More Ballpark Development Delays

Scott Sexton just reported that the former Royal Inn on Broad and Green Streets is again up for sale. The redevelopment of the Royal Inn has stalled. The much hyped Brookstown District at BB&T Ballpark has also stalled, though Winston’s newspaper of record has failed to report on that.

It looks like development around BB&T Ballpark will have to wait until after Business 40 is transformed into Salem Parkway. That means 2020 at the earliest. This is another … Read the rest

The End Of Reynolds, Creation Of The World’s Biggest Tobacco Corporation

Wednesday, Reynolds held its final shareholder’s meeting. That’s big news, but the local press here in Winston-Salem didn’t give BAT’s buyout of Reynolds much attention. WXII spent about a minute describing the worlds largest tobacco company. Then they went on to the next story without any reflection on Reynolds’ history with the city or the future of Reynolds under BAT ownership.

Richard Craver, the Winston-Salem Journal’s excellent business reporter, had a couple of good articles on the subject. I … Read the rest

Children March On City Hall With Empty Plates To Raise Awareness Of Childhood Hunger

I love a good demonstration. There’s something fundamentally energizing about them. Day in and day out most of us do what we’re told and do our best not to make any noise. But sometimes you have to stand up for your rights.

Demanding your rights can fun. At the same time, if we’re being honest, it’s a little childish to stand in the streets and yell demands. That makes children naturals at demonstrating.

Yesterday’s March To Save Our Plates was … Read the rest

FLOC Protests In Raleigh While BAT And Reynolds Consolidate

Every May, during Reynolds’ annual shareholders’ meeting for the last several years FLOC protesters have marched through Downtown Winston. Farmworkers and their allies from around the state and around the country form a small army of red, calling upon Reynolds to sign an agreement with FLOC.

This year, due to British American Tobacco’s acquisition of Reynolds, the company’s shareholders meeting was postponed until tomorrow. That’s when shareholders at BAT and Reynolds will hold simultaneous votes on the union of Read the rest

It’s Not Just Opioids, We Have An Alcohol Problem Too

A week ago today Ashley Marie Agee of Sedge Garden was killed when the motorcycle she was on was hit by a drunk driver. All week I have been thinking about what a tragedy her death was. Agee was riding her bike late last Sunday night on Kernersville Road, near the intersection of Kernersville Road and Sedge Garden when a drunk driver hit her from behind, throwing her from her bike and causing injuries that she was unable to recover … Read the rest

Wells Fargo Whistleblower Loses Lawsuit, But Brought Important Information To The Public

Thursday, the Winston-Salem Journal’s Richard Craver reported that Wells Fargo whistleblower George Hartzman lost his lawsuit against his former employer. It was a predictable outcome. Hartzman probably had a good lawyer, but he didn’t have his own legal department.

On a personal level, it must have been very disappointing for Mr. Hartzman to lose to his former employer. Especially since Hartzman appears to have had a solid case against Wells Fargo. But in our legal system justice matters less than … Read the rest

Fire Chief Gets Hot Discussing Cooking Fires With The Media

The July Public Safety News Conference had some fireworks, courtesy of Fire Chief, William “Trey” Mayo. Fire Chief Mayo was noticeably annoyed that local media outlets (with the exception of Spectrum) ignored his suggestion that they give more coverage to the dangers of cooking fires.

Mayo let the media have it (the emphasis is my own):

“I stood up here before you last month and asked for your assistance. I’m talking to the media now in helping us promote

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20 Years Ago Today, Reynolds Killed Its Shameless Joe Camel Campaign

On this day, 20 years ago R.J. Reynolds finally pulled the plug on its shameless Joe Camel campaign. The July 11, 1997, New York Times obituary of Joe Camel is worth rereading.

Joe Camel, the cartoon character that became the focus of perhaps the most intense attacks ever leveled against an American advertising campaign, is being sent packing by the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, which will replace it with stylized versions of Camel cigarettes’ original camel trademark.

Joe Camel,

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Time For The City Of Winston-Salem To Disclose Who It Banks With

During the Winston-Salem City Council’s May Finance Committee meeting a simple but important exchange occurred. It lasted just a couple of minutes and its significance went largely unnoticed by the local media. I should have written about it at the time.

Mayor Pro Tempore, Vivian Burke asked Lisa Saunders, the city’s finance director something that we all deserve to know the answer to. After Saunders finished describing the various details of the city’s General Obligation Bonds, Burke asked her “who … Read the rest

Warren Buffett Is No Friend Of The Working Class

Saturday there was a minor KKK rally in Charlottesville Virginia that was met with a huge counter-protest. Triad City Beat’s Jordan Green reported on his Facebook page that 40 Klanspeople were confronted by 1000 anti-racist activists.

With Donald Trump in the White House, it is important to stand up to racists and fascists.  But personally, I’m more worried about wolves in sheep’s clothing than the tiny remnant of the KKK that exists today.

Warren Buffett, the oligarch from Omaha is … Read the rest

First Baptist On Fifth Street Puts Daycare On The Chopping Block

It’s Sunday and I’m not at church. But I’m still bothered by First Baptist Church’s decision to tear down two of its buildings. First Baptist on Fifth Street is a beautiful historic church. Its grandeur is a reflection of the wealth that used to be on Fifth Street years ago when it was known as Winston’s millionaire’s row.

First Baptist is attempting to scale back the size of its buildings to meet the needs of today’s congregation. To that end, … Read the rest

Bookmarks Opens A First-Rate Bookstore In Downtown Winston

Bookmarks opened its new bookstore earlier today. It was exciting to see folks on Fourth Street lined up to get books instead of methadone. No offense to anyone taking methadone, we all need something. One thing Winston has needed for years is a first-rate bookstore.

Galleries are great, but every decent downtown has a quality bookstore. Bright Leaf Books, which opened a few months ago, is a nice little independent bookstore. But Bookmarks is a destination, a large independent bookstore, … Read the rest