Columbian Heights: Atkins’ Vision Crippled By Highway 52 and I40, Industrial Zoning, And WSSU’s Growth

The New Winston Museum’s “Envisioning Columbian Heights” presentation at Mars Hill Baptist Church Thursday night drew a crowd of 40-50 people. Many of the attendees are longtime residents of East Winston with strong ties to Columbian Heights. They fondly remembered Columbian Heights and proudly recounted their memories of the neighborhood.

Columbian Heights is the neighborhood immediately surrounding Winston-Salem State University. It was founded by Simon Green Atkins in the 1890s. It was part of his twin vision of promoting African … 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

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

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

East Winston Vs. Forsyth County Tax Assessor, Round II

The most recent county-wide tax reappraisal was relatively non-controversial. Compared to the uproar that occurred in 2013, the 2017 reappraisal has been well received. Overall, the county’s home values increased. About 70 percent of homes in Forsyth County increased in value and 30 percent of homes decreased in value. But the 2017 tax reappraisal was more bad news for East Winston.

Winston’s majority-minority section of town, once again saw home values decline. East Winston residents are once again asking why Read the rest

Resentment Over Downtown Incentives Led To Contentious Trans-AID Debate

Monday’s marathon city council meeting was eventful. In a little under 3 hours, the Winston-Salem City Council passed its $482.4 million 2017-2018 budget by the thinnest of margins, 4-3 (Council Member Adams was absent). The highlights of the budget include; a marginal tax increase and higher pay for police and firefighters as well as other city employees.

Winston pays its police and fire department and other government workers less than comparable cities in North Carolina. It had no choice but … Read the rest

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

 

Read the rest

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. But there needs to be something said when such a shocking event occurs.

Five days have passed … Read the rest

Apparently Poverty Can Wait In Winston-Salem

It’s finally done. Or perhaps it’s just beginning to unfold. Mayor Allen Joines’ Poverty Thought Force finally released its findings on Monday. It’s been a long wait. Mayor Joines first mentioned his intention of creating a Thought Force in December of 2013. Triad City Beat’s Jordan Green’s article, A city divided: The resurgent downtown and the abandoned urban core-my favorite article of 2016, has the timeline. It took two more years and a few national studies casting Winston in … Read the rest