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.

A Six Month Sentence Shouldn’t End In Death By Medical Neglect

Thursday, around a dozen protestors, gathered in front of the East Winston Shopping Center to demand justice for Deshawn Lamont Coley. Coley died May 2 at the Forsyth County Correctional Facility. The community wants answers. Coley’s wife suspects that her husband died from an untreated asthma attack. Both Deshawn Coley’s wife and mother were concerned that Coley’s asthma wasn’t being adequately treated in the days before his death.

Interfaith Winston-Salem: Countering Hate And Islamophobia

Last night I went with a friend to Interfaith Winston-Salem event a/perture. It was described on facebook as part of, “The Seventh Art Stand, a nation-wide series of films presented by movie theaters and community centers across the U.S. as an act of cinematic solidarity against Islamophobia.” One short film and one feature film were shown, followed by a question and answer session from Interfaith Winston-Salem. The first film, the Oscar-nominated short film, Karma Has No Walls documents the Yemani government’s violent repression of protesters gathered in Change Square, on Friday, March 18th 2011. It was a powerful first-hand account of a very admirable democracy movement where Yemani protesters clung to their non-violent principles, despite being fired upon by government troops.

The Winston-Salem City Council Needs To RELAX!

The city council just won’t let the idea of zoning syringe exchanges die. The Journal’s Wesley Young reported that yesterday’s Public Safety Committee continued to debate the idea without reaching a conclusion. The city council will continue to debate Council Member John Larson’s proposal to place zoning restrictions on syringe exchanges next month. I not sure what makes me more upset, the city’s inaction on Dan Besse’s Welcoming City resolution or their flirtation with zoning syringe exchanges. Council Member Larson’s zoning proposal is an existential threat to Winston’s first and only syringe exchange.

Exchanging Ideas On Syringe Exchanges

Our nation has a serious heroin problem fueled by opioid addiction. Recently, The Journal ran two articles on heroin addiction in our community, Scott Sexton’s article actually featured a picture of a user burning heroin on a spoon.  Triad City Beat has done some excellent work on the Twin City Harm Reduction Collective, the city’s first and only syringe exchange. I have followed the city council’s debate on imposing zoning restrictions on syringe exchanges over the last couple of months. In an effort to learn more about the topic, I went to Green Street Methodist last Sunday to hear Collin Miller give a Q and A talk on syringe exchanges. When I arrived at Green Street, I was pleasantly surprised to see Council Member John Larson in attendance.

Winston-Salem City Council Meeting Notes-May, 1, 2017

Tonight’s Winston-Salem City Council meeting doesn’t feel the same without the W-S Sanctuary City Coalition’s energy/passion. #FreeDanBesse
— Winston Watchman (@WinstonWatchman) May 1, 2017


May is Historic Preservation Month in Winston. A new historic marker will be unveiled in Happy Hill this month. — Winston Watchman (@WinstonWatchman) May 1, 2017

We must also remember the history that hasn’t been preserved in Winston-namely African-American neighborhoods razed in the name of progress. — Winston Watchman (@WinstonWatchman) May 1, 2017

Wake Forest Baptist Health received unanimous approval for rezoning property adjacent to it along Cloverdale Ave. Zoning won’t harm Ardmore.

Liberty Street Market: An Investment That Hasn’t Paid Dividends

Liberty Street Market opened in October, 2014. It’s located just a couple of miles from Downtown Winston, yet its worlds away. On one side of Liberty Street Market there’s three convenience stores that specialize in cigarettes and booze. On the other side of the Liberty Street Market is the Cleveland Avenue Homes, Winston’s largest concentration of public housing. Directly beside of the market lies a row of businesses that have been vacant for years.

Failure Of Winston’s Welcoming Resolution Demonstrated The Reach Of The Right

It’s been a rainy few days, flooding has occurred throughout the Triad. It’s a good time to reflect on the state of the Left. Our nation is divided more or less equally between conservative and progressive opinions. Yet, Republicans control the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court-thanks largely to Gerrymandering and the unaddressed flaws in our electoral system. In North Carolina we have divided government.

Is Growing Up Poor In Winston A Form Of Russian Roulette?

Recently The Winston-Salem Journal reported that an 18-year-old young man took his life Monday night. The young man, identified by The Journal as Diante Blackburn, was playing Russian Roulette and predictably, he lost. This is tragedy for the young man’s family and the community. I can only imagine the shock that friends and family are experiencing. I don’t want to exploit Blackburn’s death.

High Profile NYC Wrongful Conviction Case Has Parallels With John Robert Hayes’ Case

“Under the rules of ethics, prosecutors only have one mission, which is to do justice. They represent the people of the state of New York. The people of the state of New York win when the right man is convicted, and they win when the wrong man is released or acquitted.”                 – Jonathan Edelstein, Steven Odiase’s attorney, Democracy Now, 4/19/2017


Monday, Steven Odiase was released from jail after serving six years for a crime that he didn’t commit. He has consistently maintained his innocent.