Winston-Salem Makes PBS NewsHour A Week After David Brooks’ Visit

Friday’s edition of the PBS NewsHour featured a piece on Tinariwen’s concert at The Ramkat back in September. It was a nice seven-minute and twenty-second segment that the NewsHour is using as holiday filler. It’s interesting to see our city through the national media’s lense, if only for a brief moment. The NewsHour interviewed a Wake Forest student outside of Camino Bakery on Fourth Street. The Ramkat got some good exposure.

HAWS’ CEO Larry Woods Is Retiring

Larry Woods officially announced his retirement yesterday at the Winston-Salem Housing Authority’s monthly meeting on the third floor of the Loewy Building. Woods fought back tears as he accepted a plaque from HAWS’ Board Chair, Arthur King. Larry Woods has been the Chief Executive Officer of HAWS since December 2006. His retirement has been long rumored. A replacement for Woods is expected to be named soon.

Crystal Towers Residents Want The City To Address The Sixth Street Freeway In Front Of Their Building

There wasn’t a lot on the Public Safety Committee’s agenda last night. After going through a list of routine items, there was time available for the residents of Crystal Towers to speak. Three residents of Crystal Towers took to the people’s microphone last night and asked the City to address unsafe intersections at and around Crystal Towers. Shockingly, there aren’t adequate safety measures in place at Sixth and Polar,  in front of Crystal Towers. The 200-unit, 100 percent disability building, should have one of the safest intersections in the city at its doorstep.

The People’s Business: December 9, 2019

Monday

Finance Committee meeting: 4:30 p.m. 2nd Monday of every month, City Hall
101 N Main Street, Room 239. Finance Committee Agenda-December 9, 2019

Public Safety Committee meeting: 6 p.m. 2nd Monday of every month, City Hall
101 N Main Street, Room 239. Public Safety Agenda-December 9, 2019

Tuesday

Community Development, Housing & General Government Committee
meetings: 4:30 p.m., 2nd Tuesday of every month, City Hall 101 N Main Street,
Room 239. General Government Agenda-December 10, 2019

Public Works Committee meeting: Canceled at the request of the Public Works Chair, Dan Besse

For additional information, visit the City’s website: https://www.cityofws.org/calendar.aspx

Forsyth County Commissioners Commit To Do Their Very Least To Combat Climate Change

The Forsyth County Commissioners, to their credit, approved a resolution stating Forsyth County’s intention of moving toward a complete transition to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050, 5-1. The resolution is non-binding; it has no teeth. A 2030 climate action resolution was discussed before the Commissioners moved the goalposts back to 2050. 

“Winston-Salem’s always been at the forefront,” an activist stated during public comments. Unfortunately, Winston-Salem, through its parent corporation, R.J. Reynolds, has been at the forefront of supporting Republican climate change deniers and climate denial organizations like ALEC. Climate denial itself can be traced back to Big Tobacco.

More Art Over The Highways That Divide Winston-Salem

The local media just announced that the Green Street bridge arches are in the process of going up. I noticed that the arches were about to be installed last week. When the Green Street pedestrian bridge is finished, it will be visually striking. It’s the latest phase of Creative Corridors’ work to adorn Highway 52 and Salem Parkway (Business 40’s new name) with some art and innovation. Creative Corridors, you will remember, completed the Twin Arches over US 52 in November 2016.

700 Words On Crossnore And Climate Change

The City Council debated giving the Piedmont Land Conservancy $200,000 to help them buy an easement to protect Crossnore/Children’s Home’s land from development for weeks. During committee meetings and two meetings of the full City Council, the question was, should the City help fund a land conservation project, or would tax dollars be better spent maintaining parks throughout the city? But none of the eight members of the City Council or Mayor Joines mentioned climate change during the Crossnore land conservation debate. Our local paper hasn’t done any better. The Journal didn’t mention climate change in the plethora of articles it published on the subject.

The Housing Authority Claims That They Must Sell Crystal Towers, But Their Documents Tell A Different Story

In August 2018, the Winston-Salem Housing Authority put Crystal Towers up for sale. Last summer, the Journal reported that the Arden Group (car dealers turned real estate developers) made an offer to purchase Crystal. Yet, Crystal Towers is not a downtown redevelopment story. Selling Crystal Towers, removing 200 poor and elderly (majority POC) residents from downtown to god-knows-where is GENTRIFICATION! If you don’t believe me, ask Councilmember Jeff MacIntosh.

WS/FC School System’s Proposed Location For A New Brunson Is Actually Closer To Ashley Academy

Late Sunday night, I stumbled upon a friend’s Facebook post. She shared that the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System has found a potential site for a new Brunson Elementary. Sometimes a friend reports news that our paper of record fails to deliver. If the proposed location is approved, the former Thomasville Furniture factory at 1245 Ivey Avenue (and adjoining properties) will one day produce kids reading at or above grade level. The Thomasville Furniture site on post-industrial hill will be presented at Tuesday afternoon’s Building and Grounds Committee meeting, then discussed at the full school board meeting later that evening.

Most Of Winston-Salem’s Power Players Are Connected To Wake Forest

Recently the Triad Business Journal released its 2019 Triad Power Players list. These are the women and men who get projects in the Piedmont done-often for their own benefit and the benefit of others like them. Some members of the Business Journal’s Triad Power Players, such as High Point University President, Nido Qubein, hold high profile positions. Other members of the Business Journal’s elite list, such as Ben Sutton Jr., fly below the radar unless he’s writing an eight-figure check to his alma mater. It’s interesting how the majority of the members of the Triad’s business class and their non-profit, academic, and government allies operate exclusively in one city or another, but almost never in all three of the Triad’s cities.