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Southeast Gateway Development Moves Forward Long After Happy Hill Was Gentrified

Monday night’s city council meeting was the first meeting of our city’s elected body in over a month. At Monday’s meeting, a bakery/wine shop on Reynolda Road was approved, a property on Northwest Boulevard was rezoned, as were two churches. The rezoning of the Burger King on MLK Drive was postponed yet again. The BK on MLK will likely stay closed until BK lets the City have it their way. Speaking of the City of Winston-Salem having it its way, the city council unanimously approved a four-story apartment complex in the Southeast Gateway development, near the Gateway YWCA.

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Winston’s Twin Arches Viewed From Happy Hill

Earlier this week, Mayor and Winston-Salem Alliance president Allen Joines oversaw the official powering-up of the LED lights on the Twin Arches over Highway 52. The public art initiative is a public/private partnership spearheaded by the Creative Corridors Coalition. It’s the first of several projects that Creative Corridors are working on in conjunction with the ongoing road-work along Highway 52 and Business 40. The Winston-Salem Journal is reporting that opinions on the Twin Arches are mixed. I personally find the Twin Arches a little underwhelming. But the view from Research Parkway is compelling.

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Happy Hill, A Historic Gem That Wasn’t Preserved

Saturday, Mayor Allen Joines, members of the city council, various other local officials and community members gathered in Happy Hill for a historical marker unveiling, but the dirty truth about Winston’s oldest African American neighborhood was not mentioned. The marker honored both the Brothers’ Spring and the African School, which were adjacent to each other, near where the Alder’s Point Apartments are currently located. Both were lost to development years ago. I came out to honor and remember the African School. The Brother’s Spring was a source of water, a campsite and place of recreation for early Moravian settlers in Salem.

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Though Happy Hill Has Been Marginalized, It Remains Historically Important

Last Saturday Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf visited Winston-Salem. According to the Winston-Salem Journal this was the first time in Mayor Joines fifteen years in office that a foreign head of state visited Winston. In recent years presidents Bush and Obama have made frequent trips to Winston. Presidents have visited our modest sized city fairly consistently since George Washington visited Salem during his southern tour. But I don’t remember any of them visiting any of Winston’s black neighborhoods.

HOPE VI Demolished Happy Hill

“They took one of the old notorious housing projects, and they leveled it and rebuilt it as “Mixed Income Housing”. It’s called “Hope Six,” and it’s supposed to… sort of rejuvenate everything. It certainly looks a lot better.”           -Paul Schwartzman

 

British rock veteran P.J. Harvey recently released her new album titled, The HOPE 6 Demolition Project. Harvey traveled to war-torn Afghanistan, Kosovo and Washington D.C. to find material for the Hope Six Demolition Project.

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The Highway That Divides Winston

Updated 3/6/2019

A couple of days ago I stumbled upon a 2011 master’s thesis online that is must reading for anyone in Winston that cares about fighting racism. Reynoldstown: Race, Blight, Disease, Highway Construction and the Transformation of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, by Shane Cruise is a revelation. Through exhaustive research into the city council’s records, the Winston-Salem Journal’s pages, as well as mining Robert Korstad’s work on Local 22, and conducting interviews, Shane Cruise has done a service to Winston-Salem. Reynoldstown: Race, Blight, Disease, Highway Construction and the Transformation of Winston-Salem, North Carolina highlights the role “blight” played in justifying Urban Renewal. Many white citizens favored Urban Renewal in the 1950s, not out of concern for the squalor that many African Americans were condemned to at that time, but because they feared diseases born in neighborhoods like The Pond and Monkey Bottom could spread to white neighborhoods such as Ardmore and Buena Vista.

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Remembering Dr. Tim Monroe

Monday, the Winston-Salem Journal published a front-page story on the retiring director of the Forsyth County Department of Public Health. I’m not familiar with Marlon Hunter. His name was seldom in the paper. By contrast, Dr. Tim Monroe, Hunter’s predecessor, was a public figure who didn’t shy away from controversy. Wesley Young’s piece introducing Mr. Hunter to the Journal’s readers provides some insight into the differences between Marlon Hunter, and Tim Monroe approaches to running a public health department.

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Charlottesville: Fascist Thugs Will Assault Black Folks In The Streets, But White Liberals Will Take House And Home

This weekend is the one-year anniversary of Battle of Charlottesville. Everyone reading this article remembers the events of last August in Charlottesville; a college town that will forever be associated with Thomas Jefferson, like Winston-Salem will always be associated with R.J. Reynolds. Gun-toting nazis and fascist white supremacists of various stripes in the streets of Charlottesville were a reminder of how relatively little progress our country has made combatting racism. America is still a violent and racist nation. God bless the Antifa activists that confronted the fascists.

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Lake Park Is Part Of An Ocean Of Failed Projects In East Winston

Last week the Winston-Salem City Council forgave a $167,500 loan to Lake Park Develpment, Inc. Lake Park Development, Inc. is owned by media/real estate mogul, Jose Isasi. Mr. Isasi’s has been the recipient of generous city subsidies in the past. But for now, let’s focus on Lake Park. Lake Park is a nice subdivision, that was built in the 1990s onto an existing neighborhood off of Waterworks Road. It’s an upper-middle-class subdivision that would not be out-of-place in Clemmons or even Lewisville.

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Winston’s Seven Most Important News Events Of 2017

 

1. Bus route change chaos

The 2017 news cycle started in earnest when the Winston-Salem Transit Authority completely overhauled its bus routes. Months of preparations took place and many community meetings were held. But obviously, the implementation of WSTA’s new bus routes was a massive failure. The new routes went into effect January 2.

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