Most Of Winston-Salem’s Power Players Are Connected To Wake Forest

Recently the Triad Business Journal released its 2019 Triad Power Players list. These are the women and men who get projects in the Piedmont done-often for their own benefit and the benefit of others like them. Some members of the Business Journal’s Triad Power Players, such as High Point University President, Nido Qubein, hold high profile positions. Other members of the Business Journal’s elite list, such as Ben Sutton Jr., fly below the radar unless he’s writing an eight-figure check to his alma mater. It’s interesting how the majority of the members of the Triad’s business class and their non-profit, academic, and government allies operate exclusively in one city or another, but almost never in all three of the Triad’s cities.

Crystal Towers Resident Who Was Run Over In The Street Is Determined Not To Get Pushed Out Of Downtown Winston

Last month, a resident of Crystal Towers was hit by a car at the intersection of West Fifth and Spruce. When I learned about the accident on Twitter, I had a sneaking suspicion that I knew who the victim was. The Journal’s Allison Lee Isley’s photo of an empty wheelchair in front of an EMS vehicle confirmed my suspicions. The victim was, in fact, D.D. Watkins, a wheelchair-using friend of mine who was trying to get back to Crystal Towers on a Friday afternoon when an SUV ran her over. I spoke to D.D. while she was recovering at Wake Forest Baptist and again after she returned home to Crystal Towers.

Replacing Dixie Is A Conundrum For Winston-Salem’s City Council

At next Monday’s City Council meeting, the council will finally decide what the new name for the Dixie Classic Fair will be. Tuesday, the General Government Committee failed to reach consensus. They were split. Some council members preferred Carolina Classic Fair while others supported the Piedmont Classic Fair. Both names lack originality.

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.

Bernie Inspires At Bennett College

Bernie Sanders held a rally at Bennett College yesterday. But he didn’t come alone. Sanders brought “National Campaign Co-Chairs Sen. Nina Turner and Ben Cohen (of Ben & Jerry’s), and national surrogates rapper Killer Mike, activist Phillip Agnew, actor Danny Glover, and professors Dr. Cornel West and Dr. Adolph Reed.” The 800 seat capacity Annie Merner Pfeiffer Chapel was full beyond capacity. I stood with many others in the back of the chapel.

Climate Strike! Young And Old Gather At Five Points To Demand Climate Action

If the future of the planet depends on Richard Burr, we are all in trouble. North Carolina’s senior senator has been in D.C. for 25 years, first as a Congressman, then-Senator. In two and a half decades, Burr has done practically nothing to protect the people of North Carolina from rapacious corporate interests. Despite the long odds of getting Richard Burr to stand-up to the likes of Exxon, over 100 protestors (by the Journal’s count) gathered at Five Points Friday. We were part of a global Climate Strike, inspired by Greta Thunberg.

Wall Street Is Questioning Billy Prim, The People Of Winston Should Do The Same

The Journal recently reported that an activist investment firm is going after Billy Prim, Primo Water’s founder, and current Executive Chairman. Legion Partners LP of Beverly Hills is aggressively targeting the Yadkin County native and his chums on Primo’s board in a just-released, 11-page open letter. The “small-town entrepreneur [who] tackled Wall Street and came away with a $400 million deal” may get tackled by Wall Street this go-round. In the 11-page document, Legion Partners LP argues that Primo has underperformed under Prim. Legion expressed outrage that Prim stacked Primo’s board with his know-nothing friends from his former business, Blue Rhino.

“Think Orange” Month…Winston Applies A Band-aid To A Broken Arm

Thoughts and reports, that’s what the poor get from the City of Winston-Salem. Sure, the City distributes a great deal of money to local non-profits, that do some decent work addressing the immediate needs of the poor. But the City of Winston-Salem is by no means marshaling the resources at its disposal to address poverty in the Twin City. At the start of Monday’s City Council meeting, Mayor Joines proclaimed September,  “Think Orange Month” in Winston-Salem. The Mayor and W-S Alliance president first announced his “Think Orange” campaign in August 2018.

The People’s Business: Week of September 16, 2019


W-S City Council, 7:00 p.m. City Hall, Room 230, 101 N. Main Street. View/Download Agenda


WSFCS Board of Education, Curriculum Committee, 4:00 p.m. in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Education Building, Room 223, 4801 Bethania Station Rd. No agenda available


Forsyth County Commissioners, 2:00 p.m., Commissioners’ Meeting Room, located on the 5th Floor, Forsyth County Government Center, 201 North Chestnut Street. No agenda available

Breaking Crystal: HAWS Has Assets, Move HAWS And Save Crystal Towers!

“The Housing Authority of Winston-Salem is not your traditional housing authority. It’s the only one in the state that’s also a certified real estate firm. It’s a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers…” -Owen Covington, Triad Business Journal, Feb 18, 2011

Last August the Winston-Salem Housing Authority announced that it was putting Crystal  Towers on the market. Our local housing authority loves the market; HAWS hates public housing, they’re ‘innovative’ like that.

Hanes Park Celebrates Centennial, But Proposed Stadium Threatens It’s Next 100 Years

In football, there is a 100 percent chance of injury. Supporters of Hanes Park are legitimately concerned that a proposed new sports (football) stadium at Wiley Middle (spilling over to Hanes Park) will mortally injure one of Winston’s most cherished public parks. Located in the center of our city, Hanes Park is “the front yard of the West Highlands and West End neighborhoods.” Its central location makes it accessible to the entire city. That’s what P.H. Hanes had in mind 100 years ago when he gave it to the citizens of Winston-Salem.

Viceland’s The Devil You Know, Episode 1

Here’s a much-delayed review of Viceland’s The Devil You Know, Episode 1. It’s bullshit; well-crafted, hipster, true-crime bullshit. But, The Devil You Know entertains as it spins Pazuzu Algrad into a Charles Manson, complete with groupies. The truth is that Pazuzu Algrad was a severely mentally ill drug addict who rarely left his mother’s house. The Devil You Know took geographical license; blending images of Clemmons, Downtown Winston, East Winston and elsewhere into a concocted location that looks like everywhere else.

Recently Resigned School Board Member Makes For A Contentious WS/FCS Board Meeting

Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting was a tense one. Let’s hope that our new Superintendent, Dr. Angela P. Hairston isn’t tempted to move back to Georgia and beg for her old job back. Lori Goins Clark’s recent resignation dominated Dr. Hairston’s first BOE meeting. Goins Clark’s racist text to a fellow board member (and inadvertently to Dr. Simington-the object of the text) divided the board. Board Chair, Malishai Woodbury was ready to move on and let the County’s attorneys handle the matter.

The People’s Business: Week of September 9, 2019


W-S City Council, Finance Committee: 4:30 p.m. in the Committee Room, City Hall, Room 239, 101 N. Main Street. View/Download Agenda

W-S City Council, Public Safety: 6:00 p.m. in the Committee Room, City Hall, Room 239, 101 N. Main Street. View/Download Agenda


W-S City Council, Community Development/Housing/General Gov. Committee, 4:30 p.m. in the Committee Room, City Hall, Room 239, 101 N. Main Street. View/Download Agenda

W-S City Council, Public Works Committee, 6:00 p.m. in the Committee Room, City Hall, Room 239, 101 N. Main Street. View/Download Agenda

WSFCS Board of Education, 6:30 p.m. in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Education Building, 4801 Bethania Station Rd.

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.