Local Real Estate Is So White…

Our local paper has been pretty thin recently. When the COVID-19 crisis first began the Journal admirably stepped up and churned out some excellent content. Since then, they’ve been publishing mostly banal human interest stories. Rumor is, Lee Enterprises has been furloughing employees at the Journal. Searching the Journal’s pages recently, I stumbled upon an illuminating ad from Leonard, Ryden, Burr.

City Of Winston-Salem Doles Out COVID-19 Grants

Monday, the City of Winston-Salem issued a press release summarizing the COVID-19 Fund grants that our tax dollars were being spent on. The City also released a video of the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee meeting. The Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee fell short of the six reasonable demands that my comrades at Housing Justice made last month. I was struck by the emphasis that was put on addressing food insecurity and the lack of attention on housing insecurity. As Wesley Young pointed out in the Journal, the largest single grant, of $100,000, went to the Forsyth Backpack Program.

Wake Forest University Pays Coach Danny Manning To Take His Ball And Go Home

Wake Forest men’s basketball coach, Danny Manning, has finally been sacked! Manning, a Greensboro native, failed to win games during his stint in Winston-Salem. Manning had a below 500 ACC record in five of his six seasons at Wake. His biggest win was an upset of Duke earlier this year. His most embarrassing loss was a stunning home loss to Houston Baptist in 2018.

Corruption Often Starts At Home: The Purchase Of Richard Burr’s Winston-Salem Home Is Every Bit As Morally Suspect As The Sale Of Burr’s D.C. Townhouse

The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee got caught doing something very dumb a few weeks ago. In an attempt to save his financial assets, Senator Richard Burr destroyed his reputation. After selling his stocks shortly before COVID-19 ravaged the stock market, in what appears to be a clear case of insider trading, the press has been all over Senator Burr and rightfully so. In addition to being accused of insider trading, one of Burr’s real estate transactions has come into question. It’s time to question another one of Richard Burr’s real estate deals.

COVID-19 Update: Bus Riders Will Get Fare-Free Service, The Homeless Might Get Hotel Rooms…

Mayor and Winston-Salem Alliance leader, Allen Joines, just announced that he will extend his Emergency Stay At Home Order for three additional weeks. The previous emergency order ran through Thursday, April 16. The new emergency order runs until May 7. Joines also announced that some federal funds were beginning to trickle down to the city. Specifically, $1.3 million in Community Block Grants and $660,00 to help the homeless “in a temporary situation.”

A Vacant Storefront On North Liberty Tells A Story

For the last couple of weeks, I have been taking photos of the Liberty Street Corridor, while practicing social distancing. Only a five-minute drive from downtown, it’s a world away. While downtown Winston has received over $1 billion in public and private investments over the last couple of decades, the Liberty Street Corridor has received empty promises and ill-conceived projects, such as the Liberty Street Market. If any neighborhood in our city needs a bailout, it’s the North Liberty Street/Fourteenth Street neighborhood. Actually, the Black residents of the Liberty Corridor deserve reparations.

Happy Birthday, Winston-Salem Journal!

Happy Birthday, Winston-Salem Journal and all the best to its reporters who are out covering stories during a pandemic. That being said, I would like to wish a plague on Berkshire Hathaway for not investing in the Journal, despite having the financial resources to do so. Warren Buffett lied when he said that he loved newspapers and valued them as important community resources. Berkshire Hathaway recently “sold” the W-S Journal and many other newspapers to Lee Enterprises, a cost-cutting corporate outfit that doesn’t inspire confidence in the paper’s future. The city’s newspaper of record officially turns 123 years old today.

The Housing Authority Of Winston-Salem’s Modest Coronavirus Prevention Measures Don’t Inspire Confidence

The Winston-Salem Journal just posted an update on the measures the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem is taking to safeguard Crystal Towers and its other public housing facilities from the spread of Coronavirus. Earlier this week, WFDD reported that HAWS had taken a few steps to address the threat of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 at Crystal Towers. Winstonwatchman.com reported earlier this month that the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem (HAWS) wasn’t taking preventive measures to protect elderly and disabled residents at Crystal Towers. At HAWS’ last monthly meeting (shortly before such meetings were canceled), Executive Director, Kevin Cheshire appeared more concerned with the health and safety of his staff, than HAWS’ tenants. The deadly spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 throughout the country has shed light on just how weak our public institutions are.

East Lake Meadows: PBS Does Public Housing

“Public housing has always been both a financial proposition and a moral one. About finding not just need, somehow but measuring worth. How do we begin to sort out which of the many people who could be assisted, both need it, and somehow deserve it? It becomes a window into race relations, it’s a window into understanding the role of homeownership in society,  and it’s a way of understanding the level of compassion there is for those who do need some assistance.” 

-Lawrence Vale

“We are not mature enough as a society to look in the mirror and see how we manufactured American poverty, how we manufactured housing that was meant to seclude these poor people. And how we turned a blind eye to creating a middle-class while simultaneously excluding people from it.”

On Halting Evictions, “We Have Legal Obligations, At The Same Time We Have Moral Compasses”

Good things happen to those who demand them. Monday, Dan Rose and Phillip Carter of Housing Justice Now held a press conference calling for “an immediate halt to all eviction and foreclosure proceedings, and to ask city officials to contribute $500,000 for emergency relief during the pandemic.” They then took to social media to get the word out. HJN Winston-Salem also spoke directly to Sheriff Kimbrough and other stakeholders about halting local evictions already in the pipeline. Hopefully, the tireless efforts of Housing Justice Now will keep residents in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County from being evicted this week and lead to a statewide eviction moratorium.