Winston’s Seven Most Important News Events Of 2017

 

1. Bus route change chaos

The 2017 news cycle started in earnest when the Winston-Salem Transit Authority completely overhauled its bus routes. Months of preparations took place and many community meetings were held. But obviously, the implementation of WSTA’s new bus routes was a massive failure.

The new routes went into effect January 2. Immediately there was a community uproar. The new routes disrupted the lives of the city’s bus riders. They had to walk greater distances to … Read the rest

Boston-Thurmond Development Can’t Proceed Without A Non-Displacement Guarantee

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.

This Thanksgiving I’m thankful that Boston-Thurmond residents are resisting Wake Forest’s new Read the rest

New Zesto Planned For East Winston Isn’t Much To Get Excited About

“Made-to-order char-grilled burgers, premium ice cream and new jobs  will be coming to New Walkertown Road.”

-Councilmember Derwin Montgomery

 

The property on New Walkertown Road that was home to a Church’s Chicken for many years has a new owner. Goler Community Development Corporation’s spinoff now owns the property and building. After Goler CDC and its partners rehab the building, it will be reopened as a Zesto franchise.

The Winston-Salem Chronicle reported on Goler’s acquisition of the former Church’s Chicken … Read the rest

Fourth Street Neighborhood Development Is Rejected Again-But Threat Of Gentrification Remains

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. Clark said, “I think … Read the rest

Winston-Salem Is Betting On Herbalife

Happy Labor Day Winston-Salem! Today as you’re enjoying the last hurrah of summer, take a few moments to remember that today is Labor Day.

America has traditionally been a country that is hostile to the interests of laborers. That’s why in this country Labor Day is the first Monday in September instead of May 1, like everywhere else.

Good jobs are hard to find these days. Financialization, mechanization, computers/Artificial Intelligence and old fashion corporate greed have made life difficult for … Read the rest

Winston-Salem City Council Meeting, August 7, 2017: Notes And Commentary

Monday’s meeting of the Winston-Salem City Council wasn’t too eventful. After taking the month of July off the city council eased back into session with a relatively light agenda. A few zoning requests were heard, several appointments/reappointments were made to various city government committees, but no public comments were heard.

Waughtown Cemetery received approval to rezone some property it had recently purchased adjacent to its existing property. The Gallery Lofts apartments received approval from the council to expand downtown without … Read the rest

More Ballpark Development Delays

Scott Sexton just reported that the former Royal Inn on Broad and Green Streets is again up for sale. The redevelopment of the Royal Inn has stalled. The much hyped Brookstown District at BB&T Ballpark has also stalled, though Winston’s newspaper of record has failed to report on that.

It looks like development around BB&T Ballpark will have to wait until after Business 40 is transformed into Salem Parkway. That means 2020 at the earliest. This is another … Read the rest

Time For The City Of Winston-Salem To Disclose Who It Banks With

During the Winston-Salem City Council’s May Finance Committee meeting a simple but important exchange occurred. It lasted just a couple of minutes and its significance went largely unnoticed by the local media. I should have written about it at the time.

Mayor Pro Tempore, Vivian Burke asked Lisa Saunders, the city’s finance director something that we all deserve to know the answer to. After Saunders finished describing the various details of the city’s General Obligation Bonds, Burke asked her “who … Read the rest

Resentment Over Downtown Incentives Led To Contentious Trans-AID Debate

Monday’s marathon city council meeting was eventful. In a little under 3 hours, the Winston-Salem City Council passed its $482.4 million 2017-2018 budget by the thinnest of margins, 4-3 (Council Member Adams was absent). The highlights of the budget include; a marginal tax increase and higher pay for police and firefighters as well as other city employees.

Winston pays its police and fire department and other government workers less than comparable cities in North Carolina. It had no choice but … Read the rest

West Salem Can Handle A Syringe Exchange

Last Monday’s Winston-Salem City Council meeting was pretty uneventful. I’m still focused on the city council’s syringe exchange zoning debate. Every day there seems to be another headline that reminds us that we’re witnessing an opioid epidemic. Yet, for some reason, the city council continues to hassle the city’s only syringe exchange.

Earlier this week, The Journal reported that Forsyth County saw the largest increase in opioid-related deaths in North Carolina’s urban counties between 2005 and 2015. Forsyth County saw … Read the rest