Winston Doesn’t Need A Gunshot Detection System

Recently, the Winston-Salem City Council concluded this year’s business by discussing deploying a gunshot detection system in East Winston. Both the Finance Committee and the Public Safety Committees of the WSNC City Council were briefed on the merits of this latest high-tech approach to fighting crime. Gunshot detection systems are relatively new, minimally effective, and very expensive. “The future of criminal investigations lies with advanced and real-time crime centers.” -Assistant Chief, Natoshia V. Miles

Assistant Chief, Miles told the Public Safety Committee that a gunshot detection system could have saved Jericka McGee’s life.

The Lion Isn’t Afraid To Operate In East Winston

Thanksgiving is the busiest time of the year for local grocery stores. One of Winston’s most serious problems is the uneven distribution of grocery stores throughout our city, i.e., food deserts. While grocery stores are highly concentrated at Stradford Road and Cloverdale, they’re few and far between in East Winston. In East Winston corner stores stocked with vices but light on nutritional goods are the norm, grocery stores with fresh produce and a variety of healthy (and not so healthy) options are the exception. Food Lion is the lone grocery store chain that has invested in East Winston.

Liberty CDC And The Limits Of Working Within The System

The Winston-Salem Journal recently reported that Jim Shaw, the man “who led efforts to develop the Liberty Street Corridor, died Monday of brain cancer.” I will leave it to others to judge Jim Shaw, The Chronicle’s 2006 Man of the Year. I don’t wish to speak ill of the dead. But the CDC that Shaw led for the better part of 20 years deserves scrutiny. The Liberty CDC floundered in its efforts to redevelop the Liberty Street Corridor while Downtown Winston-Salem was transformed at great costs to local taxpayers.

A Vacant Storefront On North Liberty Tells A Story

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.

New Out-Of-State Owner Of Greenway Village Apartments Is Evicting Tenants With Records

“Mass evictions are taking place at the Greenway Village Apartments.” That’s what a friend of mine with Housing Justice Now told me on Saturday.* I stopped by Greenway Village Monday afternoon to see if I could verify what I had been told and to encourage anyone facing eviction to fight back. The Greenway Village Apartments are located just behind the former St. Phillips Moravian Church. The one-story frame apartments were built in the late 1940s to address a severe housing shortage after World War II.

The “East End” Is Beginning To Empty

It’s important that the COMMUNITY in East Winston is not pushed out of the “East End.” Despite a lot of talk about shared prosperity and avoiding gentrification, we now have evidence that existing residents of the “East End” have been displaced without any public accountability. The Garden Court Apartments located between Third and Fourth Street and Woodland and Metropolitan have been completely emptied of their previous tenants. Other apartment buildings nearby have been almost completely emptied as well. Where is the accountability?

Avoiding Eviction Shouldn’t Be A Game Of Chance

“I’m one step away from being the person on the street.”  -Cleveland Avenue Resident

Lots of folks enjoy games of chance, even though they know that the odds are stacked against them. Such games are a mainstay of the Dixie Classic Fair. Beating the odds, taking home a silly prize, that’s the game. And that’s great if you’re fifteen and want to impress your girlfriend to such an extent, that you’re willing to leave the fair with empty pockets. But, none of us would tolerate having a good or service that we desperately need being reduced to a game of chance.

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.

Ramkat Ramblings: As Downtown Winston Creeps East It Must Embrace East Winston

The Ramkat hosted its first concert Friday night. The Vagabond Saints Society, an amazing collection of the city’s best musicians had the honor of reopening Downtown Winston’s premier music venue. It’s been just over two years since the club that Jay Stephens opened in 2011 on the corner of 9th and Trade closed. It’s nice to see large-scale live music return to Downtown Winston. The hope is that The Ramkat will succeed where Ziggy’s failed.

The Liberty Street Market Isn’t In Transition, Neither Is East Winston

The Winston-Salem Chronicle recently reported that the Liberty Street Market was “in transition once again.” Once again, in the market’s short, but troubled history it’s without a manager. But setbacks at the Liberty Street Market are hardly news. To say that the Liberty Street Market is in “transition” implies that the property is in motion. In truth, the Liberty Street Market has been mostly dormant since it opened in October 2014. It’s an utter failure, a monument to the incompetence of the Winston-Salem City Council, particularly Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian Burke.