Recent Stories

Remembering The Old Winston-Salem Radar Station

Union Cross Park is a nice park. It has a walking/jogging path, softball fields, as well as tennis courts and a basketball court. It has a picnic shelter for community get-togethers and a playground for kids.

Everyone knows that Union Cross Park was a former radar base, but few know much about the specifics of the old radar base.

Union Cross Park should have an educational element to it. It’s strange to have a park on a decommissioned military base … Read the rest

Cheap Rents Are Needed For Artists And Workers To Thrive

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 … Read the rest

Remembering The Winston-Salem Black Panther Party Chapter

Fifty-one years ago this week the Black Panther Party was formed in Oakland California by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. The Panthers have experienced a new appreciation in recent years, with numerous articles, books, and documentaries praising their activism in the late sixties and early seventies.

The Black Panthers were a radical resistance movement that opposed police oppression and economic exploitation in Black communities. Where the civil rights era’s leaders came primarily from church pulpits, the leaders of … Read the rest

Downtown Winston-Salem Moves East-East End Plan Presented

Yesterday evening local residents gathered at First Calvary Baptist Church to learn about a massive development project, just east of the Innovation Quarter. The ambitious new project would completely reinvent roughly 170 acres between Highway 52, Business 40, and Martin Luther King Blvd.

The East End Plan presentation was very interesting. Ayers Saint Gross-a design firm out of Baltimore presented a myriad of ideas for what the East End of Winston could become.

East End is a new term … Read the rest

Winston-Salem Socialists, A Nice Addition To Pride W-S 2017

Pride Winston-Salem keeps growing bigger and bigger each year. What once seemed taboo, has become widely accepted in our midsized, southern town. Each autumn, more businesses, and organizations march in the Pride Winston-Salem Parade.

One newcomer to this year’s Pride Winston-Salem Parade was the Winston-Salem Socialists. The city’s local chapter of the ISO might not be very well-known to Winston’s LGBTQ Community. But they should be.

The Winston-Salem ISO earned their place in Winston’s Pride Parade when they publicly … Read the rest

Pride Winston-Salem 2017, Beware Of Corporations That Appear To Be Allies

Despite the overcast weather Saturday, Downtown Winston was filled with the bright, rainbow colors of Pride Winston-Salem. Winston’s annual Pride weekend continues to grow bigger and bigger each year.

Even though it’s a very commercial event sponsored by car salesmen, bankers and the like, attending Pride Winston-Salem is still a political action affirming the humanity of the LGBTQ Community. As long as there is still a vocal, hate-spewing, anti-LGBTQ minority, it will be important for gays and straight allies to … Read the rest

The Coming N.C. 5th District Bowl

Saturday’s college football game between Wake Forest and Appalachian State rekindled a rivalry that had been dormant for years. Wake Forest was lucky to leave Boone with a narrow 20-19 victory.

When residents of the 5th District vote in November of 2018, it will be a chance for Winston-Salem to retake the 5th from Watauga County’s Virginia Foxx.

It will be a chance for moderates and progressives to reject Foxx and her politics of hate and division.

Prior to Foxx … Read the rest

Urban Street Church: A Symbol Of Winston’s Neglected Urban Core

I drive by the old Urban Street Baptist Church, at 2315 Urban Street from time to time. It holds some sentimental importance to me. I attended church there when I was a kid in the early to mid-1980s.

The physical building and the neighborhood around it have both deteriorated over the decades. Recently, the City of Winston-Salem boarded up the place after vandals knocked out many of the church’s windows and open a couple of its doors. Probably so that … Read the rest

A Spirited Historical Marker Ceremony At The Former 14th Street School

Saturday, I went to the 14th Street School historical marker and an East Winston pep-rally broke out. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many folks turned out, approximately 50 people, possibly more.

That’s a stronger turnout than these type of ceremonies typically get in Winston. The vast majority of the crowd were wearing red, white, and blue t-shirts signifying that they were former students at the 14th Street School. There were a lot of old friends in the audience.… Read the rest

Winston-Salem Honors Another Historical Site That It Failed To Preserve

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 … Read the rest

The Coming N.C. 5th District Bowl

Saturday’s college football game between Wake Forest and Appalachian State rekindled a rivalry that had been dormant for years. Wake Forest was lucky to leave Boone with a narrow 20-19 victory.

When residents of the 5th District vote in November of 2018, it will be a chance for Winston-Salem to retake the 5th from Watauga County’s Virginia Foxx.

It will be a chance for moderates and progressives to reject Foxx and her politics of hate and division.

Prior to Foxx … Read the rest

Urban Street Church: A Symbol Of Winston’s Neglected Urban Core

I drive by the old Urban Street Baptist Church, at 2315 Urban Street from time to time. It holds some sentimental importance to me. I attended church there when I was a kid in the early to mid-1980s.

The physical building and the neighborhood around it have both deteriorated over the decades. Recently, the City of Winston-Salem boarded up the place after vandals knocked out many of the church’s windows and open a couple of its doors. Probably so that … Read the rest

A Spirited Historical Marker Ceremony At The Former 14th Street School

Saturday, I went to the 14th Street School historical marker and an East Winston pep-rally broke out. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many folks turned out, approximately 50 people, possibly more.

That’s a stronger turnout than these type of ceremonies typically get in Winston. The vast majority of the crowd were wearing red, white, and blue t-shirts signifying that they were former students at the 14th Street School. There were a lot of old friends in the audience.… Read the rest

Winston-Salem Honors Another Historical Site That It Failed To Preserve

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 … Read the rest

The Camel City Dispatch If Not Already Dead, Appears To Be Mortally Wounded

The Twin City Sentinal ended its run as an independent newspaper when it merged with the Journal in 1985. It’s hard to say exactly when the Camel City Dispatch died. Was it this year or the year before? But there is little doubt that CCD is dead.

Camel City Dispatch is a local journalism project that came to Winston’s mobile devices, tablets, and PCs in 2012. The ambitious upstart website was determined to challenge the Winston-Salem Journal. After a good … 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

New Central Library Is Impressive, The Same Can’t Be Said About The Forsyth County Commissioners

August 31 was a historic day in Winston. For decades it will be remembered as the day that the Central Library reopened. But that doesn’t mean that we have to forget that it took the Forsyth County Commissioners nearly three years to construct the library that Winston-Salem and all of Forsyth County approved almost seven years ago.

The new Central Library is very impressive. It’s everything that the old Central Library wasn’t. It’s difficult to overstate what an upgrade the … Read the rest

At Long Last Winston-Salem Has A Central Library Again

Today, Winston-Salem’s new Central Library will finally open. It’s been a long and unreasonable wait. No tears will be shed for Winston-Salem’s old Central Library. Everyone remembers how bad that place was.

The old Central Library consisted of two buildings. The original one story building with a basement opened in 1953. A three story expansion was added to the original building in 1980. Today, only the 1980 expansion remains. It was stripped down to the frame and rebuilt into a … Read the rest

Kalvin Michael Smith Is Back In The Clutches Of The Forsyth County Injustice System

The Winston-Salem Journal’s Michael Hewlett reported earlier today that Kalvin Michael Smith was back behind bars. Smith turned himself into the authorities. He was charged with misdemeanor assault on a female and later released from the Forsyth County Jail on a $2,000 bond.

The news of Kalvin Michael Smith’s brush with the law has been difficult for this Smith supporter to grapple with. I don’t want to ignore the charge against him, but I think it’s heartbreaking that Smith is … 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

Not Much Going On In The Pages Of The Journal, Check Out This Interview of Gayle Anderson

The output of the city’s paper of record has been a little lackluster lately. After the ink dried on BAT’s acquisition of Reynolds a couple of weeks ago, the Journal has largely ignored issues of importance to residents in Winston-Salem. Instead, they have covered a high-profile murder case in Davidson County and other stories that just aren’t that relevant to Winston’s urban core.

To my dismay, Friday the Journal published a story on Craig Engels. Engles, an Olympic-hopeful runner from … Read the rest

When Will It Be Acceptable To Question Football?

Last week the New York Times published a report which found that 110 of the 111 brains of former NFL players studied by Dr. Ann McKee, a leading neuroscientist were found to have CTE. CTE is a rare brain disorder caused by repeated head trauma.

For years now a growing body of research has shown that shown that playing football can lead to long-term, negative health results. These studies are increasingly hard to ignore. The correlation between football, concussions, and … Read the rest

Reynolds Loses Independence, Winston Loses Its Historic Incubator

Yesterday the Winston-Salem Journal’s Richard Craver wrote a nice article on BAT’s purchase of Reynolds’ Tobacco. The corporation that was synonymous with Winston-Salem for so many decades is no longer an independent entity.

Today, thanks largely to the globalization and financialization of the Tobacco industry Winston and Salem cigarettes are made in Greensboro by ITG Brands). Camel and Newport cigarettes are made in Tobaccoville by R.J. Reynolds, now a subsidiary of BAT.

There haven’t been any cigarettes made … Read the rest