hipp

Services for legendary radio commentator Travus T. Hipp will be held this Saturday, May 26, in Silver City. Hipp died early Friday morning, May 18, at his Silver City home. He was 75, as old as the Golden Gate Bridge in his beloved San Francisco.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 26, in Silver City. Gathering, gnoshing and remembering will begin at the Silver City Community Center, 385 High Street, at 10:00 a.m. Food and refreshments will be provided. Those who wish may bring more.

A ceremony will commence at 12 Noon. Hipp will be buried next to his lifelong companion Lynne Hughes a short walk away.

He was born Chandler Atchison Laughlin III to Chandler and Nan Curtis Laughlin on Feb. 20, 1937, in Berkeley, California. He is survived by his son, Sean Curtis Laughlin of Silver City; a sister, Sue Fitzgerald and her daughter, Kelly, of San Diego, Calif., and his former wife Sandra Dean Bulkley, also of Silver City. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sean's mother Dina Cantu, and Lynne Hughes.

He graduated from Berkeley High School and Monterey Peninsula College and attended the University of California at Berkeley in the heyday of Mario Savio's Free Speech Movement.
If ever anyone was worthy of the appellation "Renaissance Man," it was the braided mountain man who viewed the world from atop the legendary Comstock Lode. He was:

— An artist who used his voice to soar and slice, a tenor for the tenor of our times. In mourning, many of his listeners talk about the vocal spells he wove, how he soundly organized the noise of daily life into a music that entertained, engaged, enlightened, educated, enthralled and occasionally enflamed.

— A progenitor of the San Francisco sound which led to the 1967 Summer of Love. "He was Bill Graham before Bill Graham was Bill Graham" says son Sean Laughlin. (Websearch "Red Dog Saloon" and see what you get. On June 21, 1965, the Red Dog in Virginia City, Nev., became the incubator for future rock legends such as Big Brother and the Holding Company [before Janis Joplin], Country Joe and the Fish [see below], Quicksilver Messenger Service, Stoneground [see below], The Charlatans and Scott McKenzie. Nevada Gov. Grant Sawyer was a regular.)

— A legend in San Francisco and northern California radio, he was present at the creation of album rock on KSAN-fm under the legendary Tom Donahue.

— An investigative reporter: In 1972, before Watergate became a household word, Hipp and KSAN News traced Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy's gun to fellow burglar E. Howard Hunt at the Nixon White House.

— A war correspondent: Donahue sent him to cover the civil war in Yemen, the only reporter from the Bay Area to venture there.

— A member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame who timid Nevada corporate radio stations would not hire for the last two decades of his life. (See below.)

— A consumer crusader who lobbied a pro-ratepayer auto liability insurance bill through the Nevada Legislature and into law in 1987.

— A union man, a longtime member of the Industrial Workers of the World because he wanted to be. Nicknamed "The Wobblies," the IWW history in Nevada goes back more than a century. Travus marched through downtown Reno with union members campaigning for hotel-casino worker rights.

— A media personality who showed how to use the power of the medium: He got on the wrong side of the law when the law was on the wrong side of the street. Acting on a tip from a phone caller, he stopped the proposed Washoe County Jail from being located across from Reno's largest hotel-casino.

— An activist who got on the wrong side of the law and paid a heavy price where medical marijuana was concerned: He said that an old enemy worked for years to convince Lyon County officials to arrest and prosecute him. Had he resided a few hundred feet away in Storey County, nothing would have happened, he said in 2009.

— A seagoing gadfly who owned a Sausalito, Calif., "outlaw houseboat in a floating community the local law has been trying to scuttle for (over 10) years. ("He's hip on speaking out" by Cory Farley, Reno Gazette-Journal, 4-19-1982).
— An educator who convinced the (Reno-Sparks) Washoe County School District that it was acting on erroneous information and to back down and allow debate on nuclear issues into classrooms.

— A man of principle who suffered for what he said, fired several times because of advertiser and/or political pressure after producing consistently high-rated radio programs. (See below.)

— An old sailor who, if he so desired, could have tongue-in-cheek asserted that his professional injuries were service-related: He started his radio career while serving aboard the USS Intrepid after talking his superiors into letting him play jazz over the aircraft carrier's sound system.

— A satirist in the grand tradition of Mark Twain: He and Lynne Hughes published the hilarious "Bullfrog Times-Picayune," a newspaper for a legislatively-created Nevada county with zero population. (At least the resident jackrabbits and wild burros would not be at risk from potential future radiation leaks.)

— man whose grasp caught his reach: Over a five-decade career, he brought his "Rawhide Reality Review" to radio stations ranging from Hawaii to all points of the lower 48 including New York City and listeners worldwide.

— A man who changed the English language: His longtime associates credit him with originating the word "hippy" --> "According to Duke Stroud, a member of the original improv group The Committee, the term 'hippy' evolved from fans of Travus T. Hipp" says Sean Laughlin. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippie/
He probably coined the phrase "question reality" according to Barry "The Fish" Melton of Country Joe and the Fish. (See below.)

— A Beatnik who established the Cabale Creamery coffee house in Berkeley in the early 1960's, an incubator of what later became the Bay Area hippy culture. "He would always say he was a Beatnik and proud of it," son Sean Laughlin says.

— A 1964 Goldwater Republican who remained a member of the GOP --> "If you must jam him into a political slot, Hipp might slide most neatly into the one labeled 'libertarian.' But you'd have to shim him up with wedges cut from 'anarchist' and he'd still rattle around," wrote Reno Gazette-Journal columnist Cory Farley. (4-19-1982)

— A rock 'n' roll movie roadie on the 1971 François Reichenbach-directed rockumentary "The Medicine Ball Caravan," edited in part by the fledgling Martin Scorsese, who served as associate producer under album rock innovator Tom Donahue. In addition to Lynn Hughes and her group Stoneground, performers included BB King, Alice Cooper, Doug Kershaw, Bonnie Bramlett, Jesse Colin Young and The Youngbloods. The 1970 bus and van caravan traveled the U.S., played Hyde Park and the Lyceum in London, then went on to Paris and Amsterdam before heading home (not necessarily in vans and buses).
"Lynn had a moving van called 'The Hughes Express' and sometime in the late '60s began calling herself 'Rose Hipp,'" remembers musician Jesse Cahn, a lifelong friend. Shortly after that tour, Chandler Laughlin began using the nom de plume Travus T. Hipp.
"He started the Cabale Creamery with my father, Rolf Cahn, in '64 and ran it for awhile after Rolf left. I introduced him to his life-long companion, Lynne Hughes, in that same year." Cahn added.

— An artist devoted to his craft who worked until his death. The day before his passing, he filed both his final on-air commentaries to northern California radio stations and his last column with the Daily Sparks Tribune. His son, Sean Laughlin, did his broadcasts on the morning of his death, May 18.

"His long-running tagline described him as 'The Poor Hippie's Paul Harvey,' and though he was a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, he described himself as unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views," Daily Sparks Tribune editor Nathan Orme wrote in last Sunday's edition.

"Those views made him a truly unique part of the Sparks Tribune for many years and we were proud to employ his words if not his voice," Orme stated.

Radio consultant Bruce Marr, whose name will live in infamy as the discoverer of the man Travus dubbed "Lush Rambo," once said "I could take Travus T. Hipp anywhere and get ratings."

"Travus T. Hipp is the hottest thing in Reno since KXXL burned down in 1947," wrote eminent Nevada author David Toll. ("Heating Up the Airwaves," Sparks Tribune, 4-21-1982)

"When the San Francisco Chronicle conducted a Bay Area popularity poll of talk show hosts, Travus placed seventh despite being off the air at the time, behind the regulars of KGO and KCBS, from the tiny voice of KTIM in Marin County," Toll wrote.

"I had just left KTIM at the time," Hipp noted. "They were tired of seeing my broken-down car in their parking lot, but (the Chronicle) was asking people who had been listening to me since the seventh grade," he added.
He had such a far-flung array of listeners that for decades, even after the spread of the Internet, he generated sales of untold thousands of powerful enhanced radio receivers so that his fans could hear receive his voice.

When John Ascuaga's Nugget Hotel-Casino canceled its advertising soon after Travus went on the air in northwestern Nevada in late 1981, station manager Ken Mendenhall said "we expect the new ratings will show KOH with the strongest audience in town," Toll reported.

As baseball hall-of-famer Dizzy Dean used to say, "if you can do what you say you're gonna do, that's not bragging." The late Mr. Mendenhall proved prescient. On the radio station once dubbed "where people go to die" in the words of a frustrated young sales rep, Hipp tripled the audience. And got fired for his trouble when new ownership came in. Both Mr. Ascuaga and the new manager denied it had anything to do with casino pressure.

"Ridiculous," Ascuaga told Reno Gazette-Journal columnist Cory Farley. (RGJ Jan. 10, 1983).

"We move our advertising around all the time. We'll be back on KOH," he told Farley.

"In this case, the Nugget moved off KOH soon after Hipp questioned the care and handling of Bertha and Tina, the casino's elephants, and has not been back. It may be that Hipp had nothing to do with it, but I know from experience that the Nugget is sensitive to criticism...to a degree unusual even in the image-conscious casino industry," Farley noted.

"We expected to lose a few accounts," said station program director Ed Towey, who hired Travus and became his biggest advocate.

"I was amazed it was John Ascuaga's Nugget. A couple of smaller accounts pulled out for awhile but they're back now. Once they dry off and realize that this guy is not really doing to destroy the American Way of Life, it turns out to be not such a big deal," he added. (Sparks Tribune, 4-21-1982)

Years later, Travus stated it more succinctly: "Sometimes, contempt breeds familiarity."

He told RGJ reporter Kathy Haq that 'this is entirely a decision by the new owner which I attribute to various social and political pressures around town. A former advertiser who tried to pressure the former management apparently had greater success with the new kid from Fresno," Hipp asserted.

The new manager, who was later indicted in Fresno for embezzlement, called the move a "prudent business decision," a symptom of chronic Colonel Sanders Radio Bird Flu where "prudent" means "chicken." The disease is not unique to Nevada.

Hipp's record numbers on the moonhowler enterprise stood for well over a decade as the highest in station history until Rush Limbaugh exceeded them slightly in his morning block where the potential listening audience is generally larger than was Hipp's afternoon slot.

Shorly after departing Reno, Travus got fired from KGU in Honolulu, probably for telling people not to eat pineapple because of all the pesticides and his almost daily irritation of the commander of the Pacific Fleet -- the public information officer of which "would show up to pound on the station manager's desk every morning," Travus chuckled. At least he was able to spend some time with his mother who lived there at the time.

He was axed from a Lady Bird Johnson-owned station in Texas because he wasn't conservative enough. The ownership was fearful of being accused that their hyper-lucrative radio holdings were being supportive of Democratic politics.

Hipp was fired after one day on an Ohio radio station when he said something about Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., that the owner didn't like.

He lost sponsorship of his commentaries on an Elko, Nev., radio station for telling the truth about the depredations of the corporate welfare mining industry, a malady which has metastasized into the toxic safety and tax environment that afflicts Nevada a quarter-century later.
The mining company executives might have listened better. He had been a gold broker and advocated investing until the end of his life. Every time he lost a radio job, he would buy gold, calling it "The Travus T. Hipp retirement plan."

In 1988-89, Hipp again found work in Reno on KOLO 920-am and in about four months helped remove 40 percent of KOH's audience. Doing the morning news on sister station KWNZ 97.3-fm with music man Bruce Van Dyke, they made KWNZ the top rocker in the region. After leaving Carson City's KPTL-am in 1993 after Lynne Hughes' death, he never had his own show in Nevada again, although for awhile he contributed a weekly report to Van Dyke's show on KTHX-fm.

His legions of longtime listeners at KPIG am-fm radio in the Santa Cruz/Monterey, Calif., area mourned the old friend who had brought them alternative news throughout their lives. Many went back to his days on the legendary KFAT in Gilroy, Calif. In 1996, Hipp reveled that he had regular news listeners in South Africa and Germany via KPIG.com.

"Truly like an old friend has gone," commented Wade Hassler, "the man really hit the sweet spot between gravitas and levitas."

"Chan and I go back, almost forever (well, maybe not that long — but the better part of 50 years)," wrote Barry "The Fish" Melton of Country Joe and the Fish on KPIG's website.

"Thank you for playing some of my old music in memory of Travus T. Hipp, KPIG DJs! Chan was always a rebel and remained true to form to the very end. Remember those buttons -- 'Question Reality' -- I think Chan invented them. Speaking truth to power was Chan's calling card," Melton stated.
"I will continue to listen for your new signal" wrote Grady James. (via Capitola/Soquel Patch website)
Oh, won't we all.

Links, photos, signed album covers, references and more regarding the above will be available at the evolving new Travus section at NevadaLabor.com. My remembrance of Lynne Hughes from the 3-21-1993 Daily Sparks Tribune will also be uploaded thereat. All memories and photos will be accepted for permanent posting via .
You will find my personal Memorial Day weekend adiós to my old friend in the Sunday, May 27, Daily Sparks Tribune and shortly thereafter at NevadaLabor.com/
Thanks to everyone for the memoirs and memories.

As Travus might say, that's all the news you never knew you needed to know 'til now.

— Writer Andrew Barbano is a 43-year Nevadan and editor of www.NevadaLabor.com. As always, his opinions are strictly his own.


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On your “Must Not Miss” list, is the popular Downtown Wine Walk – held the First Saturday of every month from 1- 5pm. For just $10 (which supports the Downtown Business Association you’ll receive a commemorative wine glass and endless reasons to sip, stroll, and shop, the afternoon away, through Historic Downtown Carson City. Bring your wine walk glass with the Carson City Logo on it and pay only $8. Don't forget the after Wine Walk raffle prize party, 5:00pm, at the Cabaret Lounge, Carson Nugget Casino!

Tickets can be purchased at Bella Fiora Wines, Cactus Jack’s, Carson Jewelry & Loan, Carson Nugget, and Horseshoe Club, where you will receive hand stamps, glasses, and maps.

Sponsored by the Carson City Downtown Business Association, our goal is to carry on a local tradition, hosting an event which showcases a monthly Downtown celebration. It’s a Saturday stroll with a glass of wine through historic downtown Carson City where boutiques, local shops, galleries, restaurants and casinos, pull out all the stops to awaken your taste buds and tantalize your senses... experience a Downtown taste sensation!.

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In honor of Nevada’s 150th birthday, the Nevada Sesquicentennial Commission invites all Nevadans to participate in choosing the design for the fourth Sesquicentennial commemorative medallion.

This medallion, the final in the series of four being produced throughout the year, will feature the winning design voted on by Nevadans. Voting begins today, Wednesday, July 23, which marks 100 days until Nevada Day, and ends Thursday, August 7, 2014.

NV Energy has petitioned the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada with the hopes of recovering $78 million in costs associated with implementation of electric and gas smart meters in Northern Nevada.

A hearing on the matter is set for today, Wednesday, July 23, at 6 p.m. in Hearing Room A of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, 1150 E. William St. in Carson City

Here is this week's fishing report for rivers, lakes and streams in Nevada and Northern California. This report is for the week of July 23, 2014.

Carson City fire and ambulance are responding tonight to a motorcycle crash in the area of Rabe Way. The call came in at around 7:40 p.m. Care Flight has been ordered and will land near the scene of the accident.

Traffic in the area is being diverted.

CARSON CITY - Eight Airmen from the Nevada Air National Guard joined 160 people from seven nations Monday to provide humanitarian assistance to the citizens of Tonga as part of Operation Pacific Angel-Tonga.

The mission will continue until July 26. Tonga is Nevada National Guard's partner in the National Guard's State Partnership Program, the Department of Defense program that links a state's National Guard with the armed forces or equivalent of a partner country in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship.

UPDATE: Carson City firefighters responded this afternoon to a 50-year-old woman struck by a vehicle in the area of Stewart and Washington streets. The woman had injuries to her leg, arm and hip areas. She was taken by Care Flight to the trauma ward at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno.

Emergency crews treating her at the scene said she was conscious and alert. The accident happened at around 3:20 p.m.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed Nevada Congressman Mark Amodei’s bill known as Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe – Fish Springs Ranch Settlement Act, by a bipartisan voice vote.

The bill, H.R. 3716, would ratify an agreement between the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and Fish Springs Ranch to resolve a dispute over water rights near Reno. It is expected to be passed by the Senate and signed into law.

July is BEAR Logic Month, a time to teach residents and visitors how to live and recreate in bear county. When a bear in its own habitat is exhibiting normal bear behavior, it’s unlikely to be a cause for concern. NDOW cautions people to never to approach or attempt an interaction with a bear. Of course the best option is to never have a bear encounter in the first place.

The Nevada Performance Academy plans to open this fall despite the passing of founder and former Nevada state superintendent, Gene Paslov who died June 8, 2014 at the age of 80.

The academy currently has 70 applications and is seeking to enroll another 50 students grades 7 through 12 who want to be a part of an innovative school that will work towards a student’s academic success as well as cater to their talents and special interests. The school is located at 1600 Snyder Avenue in Carson City.

We’re not out of the woods with wild weather yet. The National Weather Service says to expect severe thunderstorms around Northern Nevada this afternoon.

According to a special weather statement, a there’s a strong upper level disturbance that will move across northeast California and northwest Nevada.

Abundant moisture and strong winds aloft are favorable for the development of thunderstorms this afternoon with a few becoming severe, according to the weather service.

A Carson City couple were arrested Monday on felony charges after being found engaging in sex acts outdoors where people could see, a Carson City sheriff’s deputy said.

Steven Helton, 28, and Tracey L. Johnson, 44, were arrested at 5:41 p.m. in the grassy area near the DMV at South Carson and Stewart streets.

According to the arrest report, officers responded to a 911 call of a couple having sex in public. Officers met with the caller who pointed to a grassy area south of the DMV and north of Office Depot.

UPDATE: The Chamber Travel Club meeting has been changed to Aug. 6 at 5 p.m. at Red's 395.

Carson Now focuses on local news, but for eight days next spring, we will expand our view all the way to China.

In cooperation with the Carson City Chamber of Commerce, I will be embarking on a tour of China with a group of Carson City residents and businesspeople on April 7-15, 2015.

The Congressional Research Service, a policy research arm of Congress, recently told Congress 76 U.S. corporations have shifted their tax domiciles out of the United States to other countries since 1983 to avoid U.S. taxes.

Moving the tax domicile is known as an “inversion." It is still rare, but it is becoming more common. The Congressional Research Service said 47 such deals have been done in the last 10 years and more are in the works.

Carson City firefighters have a new tool to teach fire safety. "Fire Safety Day," an easy-to-read children's book, follows Owen as he comes home to tell his mom what he learned in school that day.

The book will be featured during two Storytime sessions at the Carson City Library beginning at 10:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on July 24.

Parents and children can simply show up at the library for Storytime and get a free copy of the new book in English or Spanish.

The Fuji Dog Park will be closed to the public as a dog park in Carson City during the NV 150 Fair. This will be from Monday, July 28 to Tuesday, August 5.

The park will reopen as the dog park on Wednesday, August 6. The city parks and recreation department notes it regrets any inconvenience this may cause, and during this time the public is encourage you to visit and enjoy one of its many other “dog friendly” park facilities. Those are:

— Long Ranch Park, Longview Way & Waterford Drive. Dogs are allowed on or off-leash in designated areas of the park.

UPDATE: Strong thunderstorm being tracked 13 miles northeast of Virginia City.
***
National Weather Service meteorologists were tracking two strong thunderstorms this Monday afternoon.

As of 4:21 p.m. the first storm was southeast of Smith Valley moving northwest at 15 mph. The other storm was 18 miles southwest of Yerington and moving northeast at 15 mph.

Lightning is associated with the storms as well as moderate rain and small, pea-sized hail and gusty winds to 50 mph.

It's time again for our monthly adoption event at PetCo, 911 Topsy Lane in south Carson City. We have a great variety of amazing dogs, all hoping to find that special person to love. Our dogs are spayed/neutered, fully vaccinated, and are available for a $100 donation.

If you would like to take your new friend home with you on Saturday, please pre-apply by downloading an application at: www.dogtownrescue.com and emailing it to us at: dogtownmutts@gmail.com

Adopters who have not been pre-approved, will have to wait until the following Saturday to pick up their dog.

Carson City firefighters were called to Elm and Crain streets near the base of C-Hll at around 3 p.m. for a power line that was down. The line was said to be live and sitting in both lanes of traffic. The road was closed in the area and Carson City sheriff's officers are re-directing traffic.

NV Energy has been notified. It is unknown what brought the power line down. Winds are calm, about 8 mph from the northwest.

Two men were arrested Friday on suspicion of felony meth trafficking and sales following a sting operation that involved an informant, according to a Carson City Sheriff’s Office Special Enforcement Team officer.

Daniel Alan Martin, 35, and Steven Vincent, 27, both of Carson City, face multiple felony charges. Approximately 16 grams of methamphetamine was recovered in the operation that involved text messaging leading up to a drug transaction.

I spent last Saturday and Sunday at Wanderlust, an amazing yoga, music, and meditation festival held at Squaw Valley each year. I feel blessed to live in Carson City and able to access festivals like this. People fly in from all over the nation to attend Wanderlust and I get to drive up and bliss out during the day and then sleep in my own comfy bed at night.

Going to this festival each year always adds tools to my toolkit, which I give freely to my clients and to you, my dear readers, today.

Here are the top ten things I learned at Wanderlust Squaw Valley this year.