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.
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.
Monday’s city council meeting was brief. In just over an hour the Winston-Salem City Council meeting ended. That’s the Allen Joines’ machine at work. Little debate, no contentious arguments, and no public comment-except where prescribed by law! That’s what rule by the rich looks like in Winston! The principal topic before the council Monday was a zoning petition in Ardmore.
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.
Martin Luther King Day is a curious holiday in the United States. We give Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a day, yet ignore Dr. King the other 364 days of the year. What if we celebrated Christmas the same way that we celebrate Martin Luther King Day? Only a fool would unwrap their gifts, enjoy them for one short day, then box them up until next Christmas. But that is how we celebrate Martin Luther King Day. We need Dr. King each and every day of the year.
On Tuesday, the Winston-Salem Journal showered praise on local government leaders for their development of the Enclave apartments off Shattalon Drive. The Chronicle ran a similar article on the Enclave apartments days earlier. The implication of these articles is obvious. (But admittedly, I didn’t realize it until a friend on facebook pointed it out to me.) The article isn’t just about the Enclave, it’s a message to the Boston-Thurmond community. The Journal and Chronicle would like the residents of Boston-Thurmond to stop worrying and learn to love Wake Forest’s proposed redevelopment of their neighborhood and the gentrification that will surely follow.
It’s Thanksgiving, a uniquely American holiday. For all the reasons to hate Thanksgiving, I still love it. I know that our nation’s genocide of Native Americans is nothing to celebrate. But Thanksgiving with all its baggage is a time to gather with family and friends. It’s a time to be thankful for the things that we have, even as we actively covet Christmas gifts that we don’t need.
Saturday night at the Garage, the Vagabond Saints’ Society played two hours worth of the Velvet Underground’s greatest hits. As usual, the Vagabond Saints’ Society put on a great show, which will surely be memorialized in the Garage’s hallway of posters. The Velvet Underground were a very influential rock band, ahead of their time. They were only fully appreciated years after the band broke up. But the Velvet Underground and other New York bands of the late 1960s and 1970s that followed them might have never existed if it weren’t for cheap rents.
This afternoon a local historic marker commemorating the 14th Street School was unveiled at 1215 N. Cameron Ave. It’s a warm September day, perfect weather for such a happy occasion. The 14th Street School produced many proud graduates that went on to do many fine things in the community and beyond. Honoring the 14th School is in the same tradition as honoring the African School at Happy Hill, which was honored in May of this year. Both former schools demonstrate the value that Winston’s African American communities have historically placed on education.
Monday night’s meeting of the City Council wasn’t too contentious. The two issues that drew the most debate were rules and regulations on accessory dwellings and the rezoning of a property on Fourth Street, near Peters Creek Parkway.Winston’s tiny house policies. I personally am more concerned with issues of development and gentrification. Winston’s accessory dwelling/tiny house policies have received the most coverage from local media. I think Councilmember Clark’s comments on accessory dwellings/tiny houses were insightful.