News Room

By VNRDirect & Investigative Reporting Independent Service

702-716-0334 | Facebook | Twitter

All Content © 2005, Kyril (Ky) Plaskon 

Archive Newer | Older

Friday, November 30, 2012

Garbage Fires Go Mobile

It's a quiet morning in your neighborhood, all is routine. Eat breakfast, comb your hair, brush your teeth, take out the garbage. But then the routine turns into one of the most disgusting scenes imaginable, delivered right there to your doorstep: A burning garbage truck. It's more common than you might think.

It happened yesterday in Sparks, Nevada. Neighbors recalled the heat and smoke as the massive truck and its ton of garbage burned and caught another car on fire, a line of hydrolic fluid fire rolled down the street gutter and into a storm drain. It took a large contingent of emergency workers to get the situation under control. KOLO TV sent a reporter to sniff out the story.

Yes, it's terrible and it is a lot more common than you might think. Jut in the month of November alone there have been 8 reported garbage truck fires throughout the United States. Fire Safety Sales out of Bloomington, Ill says on its web page that garbage truck fires are “extremely common.” How common? “On average, there are seven refuse truck fires each day.”

Fire Pro Sales says they have a product that can extinguish the fires. It may be something municipalities want to explore, because the way garbage truck fires are handled right now is pretty alarming. The burning garbage is usually dumped out in a huge random pile wherever the garbage truck happens to be at the time, weather it is the middle of a busy street, a business park or neighborhood. Yeah, that gets a lot of attention. When it gets attention, people pull out their camera phones. In the past 5 years, 16 burning garbage truck have been caught on video and posted to YouTube. On the videos you can hear amazed people as they watch the smoking and flaming trash. They can hardly contain their excitement.

Yesterday's garbage truck fire in Sparks, Nevada was the second in the Reno area over the past year. YouTube user "disneyr" posted this video in August.

It is shot out the front window of a car driving on an un-named road. There is the pleasant sound of a car radio and a man’s voice can be heard undramatically narrating: “fire, fire, fire. There is a ha ha, garbage truck, caught on fire.” His camera phone rings and the camera pans down to the BMW steering wheel, then back up to the closed lanes of traffic and the firefighters. A large plume of brownish smoke can be seen rising out of the green garbage truck. “Ooooo, stinky too. Good job firefighters. The communities favorite civil servants.”

In another incident, office workers wandered away from their desks on February 19, 2012 to watch another garbage truck fire out the window of their upper-story building.

“Holy crap," the person with the camera says. "I have never seen that before. Yeah, that's going to suck. Dump your load. I am recording it. That is freaking awsome! This is going on YouTube. Oh, it is going to be in the middle of the street and it is going to go up in flames and he pulls away. Now if he gets out with a fire extinguisher I am going to laugh my ass off... poor guy. His day just got a lot longer . . . at least its Friday. God the clean up on this. Ugh!"

Most of the videos posted on YouTube are shot out on the street. YouTube user “SkylarWallace” posted one in November 2011. He said he was on his way to “Planet Sub” when the burning garbage grabbed his attention. He was really excited.

“Then I would really get 100-thousand hits! So I guess the backs of those (trucks) are fire proof? I mean this is awsome! It is taking off, look at it go. I gotta film the whole thing. Hey! I know that guy. That is the fire chief in the white shirt. It's awsome. The guy got back in it. Can he dump it? Oh, he is going to dump it. Oh! Yes! This is the best video I have ever filmed. Look at that! Dude there is a lot of stuff. If all that catches, this is going to go from awsome to scary. Woah! Oh. There it is Oh!”

Another woman nearby says, “That is a bad day at work right there! Ha ha ha.”

Despite hoping he would get 100,000 hits, his video has 2,769 views. But he is not far off. Some of these mobile trash fires are getting tens of thousands of views. One in December 2010 shows a fire spreading in a neighborhood in McQueeney, TX. It has 64, 000 views.

Here is another with 45,000 views

And, if you have't had your fill of burning garbage deliveries, here are a couple more

While it is interesting for the bystanders, it truly is a bad day at work for the drivers, firefighters and clean up crews involved. One video actually shows shows a firefighter climbing inside the burning garbage truck. The comments posted by the public on these videos show that garbage truck fires are a sensitive topic too. One man posted: We own a garbage business and if that was our truck, we would have dumped the trash on the road. The fine and the clean up would cost less than replacing the truck. Another wrote: “Maybe one of u pencil pushers should have called the Fire Dept instead of watching.”


Like it or not, the public is intrigued with the mystique of garbage trucks (two videos of garbage trucks simply operating have more than 11 million views on YouTube). The additional spectacle and prevalence of garbage truck fires could become an increasing public relations problem for garbage companies.

As I have explored this topic this morning a few ideas have occured to me that garbage companies might want to explore. A heat sensor in the refuse compartment connected to an alarm in the cab could quickly alert drivers to a fire. Maybe the trucks already have that. I don't know. They also might want to explore the "First Responder Stat-X Grenade" by Fire Safety Sales. Here is the video of how it works. The driver could throw it in the refuse compartment giving them enough time to get out of a neighborhood or off the street and to a safe place. One can is $150, a small price to pay when neighborhoods, lives and expensive trash trucks are in danger. For now, insurance companies are likely eating the cost when burning garbage strikes. Maybe if garbage trucks have a Stat-X grenade on board the companies could get an insurance discount? Doesn't hurt to ask.

See you on the road!
Twitter: Transporter @kyplaskon

Fri, November 30, 2012 | link          Comments

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Todays Exclusives include great work by the Associated Press.

Accounts, clothing show dead workers tied to Disney, Wal-Mart, Sears

More than 100 people died in a clothing factory fire over the weekend in Bangladesh. An Associated Press reporter sifted through the rubble and found some disturbing connections to companies here in the US.

AP Exclusive: Graph suggests Iran working on bomb

U.S. News & World Report
Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon according to a diagram obtained by The Associated Press.

Dash cam video shows trooper firing gun at cemetery ...

Bay News 9
Cruiser video obtained by Bay News 9 shows Trooper firing at a cemetery owner.

 Things arent so rosy for Sony as it looks to liquidate some assets

Chicago Tribune
TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp has been approached by at least three investment banks offering to sell its battery business.
Thu, November 29, 2012 | link          Comments

Reno Businesses, City Offering Free Fitness Classes

Free 1-hout pilates, yoga, boot camp, Brazilian Jujitsu, Unlimited Yoga for $40 per month? Yeah, that is the unheard-of public-private fitness partnership going on right now in Reno. I put together a little raw video for the City of Reno about it. They will be sending it out to stations for air. Check it out: The news story is below. My company Video News Releases Direct does this for just $99 a pop. Call 702-716-0334 for details.

RENO, NV -- After years of trying public-private fitness partnerships in different cities throughout the nation, City of Reno Recreation Manager, Andy Bass says he has finally found “like-minded people.”

“We want to be a model for the nation and we hope that we are making the effort in the fight against obesity. We want to be the leaders and we are trying to do that through national organizations to show them our model.”

Bass began the effort in the Spring this year. He picked up the phone and called businesses, asking them to offer their services for free. His first call was to 24 Hour Fitness.

“Talked to the manager and he likes the the idea and sees the benefit of trying to help the community as well as trying to get his name out there,” Bass said. “24 Hour Fitness could do this on their own, but it (the fight agains obesity) is a lot more powerful if you have three or four partners and that is what we (the City of Reno) have brought to the table.”

The businesses that are on-board include the Studio, KOR and 24-Hour Fitness. They call it “Shape Up Reno.” The classes include popular exercises like Boot Camp, Yoga, Pilates and beginning January 1st, 2013, 24-Hour Fitness will offer Brazilian Jujitsu.

“The overall goal is to improve the health of the community and everyone wants to be in better shape and be healthy so we are trying to facilitate that by removing the barriers,” Bass said.

One of the main barriers he says: Cost. So, the classes are free. The city is also stepping up to the plate, offering unlimited yoga for just $40 a month.

He says similar efforts didn’t work in other cities because business were afraid the city would be competing with them.

“No competition and if anything we are their biggest supporters. We have different markets. If people are going to 24 Hour Fitness they probably have different goals than those who come to a city fitness program.”

He says, the lower-income classes just get peoples feet in the door of fitness. If they want to take it to the next level, that is where the private businesses take over. He says it is a model for success on many levels, from cost, to health and businesses getting some new clients. He explains the secret to his success.

“Really what it comes down to, as professionals that work for the citizens our job is to give all we can to help them and that is what it takes, you have to have that drive and that firm belief and passion and you can do anything if you have that.”

Not only has he found like-minded people in the business community here and is trying to bring like-minded individuals on board. People who feel a higher calling like new City of Reno Yoga instructor Kelly Logoteta.

“I cater the classes to the person and the level of their ability,” she says. “I absolutely do not do it for the money, you do not become a millionaire by becoming a yoga instructor.”

She may not be a millionaire, but with people like her backing the “Shape Up Reno” effort, the partnership is accomplishing a healthier population. Hundreds have already participated. Not only that, but Reno may be setting a national example and that is worth a fortune.


Free & Reduced Cost Fitness Classes

KOR            Boot Camp     Fri.    12 PM        free
100 N Sierra St.    Pilates    Tues.     5:30 PM    free

the Studio        Yoga        Sat     9 AM        free
1095 S. Virginia

24-Hour Fitness    Brazilian Jujitsu            free

City of Reno        Yoga        M, Tu,Th,Fri    6 am    $40 Unlimited    
1301 Valley Rd.        

Thu, November 29, 2012 | link          Comments

Monday, November 5, 2012

Natural Gas Study Outlines Geopolitical Shift

Reno, Nevada (IRIS)--The first federal world petrolium report in more than a decade was released this year and it shows two major shifts that could impact our personal and geopolitical futures. There is nearly 1 trillion feet of recoverable natural gas than previously thought in the world and where that natural gas is located could result in geopolitical shifts.

“By looking at the amount of oil and gas this is exactly the kind of information for long and medium term planning,” said USGS Director Marsha McNutt in a brief press conference call. She added that governments will use the information to look at “what will be the infrastructural needs and environmental impacts.”

In terms of gas, look for that development impact in the arctic and East Africa according to McNutt.

But, the real money is still in oil and the new report has big news in that arena too. Previous report from 2000 showed the largest recoverable oil reserves in the former Soviet Union and the Middle East. But the new report show the largest oil reserves are closer to home and in poor countries. Sub-Saharan Africa; Caribbean and South American regions are both ranked higher than the Middle East and Soviet Union.

Now, countries in Africa and South America that were previously considered resource  poor, could be seen as resource rich. But much of the oil sits in a tough-to-get place “Off-shore areas, many (countries) don’t have the capabilities to do the drilling,” said Chris Schenk, USGS Research Geologist

You can view the reports at:
New Report:

Old Report:
Mon, November 5, 2012 | link          Comments

Archive Newer | Older

This site  The Web 

Nation's First Cold War Memorial Groundbreaking & Book Signing

The Forest Service members of the CIA and workers from Area 51 were at Mt. Charleston outside Las Vegas for the groundbreaking of the nation's first Cold War Memorial on Saturday, November 17. This will enhance the regions international recognition for its role in America's victory in the Cold War. The Atomic Testing museum with its hands-on exhibits, the atomic test site with its bomb-ravaged structures and now the cold war memorial honoring America's heroes who lost their lives in America's longest war. Vistors can get a signed first-edition copy of Silent Heroes of the Cold War (Stephen's Press 2008) and learn more at this first public event on a multi-million dollar Forest Service project in the area.


Ky Plaskon's web archive

Children's Health Care (Live)

UNLV's 1st News Director

Artifact Theft (NPR)

Construction Defects (NPR)

Mortgage Fraud on the Rise (APM)

Muslim Radicalism (Voice of America)

Vegas Thirst for Groundwater (Living on Earth)

Computerized Voting Arrives (Voice of America)

Engineering Behind Entertainment (NPR)

Wind-powered Car (KNPR)

Industry of Prisoner Employees (KLAS)

Losing it all in Vegas (KNPR)

High-brow Brothel (KNPR)

Desert Con Had Last Word (KNPR)

Money, Blood & Children (KRNV)

Drug Cartel Kidnaps Kid (CNN)

Racist Vegas I (NPR)

Racist Vegas II (NPR)

Revolutionary Janitor (NPR)

Tax Fraud Publisher Jailed (NPR)

Yucca Mountain Gold Diggers (NPR)

U.S. Artifact Plundering (NPR)

Vegas Limits Water Use (NPR)

Torrential Vegas Floods (NPR)

Vegas Police, Wrongful Death Suit (KLAS)

UNLV President Resigns

Sales of Kyril Plaskon's Silent Heroes of the Cold War supports

National Cold War Memorial

The Impact of Governme Secrecy.
Silent Heroes of the Cold War book cover
Only American Account of Transgenerational War Trauma. Click on the Pic for the title at Amazon

Speaking Engagements

To inquire write to

Photography is Not a Crime


Public Radio International

KUNR 88.7 Reno

US Forest Service

Nevada Volunteers

Ky Plaskon * Phone: (702) 716-0334