The Power Of The People Was On Display At The August 20 Meeting Of The W-S City Council

The August 20th Winston-Salem City Council meeting was one to remember. It was the most democratic city council meeting that I have ever witnessed. It was a rare example of people in the council chamber pushing back against the mayor and city council.

Typically the Winston-Salem City Council doesn’t give much time for citizens to voice their concerns. Public comments are given at the end of council meetings, just before adjournment. They are little more than an afterthought.

But, because … Read the rest

From Factories To Luxury Lofts: A Labor Day Reflection

Recently I spent a little time in Thomasville. I lived just outside of Thomasville until I was 12. I have family that lives in the area, but I don’t call Thomasville home. It’s not that I’m too good for Thomasville. But Thomasville isn’t that kind of town that breeds nostalgia.

Even in its heyday, times were never that good in Thomasville. It was dominated by furniture and textile manufacturing jobs that never paid enough to allow Tville to thrive.

But … Read the rest

The New Central Library Turns One

A year ago, Downtown Winston-Salem’s Central Library reopened after being closed for entirely too long. One year later, it’s fair to mention the Central Library’s shortcoming.

Winston’s Central Library is an amazing redeveloped building. It’s so much better than the old Central Library which was opened in the 1950s and expanded in the 1970s.

Winston’s Central Library is where millionaire’s row meets skid row. The portion of 5th Street where the library now stands was once home to the city’s … Read the rest

The Dot Man Sam McMillan-Dead At 92

East Winston has more than its fair share of colorful characters. Perhaps none of them were more colorful than renowned folk artist Sam McMillian.

McMillian, known as “The Dot Man” because of the ubiquitous dots that filled his colorful artwork, died earlier this week at age 92.

Here’s local historian Fam Brownlee’s remembrance of McMillian:

Sam McMillian was an unlikely artist, the city’s paper of record remembered him fondly. Jenny Drabble wrote a nice piece on McMillian’s life and … Read the rest

Remembering Dr. Tim Monroe

Monday, the Winston-Salem Journal published a front-page story on the retiring director of the Forsyth County Department of Public Health. I’m not familiar with Marlon Hunter. His name was seldom in the paper.

By contrast, Dr. Tim Monroe, Hunter’s predecessor, was a public figure who didn’t shy away from controversy. Wesley Young’s piece introducing Mr. Hunter to the Journal’s readers provides some insight into the differences between Marlon Hunter, and Tim Monroe approaches to running a public health department.… Read the rest

Unpopular Opinion: Summer On Liberty Sucks

Summer on Trade has been on Liberty Street since 2016. It’s time to admit that Summer on Liberty isn’t working. The concert series has been a shot in the arm to Liberty Street. Liberty Street is on its way to developing into Trade Street 2.0 minus the art galleries.

But some changes need to be made to the city’s premier summer concert series; its lost much of the energy that it used to have.

I miss the intimate feeling that … Read the rest

Deconstructing Industry Hill

From the folks that gave us the term “Ramkat” now comes the term “Industry Hill.” Industry Hill-were history meets marketing. Industry Hill-a new name for a place that you probably never knew had a name. Its name is now Industry Hill!

Industry Hill, we are told from the developers who recently created it, stretches from Seventh Street to Northwest Boulevard and from Martin Luther King Drive over to Trade Street.*

The name Industry Hill has many flaws. First, there isn’t … Read the rest

HAWS Is Making Life Difficult For Cleveland Avenue Residents

 

 

 

Monday I sat down and interviewed a resident of the Cleveland Avenue Homes. Tuesday I stumbled upon an old copy of The Black Panther newspaper dated March 1970. It’s the one with the Winston-Salem chapter of the Black Panther Party on the front page.*

The black power newspaper has an image of local Panthers, led by Larry Little assisting Miss Polly Graham. Graham had been unjustly evicted from her home. The Winston-Salem chapter of the Black Panther … Read the rest

Charlottesville: Fascist Thugs Will Assault Black Folks In The Streets, But White Liberals Will Take House And Home

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 … Read the rest

Southeast Gateway Development Moves Forward Long After Happy Hill Was Gentrified

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, … Read the rest

Warren Buffett Tacitly Admits Newspapers Are More Difficult To Produce Than Bottles Of Ketchup

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Media just announced a partnership with Lee Enterpises Inc.

The Oracle of Omaha, the billionaire that it’s okay to like-if you don’t look too closely, Warren Buffett knows how to cut deals. But clearly, he doesn’t know how to run newspapers.

Buffett’s life work has been relentless acquisitions; transforming Berkshire Hathaway from a struggling textile company into a Wall Street mega-conglomeration of unrelated companies and stock portfolios.

He’s great with numbers, corporate earnings reports, etc. … Read the rest

The Winston-Salem City Council Merry-Go-Round: June 4, 2018

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. A developer wanted to convert a former goat farm on the corner of Ebert and Silas Creek into a townhome/office … Read the rest

Winston-Salem Light Project Shines Light On The Horrors Of World War I

The Winston-Salem Light Project just completed its 10th annual outdoor lighting installation. The Winston-Salem Light Project has become a tradition, a must-see exhibition of public art.

This year’s WSLP returned to its original home, the Millennium Center, to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. While the WSLP focused primarily on WWI, they used the “great war,” the “war to end all wars” as a starting point to explore the wider topic of war.

Eight large-format projectors blended … Read the rest

Edward McCrae’s Death Overshadows Winston-Salem’s City Council Meeting

Monday was Councilmember D.D. Adams birthday. But it wasn’t a day for celebrations. After quickly wishing Adams a happy birthday Winston-Salem Alliance president and Winston-Salem mayor, Allen  Joines took a more somber tone as he addressed the shooting of Edward Van McCrae by a Winston-Salem Police Department officer.

Mayor Joines essentially repeated what he and Councilmember James Taylor said at a press conference earlier in the day:

“We will, as a city be diligent in releasing the all information possible,

Read the rest

The W-S City Council Flip-Flops, Awards Marketing Contract To Wildfire

Monday night’s city council meeting witnessed a flip-flop that won’t soon be forgotten. Over the last few months, the Winston-Salem City Council has turned the relatively routine matter of partnering with a local ad agency to market the Dixie Classic Fair into a soap opera.

To be fair Wildfire deserves its share of the credit for the controversy. Wildfire is a local ad agency on Liberty Street that has worked with some big corporate/non-profit clients. None of Wildfire’s 32 current … Read the rest