Wake Forest men’s basketball coach, Danny Manning, has finally been sacked! Manning, a Greensboro native, failed to win games during his stint in Winston-Salem. Manning had a below 500 ACC record in five of his six seasons at Wake. His biggest win was an upset of Duke earlier this year. His most embarrassing loss was a stunning home loss to Houston Baptist in 2018.
The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee got caught doing something very dumb a few weeks ago. In an attempt to save his financial assets, Senator Richard Burr destroyed his reputation. After selling his stocks shortly before COVID-19 ravaged the stock market, in what appears to be a clear case of insider trading, the press has been all over Senator Burr and rightfully so. In addition to being accused of insider trading, one of Burr’s real estate transactions has come into question. It’s time to question another one of Richard Burr’s real estate deals.
Mayor and Winston-Salem Alliance leader, Allen Joines, just announced that he will extend his Emergency Stay At Home Order for three additional weeks. The previous emergency order ran through Thursday, April 16. The new emergency order runs until May 7. Joines also announced that some federal funds were beginning to trickle down to the city. Specifically, $1.3 million in Community Block Grants and $660,00 to help the homeless “in a temporary situation.”
For the last couple of weeks, I have been taking photos of the Liberty Street Corridor, while practicing social distancing. Only a five-minute drive from downtown, it’s a world away. While downtown Winston has received over $1 billion in public and private investments over the last couple of decades, the Liberty Street Corridor has received empty promises and ill-conceived projects, such as the Liberty Street Market. If any neighborhood in our city needs a bailout, it’s the North Liberty Street/Fourteenth Street neighborhood. Actually, the Black residents of the Liberty Corridor deserve reparations.
Happy Birthday, Winston-Salem Journal and all the best to its reporters who are out covering stories during a pandemic. That being said, I would like to wish a plague on Berkshire Hathaway for not investing in the Journal, despite having the financial resources to do so. Warren Buffett lied when he said that he loved newspapers and valued them as important community resources. Berkshire Hathaway recently “sold” the W-S Journal and many other newspapers to Lee Enterprises, a cost-cutting corporate outfit that doesn’t inspire confidence in the paper’s future. The city’s newspaper of record officially turns 123 years old today.
The Winston-Salem Journal just posted an update on the measures the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem is taking to safeguard Crystal Towers and its other public housing facilities from the spread of Coronavirus. Earlier this week, WFDD reported that HAWS had taken a few steps to address the threat of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 at Crystal Towers. Winstonwatchman.com reported earlier this month that the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem (HAWS) wasn’t taking preventive measures to protect elderly and disabled residents at Crystal Towers. At HAWS’ last monthly meeting (shortly before such meetings were canceled), Executive Director, Kevin Cheshire appeared more concerned with the health and safety of his staff, than HAWS’ tenants. The deadly spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 throughout the country has shed light on just how weak our public institutions are.
“Public housing has always been both a financial proposition and a moral one. About finding not just need, somehow but measuring worth. How do we begin to sort out which of the many people who could be assisted, both need it, and somehow deserve it? It becomes a window into race relations, it’s a window into understanding the role of homeownership in society, and it’s a way of understanding the level of compassion there is for those who do need some assistance.”
“We are not mature enough as a society to look in the mirror and see how we manufactured American poverty, how we manufactured housing that was meant to seclude these poor people. And how we turned a blind eye to creating a middle-class while simultaneously excluding people from it.”
Good things happen to those who demand them. Monday, Dan Rose and Phillip Carter of Housing Justice Now held a press conference calling for “an immediate halt to all eviction and foreclosure proceedings, and to ask city officials to contribute $500,000 for emergency relief during the pandemic.” They then took to social media to get the word out. HJN Winston-Salem also spoke directly to Sheriff Kimbrough and other stakeholders about halting local evictions already in the pipeline. Hopefully, the tireless efforts of Housing Justice Now will keep residents in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County from being evicted this week and lead to a statewide eviction moratorium.
The City of Winston-Salem recently announced that it was closing public facilities and suspending meetings in an effort to address the looming Coronavirus/COVID19 crisis. All recreation centers will be closed until further notice. All public assembly facilities including the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds, the Benton Convention Center, BB&T Ballpark and Bowman Gray Stadium are closed. City Hall and the Bryce A. Stuart Municipal Building will operate under normal business hours for critical city business only that cannot be done online or over the phone. Previously planned City of Winston-Salem meetings and events have been canceled.
Enter racist and Forsyth County into a search engine, and Forsyth County Georgia is what you will find. Back in 1912, white supremacists in Forsyth County, Georgia violently expelled all Black residents from the county. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County doesn’t have anything quite that horrendous in its history. But it has plenty of racist history to come to terms with, such as its own race riot in 1918. Back in 1912, “racist Winston f-ing Salem” was one of the first cities to mandate residential segregation “in which blacks and whites were prohibited from living on the same streets.”