What Should Be Done To Aid East Winston?

On February 1, the five candidates running in the East Ward City Council race participated in a debate at the Delta Arts Center. I encourage folks to watch the entire debate at their leisure. The two-hour-long event got me thinking about what should be done to aid East Winston? East Winston has the highest poverty rates in the city and the lowest amount of financial resources. I don’t have any magic answers, and I admit that local solutions will be challenging to implement without support from the state and local government.

The East Winston Library: A Jim Crow-Era Time Capsule

“East Winston, how can I help you?” That’s how a young white woman at the Malloy/ Jordan Library answered the phone when I was there recently. The Malloy/Jordan Library was built in 1954, one year after the Central Library on Fifth Street was constructed. But its history dates back to February 1927 when the first library branch was opened in East Winston. Last year, the East Winston Library celebrated its 65th anniversary. Recent upgrades to the Malloy/Jordan or East Winston Library have brought it into the 21st century, but there simply isn’t enough space for patrons at the East Winston Library.

Fries Memorial Moravian Raises Funds To Provide Piedmont Circle New Playground Equipment

Saturday evening, local law enforcement and politicians-Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough chief among them hosted a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at Fries Memorial Moravian Church. Their goal was to raise $15,000 to upgrade Piedmont Circle’s pathetic playground. According to WXII, they exceeded their goal by $3,000. Eighteen thousand dollars for new playground equipment at Piedmont Circle is a wonderful thing. I commend the diverse group of folks who came together to make this happen.

HAWS Promotes Kevin Cheshire And Looks To Facilitate Sale Of The Skyline Village Apartments

Yesterday, the Winston-Salem Housing Authority named Kevin Cheshire its new executive director. Kevin Cheshire previously served as the Vice President of Real Estate Development and General Counsel at HAWS, where he has been employed since 2013. He replaced Larry Woods, who retired at the end of December. Cheshire told the Journal’s Wesley Young that “the mission of HAWS stays the same: To help individuals move in, up and out of assisted housing.”

Our local housing authority has a shameful history of evicting tenants “out of assisted housing.” Kevin Cheshire is the first white leader of the Winston-Salem Housing Authority in decades.

Marshall Bass’s Autobiography Chronicles Workplace Racism And Housing Racism That Has Led To Winston’s Wealth Gap

Decorated Army veteran, corporate manager, and local philanthropist Marshall Bass died in late November. Services for Bass were held this week at Russell Funeral Home and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Marshall Bass’s life might not be well known to the average person in Winston, Black or white. Sadly, our local media are more interested in a new boutique donut shop than remembering a local trailblazer.  Marshall Bass lived a remarkable life that’s worth remembering.

Ashley Gets Land, But The Neighborhood Gets Blamed For Inaction

Monday afternoon, the City Council’s Finance Committee unanimously approved selling City property in the area of New Hope Lane and East Twenty-First Street to the WS/FC Schools, to be used for a new Ashley Elementary. The full City Council will vote on the matter next Monday. Finally, local officials are moving to acquire land for a school that desperately needs replacing. Eunice Campbell and other activists that spoke before the City Council last month deserve a lot of credit for getting the City and WS/FC Schools to strike a deal. The lots in question were optioned to the Housing Authority in 2005.

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.

Union Station Cheat Sheet

The City of Winston-Salem describes the soon-to-open Union Station as a “inter-modal transportation facility” that will serve “as a regional and local bus terminal and later expanding to include regional and long-distance passenger rail service.” When the City took Union Station from Harvey Davis, via eminent domain they were mandated to use Union Station for public transportation. Thus, Union Station will be a bus station for the foreseeable future and perhaps one day a train station. But not any time soon. Though Council Members have assured us that Union Station won’t replace Clark Campbell, that’s cleary what some downtown leaders desire.

Radical Innovation: Using Churches In Winston To Fund Food Co-ops?

Greater Cleveland Avenue Christian Church lost its campus on Lansing Drive over a month ago. You may or not believe in God. But no one can doubt the power of compound interest. Greater Cleveland was in a hell of a lot of debt, and the miracle that their bishop was waiting for never materialized. I’ve been thinking about the significance of a Black congregation having to hand over keys to a bank and walk away from a property that they put millions into.

A Slice Of Incompetence From The City And Atkins CDC

This week’s Winston-Salem City Council meeting doesn’t have much on the agenda. It’s the calm zoning meeting before the City’s new budget is debated and adopted over the next two weeks. So here’s a rewind of what transpired at the May 28th meeting of the W-S City Council, specifically Elizabeth’s Pizza pulling out of its Union Station lease with the City and Atkins CDC. The purpose of winstonwatchman.com is not to critique local Black businesses or community development organizations. And for the record, I’m neither for or against pizza parlors.