Citizen June, 1997
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[Covered-up since 11 May, 1997]......[First Reported 14 May, 1997]
TERROR ON RENO'S RUNWAYS
FAA SLOW TO REACT
"WAS IT A SUICIDAL OR A TERRORIST ATTACK AT THE RENO AIRPORT... OR WHAT?" Sam Dehné (Former Pan Am Pilot) (click here)
Citizens have a right to know why successful breaches of security at the Reno Airport and at the Nevada Air National Guard were allowed to happen, and why they are being covered up. (Brief Report from Reno Police "Blotter" at bottom.)
* At approximately 9:43 PM on 11 May, 1997, a man rammed through the Nevada Air National Guard security gate in a large vehicle, streaked past the closely parked C-130 war planes, and eventually "crashed" his way onto the Reno Airport.
* The apparently crazed attacker, who initially must have been perceived to be a terrorist by any intelligent person, proceeded toward the terminal; before being driven back by airport security guards.
* The attacker then drove all about the Reno Airport causing havoc and substantial damage... before fleeing on foot.
*Airliners were forced to abort their landings - endangering the lives of hundreds of passengers.
* Squads of police officers were sent to the scene, and the man was eventually captured near the south end of the runway area.
Interesting so far? Click here to write to Sam Dehné
Click here to read about Runway Drag-Racing at Reno
Much of this bizarre episode was video taped by tenacious investigator Michele Jackson... who also interrogated on-duty Reno police officers and the dispatcher.
The next day she, and Reno citizens, Jackie Decker and Gilbert Weikel, were informed of specific details by a Reno policeman who was not aware of the attempted cover-up of this near-tragic episode.
"HOW LONG WILL THE COVER-UP LAST?" Sam Dehné Lt Col, USAF (Ret) (click here)
1. Why would the Airport and the Air National Guard and the FAA cover up an attack that citizens should know about?
2. Does the attempted cover-up have anything to do with Reno Airport bureaucrats' fear that episodes like this will reduce the success of their ill-conceived scheme to build an even larger military base in the middle of Reno?
3. Are they afraid of the adverse affect news of this attack could have on security funding and oversight? How many FAA personnel are in on the cover-up?
4. Where WERE the multi-million dollar security measures?
5. What would have happened if the purpose of this successful breach of security was to blow up some C-130s or maybe an airliner?
6. What if the attacker's intent was to commit suicide by ramming a landing airliner?
7. Was he crazed... was he a terrorist... could he perhaps be a disgruntled former airport employee?
8. And... how would this gross breach of security effect president Clinton's planned visit to Reno?
Citizens have every right to know why a tragedy like this is being covered up.
All personnel involved in this cover-up must be held accountable.
When confronted with these charges of Airport corruption and cover-ups at the monthly meeting 5 days later, the duplicitous Reno Airport Board of "Trustees" claimed they did not know about it and had no comments or questions. They sat their with their mouths open. Dozens of airport employees in the audience shook their heads - NO.
An atmosphere of indifference permeated the Airport "Trustees"... who were appointed by the Reno city council to protect the safety and welfare of citizens.
Later, when this breach of airport security was reported to the another responsible agency, the equally duplicitous FAA, it also showed no interest... while trying to down-play its dangerous significance.
This is the typically shameful type of violation that casts aspersions on the hundreds of other Reno Airport employees... most of whom are good honest workers. The alert response of the tower controller saved the day. But since the attack is being covered-up, he/she will never be properly recognized.
When will this be investigated... or will it be swept under the rug with the rest of the Reno Airport's slippery meat?
Interesting so far? Click here to write to Sam Dehné
Reno Police Report (2300 Hours)
South: GTA, BDW, Felony DUI, Felony DOP; Reno
We responded to the airport at the request of Airport
Police. A suspect, Michael Smith of Sutcliffe, Nv had
stolen a vehicle from Avis rent a car on National Guard
Way. Avis employees saw this and attempted to stop him.
One employee was hit on his hand by the suspect
vehicle. The suspect drove east on Nat. Guard way and
crashed the gate at the entrance to the Air National
Guard. Once on the base, the suspect hit a parked car
and other property. He then crashed another gate and
was now on airport property. The tower saw this and
called airport police. The suspect attempted to allude
and a pursuit was started. The suspect crashed into a
fence, ran over aviation signs and then fled on foot
toward Model Way. 30 minutes later we get a report of
an injured subject on Karen St. That suspect was
identified by 2 Avis employees and was arrested,
treated at Washoe Med and booked for the above charges.
Sgt. Schott on scene
Log entry by Sgt. Jones
[Editor's note: The duplicitous Reno Airport is reported to be the 47th busiest in America. It is First in Mismanagement and Corruption... with "incidents like this happening all the time", according to its airport Director.]
AP quote: "The FAA does not hesitate to take swift action to protect the safety of the flying public," said Barry L. Valentine, the acting FAA administrator. Hmmm???
The TRUE FACTS about this embarrassing and dire breach of security are still being ignored, covered-up... or pooh-poohed by at least the following organizations (in no order of importance):
Airport Authority of Washoe County, the Reno City Council, Federal Aviation Agency (FAA), FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), Nevada Air National Guard, the Governor of Nevada, Senators Reid and Bryan, Congressman Gibbons, Reno Gazette, CNN (Ted Turner won't be happy)...
[Read more updates and perspectives at Citizen Gadfly by "clicking" here.]
Read below... and gasp at the arrogance of your local FAA... sworn to protect the safety of the traveling public. Then ask, "How are they doing so far in Reno?"
_____May 22, 1997_____
This Sparks Tribune newspaper Front Page exposé (as damning as it is) is still fraught with deception, attempted subterfuge, and outright lies by local FAA agents... and who knows who else. A few observations and questions:
1. The breach of security started at about 9:45 p.m... which is one of the densest landing traffic periods.
2. At least two airliners had to abort landings.
3. If the FAA considers cars speeding up and down airport runways to be in "full compliance" with FAA security, no wonder citizens are in deep kimshee when it comes to danger at the Reno Airport.
4. If this "attack" does not not constitute a security breach, what, pray tell, does?
5. There was a concerted attempt to cover-up and hide these almost tragic events from the public... by several levels of government bureaucracy... starting with the Reno Airport czar.
6. Hundreds of lives were in danger because of this lapse of security. Thank God the tower operator was awake and vigilant. How can the military and the duplicitous Reno Airport Authority appointees have the unmitigated gaul and audacity to even suggest that we should build an even larger military base in the middle of the city? They can't even protect the one they have now.
FAA OKAYS NIGHT-TIME DRAG RACING ON RENO AIRPORT'S MAIN RUNWAY
By Sam Dehné 702.825.1398
At 9:45 PM on May 11th, 1997, a new chapter was written in the annals of drag racing. Novice race car driver, 21 year old Michael Lee Smith, of Reno, Nevada, driving a stock '96 Caddie... and several anonymous Reno Policemen, driving Black & White Chevies, entered the inaugural drag race held on Reno Airport's main runway... possibly in anticipation of moving the Hilton Grand Prix to a new site.
Hundreds of passengers seated in nearby airliners, waiting for takeoff, were awestruck as they watched the cars reach speeds of over 75 miles per hour racing up and down the airport runway straightaway.
These passengers were further amazed at Smith's ability to continuously outrun the Black & Whiters in his damaged Cadillac.
The passengers in the airliners that were trying to land, also had ringside seats to this exciting event... as their obviously dumbstruck pilots aborted their landings at the last minute... in the dark of night.
When queried about possible safety and security implications of this drag racing on Reno's main runway, the Federal Aviation Administration gave its tacit approval by saying that there were "no major breaches of security", and that the airport "was in full compliance with safety regulations," throughout the entire competition. And airport czar White, while preferring to cover-up the drag race, did tell his bosses that the airport "has incidents like this all the time."
The airport was reportedly closed for some 15 minutes during the race. In the future, however, it might possibly be kept open... adding a demolition derby motif to the competition... as airline pilots see if they can find and avoid the race cars during landings.
Smith's unique method of entry onto the racetrack was also given the FAA's okay. You see, Smith, rather than using the normal entry procedure, smashed through the Air National Guard main gate, the fuel storage area, and then crashed through the Reno Airport security fence... on his way to the runway race track.
So, folks, don't be surprised if the next time you choose to fly to some far off destination from Reno's Hometown Airport, you are treated to some extra excitement.
Thus far there is no planned charge for viewing the runway drag racing. But it is rumored that airport czar White and city manager McNeely, always on the look-out to increase Reno's bloated coffers, might be planning to add extra charges for your tickets whenever one of these spontaneous races occurs. Of course, the charges will have to be added afterward... because the Airport and FAA have shown they have no way of knowing when the next security breach and drag race might occur.
Can a Reno Airport Runway Roller Derby be far away... as concession stands and slot machines are added along the edges of the runway... with FAA boss, Barry Valentine, as Grand Marshall?
Sam Dehné, Editor-Reporter, The Reno Citizen Internet Magazine
That's the Way You Do It! Safely and Sanely!
[Here is another of a plethora of logical and safe Noise Mitigation ideas that we have presented to the Reno-Casino Airport. They continue to refuse to listen to reason... and in fact, go out of their way to generate Noise... in order to embezzle more taxes from the FAA... to continue their diabolical land grab from innocent citizens.]
By Sam Dehne'
Fact: Reno's Airport is much too noisy.
Fact: The majority of landing approaches at Reno are of the "VISUAL APPROACH" variety. That is because Reno has generally excellent weather... 90% of the time there are VFR (Visual Flight Rules) conditions, and pilots can look outside and see where they are going.
So, in the name of sanity, why can't the majority of departures also be of the "VISUAL DEPARTURE" variety also? THEY CAN!
It does not take a rocket scientist to recognize that there are many ways to reduce the terrible noise pollution created by the airliners. And we have been recommending several:
1. Reduce power on takeoff after safely airborne. This is a proven-safe procedure that is mandatory at Orange County airport... one that has been used safely for many years.
2. Make VISUAL DEPARTURES on days when the weather is good... the vast majority of the time. 85% of departures are to the south, and our recommended visual departure would include a turn to the east just after passing Rattlesnake Mt.
(The Nevada Air Guard used this departure for many years without a single unsafe incident.)
When the pilots can see outside, use this procedure. When it is cloudy, use the standard straight out departure. The result would be that this procedure should be used 90% of the time, AND the terrible noise pollution would be drastically reduced... at least to citizens living beyond Rattlesnake Mt.
If an airliner has an engine failure (an extremely rare event), it merely has to retrace its flight path and land at Reno... not continue on... as one of the local airline's top pilots says he would do. Any pilots worth their salt could perform this simple feat. Remember, the plane is in VFR weather and can see where it is going.
This is just another citizen-friendly idea that we have proposed... that will be ignored for as long as possible by the airlines and the duplicitous Reno Airport... because of their arrogance and refusal to listen to logical reason... their refusal to give a hoot about the safety and welfare of Reno citizens.
CITIZEN GADFLY ASKS:
(Gadfly: A Citizen who reports on things for other citizens in order to arouse them from complacency.)
18. Today is day 30 of the cover-up of the attack on the Reno Airport (our front page headline story). The suppression of the truth is being sanctioned by at least the following entities... the Airport Director, the Airport Authority, most of the Reno city council, the FAA, most of the northern Nevada newspapers, the Air National Guard...
18a. These entities have now been told of the break-in and the subsequent cover-up and have chosen to make no apparent attempt to conduct an honest investigation and punish the guilty... or just as importantly, to let the citizens know that their lives could be in danger whenever they go to the Reno Airport. This is serious stuff, folks, and a bunch of cowboys have no right to play God with your lives... she would not be happy.
18aa. When the local FBI was informed of this near-tragedy and attempted cover-up (we are now saying "attempted"; because it WILL be exposed), the agent dropped everything... and went on a two week vacation! Didn't even tell anybody else about the break-ins. What?
18aaa. Even the district FAA in California allegedly told a Sparks reporter to keep her nose out of it...
18aaaa. Right now details of the attempted cover-up are being released to the senators and congressmen. They also were not aware of the breaches of security. Let's see if THEY think it is important...
18b. The fact that the attack had possible terrorist fingerprints all over it (car crashing onto the Air Guard base and then the Airport, in the dark... causing havoc) and that hundreds of lives were in danger does not seem to interest them. It is far too late for them to now come forward and try to uncover the cover-up... now that they have been exposed. Do you want these types of clandestine airport bureaucrats running your life?
17. The local FAA claimed... not to know about the dangerous breach of security at the Nevada Air Guard and the Reno Airport (full report on our front page). How can that be? The duplicitous FAA grounds airlines (local Great American Air) for missing pieces of paper, but they don't know that a (what turned out to be novice) terrorist broke through their expensive security systems and caused havoc???
17a. Just as importantly, their agent arrogantly stated that the public doesn't have a need or right to know how dangerous the Reno Airport is...
17b. By his reasoning it would be like this: The wife is away at work, and while she is gone, her husband and kids are kidnapped... the house is robbed and ransacked... their investments plummet... and the dog runs away...
But the husband and kids escape... the house is cleaned up... the stock market recovers... and the dog comes home. Should the wife be told of these events when she comes home from work? By the FAA's bizarre thinking, she wouldn't have a need or right to know.
X. Incredible! The notorious RSCVA has come out with its budget. Out of $33,000,000, only some $2,900,000 (less than 10%) is being used for what it was created for... promotion and advertisement.
XX. From USA Today - Military Looks to Cut Costs, Keep Core Force Intact:
WASHINGTON - "Defense Secretary William Cohen on Monday, 19 May, 1997, unveiled a Pentagon blueprint designed to cut costs without weakening the military's punch. The Quadrennial Defense Review leaves the core military force intact, which the Pentagon said is enough to win two regional wars almost simultaneously. But with budget pressures weighing heavily, the review also recommends trimming major weapons modernization programs, holding at least two major rounds of base closings and thinning the military's support systems. Still, by largely sparing front-line forces and canceling no major new weapons programs, the defense review represents at least a partial victory for senior officers at the Pentagon."
The question that begs asking; Why in the good Lord's name is the Reno-Casino Airport wasting time (and money) trying to build a huge new Air Guard base in Reno? It ain't going to happen. Sanity must exist... somewhere?
XXX. Rumor has it that part of the duplicitous Reno-Casino city council, led by duplicitous mayor Griffin, plans to select "airline expert?", Sue Camp, and McDonalds' magnate, Luther Mack, to the duplicitous Reno-Casino Airport Board of Trustees. That's the Board that is so incompetent that it couldn't even keep a long terrorist from invading the airport... they didn't even about it!
a. Camp has no idea how airports are supposed to work. If her resume tries to say so, don't believe it.
b. Mack doesn't even live in Reno... a veritable illegal alien.
c. The only logical selection is airport critic, Sam Dehne... the citizens' primary critic of the airport's continuous indifference to the safety and welfare of Reno citizens. And one of the primary critics of the current Board's corruption, incompetence, and mismanagement.
d. The record shows that Dehne has done more to protect the safety and welfare of the citizens of Reno than the rest of the airport combined.
e. Basically all (of the very few) citizen-friendly actions taken by the Reno-Casino Airport are the result of prodding and suggesting by Sam Dehne. Why, then, are some people adamantly challenging his up-coming appointment to the Airport Board? Why are only big-business stooges considered? Makes no sense...
Click here to read Sam's application... and you decide who you want making decisions about your safety and quality of life.
f. Sad prediction: per normal Reno politics, Dehne will not be selected... unless incompetence and corruption are somehow defeated.
Y. To join the rapidly escalating campaign to Recall several Reno-Casino Council critters, call 329-2837.
This is day 80 of the RSCVA "outrage watch". It has been that long since it was revealed that they "misdirected" some $1,300,000 reserved for Bond payment... to pay for their own salaries and operations. The Reno Gazette reported that this type of scheme is a violation of Nevada Law. (It's not hard to conceive of that concept!). When are the authorities going to step in? ARE they going to step in... or are there too many people from high places in that can... of worms? RSCWA = Reno Sparks Can of Worms Authority. WHERE ARE THE INVESTIGATORS?
Note: It was reported that the RSCVA is also $3,000,000 in default on payments to its venders. BUT they remembered to pay their own salaries... WHERE ARE THE INVESTIGATORS?
The latest report about this mess has the RSCVA President investigating... HIMSELF!!! And then he will "recommend action". WHAT??? Nobody considers this to be more Slippery Meat??? Just "Business as Usual" in Reno, Nevada. Just like the Airport Authority choosing the Investigators who will investigate the 18 charges of Airport Skulduggery!!! Just "Business as Usual" in Reno, Nevada. Will they be allowed to pick their jury too? WHERE ARE THE INVESTIGATORS?
The DA's office is trying to let the RSCVA off the hook by saying, "I am sure they will never do that again". That was also the inference from the bogus Grand Jury Supposed Look-See at those 18 very damning charges of Reno-Casiino Airport fraud and corruption. Folks, the prisons are full of people who committed crimes who "will never do that again". Why is there almost no accountability in Truckee Meadows FAT CAT criminal justice? There's plenty of butt-kicking when it's the little-guy downtrodden proletariat. WHERE ARE THE INVESTIGATORS?
PAIVA WRONGFUL DEATH SHOOTING CASE
A few years ago there was a fellow by the name of Paiva who was shot to death in a hail of bullets by Reno police... in his very own apartment. Citizen Paiva never fired a single shot. How do the police justify that killing... in the face of the way they reacted to a man recently... who continuously fired some 25 to 30 shots inside an apartment complex in broad daylight on 7 May, 1997? In the recent shooting the police sat outside waiting... when there might have been some justification to take action.
Either they were wrong back then... or they were wrong this time. "Back then" is when they were wrong, and an innocent citizen died. Federal Judge Edward Reed scolded the police department and ordered the case to go to trial.
Folks, why is the city of Reno rumored to be in secret negotiations (again!)... trying desperately to settle the Paiva case? Something bad appears to have happened back then, and it must not be allowed to be swept into the can with all those other Reno worms. If the police acted properly, they will be exonerated in court... with no secret settlements.
This issue is on the Reno city council agenda for 10 June, 1997. Be there and voice your outrage at another secret serial deal. Don't let them hide this one. Mumbo-Gumbo parties on the river are not justified until messes like this are cleaned up in an up-front manner. Those are your taxes they are trying to deal with behind those closed doors...
Open Letter to Reno city council, 11 June, 1997
"Wrongful Death Shooting", Biased City News Bulletin of 10 June, 1997
Dear Reno city council members,
With reference to the "Paiva Wrongful Death" lawsuit that was unfortunately settled before the truth could be brought out in court, we, as Reno citizens, take great offense at your staff making fools of you.
Notwithstanding the fact that you voted to not allow the "Wrongful Death" lawsuit to go to trial, what we find equally despicable is the audacity of the citizens' Reno city staff broadcasting a "news bulletin" (that had already been prepared BEFORE YOUR VOTE!) within minutes after your vote. This document essentially attempts to try the case, and to find Mr Paiva guilty... on Reno city letterhead paper.
You should recall... that as part of your city council vote, it was stipulated that presiding judge Reed's scathing remarks about law enforcement actions would be included as part of the record.
Amazingly, instead of including even one of judge Reed's scathing comments, one of your staff attorneys and your public information officer made unsupported statements and comments in the "news bulletin" that attempted to paint Mr Paiva as some sort of militaristic pervert and intimated strongly that the police were justified in shooting 18 bullets into this citizen's own home and killing him.
False statements and quibblings such as those included in the "news bulletin", especially by city employees on Reno city letterhead, are contemptuous of the city council, the city manager, presiding judge Reed, and the citizens of Reno who were stuck with a $250,000 settlement bill.
Stuck with this bill... not because of any overt action by Mr Piava (who was in his own home, never fired a single shot, had no background of this type of violence, was left-handed, even though a gun holster found on him 4 hours later was for a right handed man)... stuck with this bill... because some policemen standing outside his home fired 18 bullets into his home.
Unlike the "news bulletin's" basic indictment of Mr Paiva, we are not attempting to indict the police. The case was settled and therefore there was to be no presumption of guilt or innocence on the part of either party. But the city's "news bulletin" negated any semblance of morality in this settlement.
Judge Reed can not be expected to be happy when he finds out that any possibility of a fair and just settlement has been grossly and premeditatedly violated by members of the Reno city staff.
What must Mr Paiva's parents be thinking right now?
What are you and the city manager going to do about it?
There is already too much slippery meat under that rug... and there is very little room left in the worm can.
[This sad bureacratic charade is just like de-ja-vu all over again for me, personally... as I recollect back to when I was piloting RF-4s in the Nevada Air Guard in the late '70s. One of the bureaucrat technician administrators took to falsifying my vital officer records... causing my eventual early forced retirement despite a perfect flying safety record. This technician, who had crashed 2 airplanes during training... one crash causing the death of a passenger... was later caught, and I was retroactively promoted to Lt Col. Unfortunately, this full-time civil service technician had control of the unit propaganda machine, and I, like Mr Paiva, was made out to be the bad guy. Not nice...]
We plan to have a more in-depth expose of this audacious and arrogant action on the part of some Reno city employees later in The Reno Citizen.
Sam Dehne, editor, The Reno Citizen internet magazine
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