Disunion Station

“Union Station is a project without a purpose.” -Robert Clark

Winston’s Union Station closed in 1970. After decades operating as Davis Garage, and years spent acquiring and rehabilitating the property, Union Station is finally open to the public. After spending a mere $20 million on the project, the City of Winston-Salem now owns a marvelous, historic building. But what exactly the City is going to do with Union Station is still anyone’s guess. Sadly, after yesterday’s grand opening, the building closed and won’t be open to the public for a while longer.

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The Winston-Salem City Council’s Dixie Debate Word-For-Word

Monday night’s Winston-Salem City Council meeting was one for the history books. The resolution to rename the Dixie Classic Fair passed by a 4-2 margin, with one abstention, effectively the resolution passed 5-2. Denise Adams, Dan Besse, Vivian Burke, and Annette Scippio voted yes. John Larson and Jeff MacIntosh voted no. And James Taylor, who was the first politician to suggest that the Dixie Classic Fair’s name should be changed in 2015, abstained.

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One Morning In Court…

Monday I went to court to support a friend who was recently issued a citation for panhandling. It was interesting to see how justice is made in the basement of the Forsyth County Hall of Justice. Once the courtroom doors opened at 9:00 am, defendants flooded in. The gallery was comprised of average looking joes and janes, disproportionately low-income and people of color. I didn’t see anyone in the crowd that looked like they had money.

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Has Winston-Salem’s Confederate Statue Hit A Snag On Its Way To Salem Cemetery?

Monday, the City Council will vote on whether or not to change the name of the Dixie Classic Fair. The second-largest fair in the state has had many names over the years. It’s been known as the Dixie Classic Fair since 1956. I’m all for changing the name. The name “Dixie” was a reaction to desegregation efforts.

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Aggressive Panhandling Or Aggressive Policing?

Earlier this week the City of Winston-Salem held its monthly Public Safety News Conference. Chief Catrina A. Thompson announced when and where the WSPD’s backpack program and Cookies With A Cop events would be held. Assistant Chief, Wilson Weaver II announced that this year’s Dixie Classic Fair would have added security measures: bag checks and electronic scanners, to deter weapons from coming into the fairgrounds. Weaver ended his comments by asking the City’s residents to “please continue to attend our events and have fun. We will be there to keep you safe.”

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Breaking Crystal: What We’ve Learned In The Year Since HAWS Announced Plans To Sell Crystal Towers

It was one year ago to the day that the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem (HAWS) announced that it was putting Crystal Towers up for sale. The 11-story high-rise located at 625 West Sixth Street in downtown Winston-Salem, opened in 1970 and is home to approximately 200 residents.* According to Heather Fearnbach, the woman who wrote the book on Winston’s architectural heritage, Crystal Towers was the city’s first high-rise dwelling erected since the late 1920s. Crystal Towers, (along with its sister high-rise, Sunrise Towers) was designed to serve as housing for the elderly. Today, one hundred percent of Crystal Towers’ residents are elderly and or people with disabilities. These are the last folks that the Housing Authority should be evicting.

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The People’s Business: August 12, 2019

The Winston-Salem City Council will be back in their old form this week. After taking July off, the Council eased their way back last Monday, with a City Council meeting that lasted a mere 16 minutes. With a full slate of committee meetings this week, the Council is back in business. The murder of Julius Sampson continues to be the topic that’s on everyone’s mind. The Mayor held a press conference this morning to address concerns regarding the case.

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Remember Darryl Hunt: Keep Fighting To Overturn Wrongful Convictions

Despite the fact that Darryl Hunt is an internationally known advocate for justice, there are no memorials in Winston honoring Darryl Eugene Hunt. You won’t find his name on Winston’s new Walk of Fame or his image on any mural. The last substantive piece written on Hunt didn’t exactly do Hunt any favors; it examined his death through the lens of addiction and in some ways tainted his legacy. Winston seems content to allow Hunt to fade from popular memory because so many of the city’s ills are present in the hell that Darryl Hunt endured. When the City christened the Lawrance Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in 1989, it was supposed to be an example of racial progress in the city.

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Coverage Of Julius Sampson’s Murder Raises The Question: When Should The Media Use The Term Racism?

Tuesday’s fatal shooting at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, outside of Hanes Mall, was a senseless act of violence. Because a young white man pulled a trigger, three children are without their father and a wife without her husband. In the wake of mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, the shooting on Hanes Mall Circle reinforces what we already knew; gun possession leads to gun violence. No space in our nation is safe until gun control laws are passed. The Journal reported that nearly 150 people gathered in the parking lot of BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse yesterday to remember Julius “Juice” Sampson, a beloved member of the community.

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