Crystal Towers Resident Who Was Run Over In The Street Is Determined Not To Get Pushed Out Of Downtown Winston

Last month, a resident of Crystal Towers was hit by a car at the intersection of West Fifth and Spruce. When I learned about the accident on Twitter, I had a sneaking suspicion that I knew who the victim was. The Journal’s Allison Lee Isley’s photo of an empty wheelchair in front of an EMS vehicle confirmed my suspicions. The victim was, in fact, D.D. Watkins, a wheelchair-using friend of mine who was trying to get back to Crystal Towers on a Friday afternoon when an SUV ran her over. I spoke to D.D. while she was recovering at Wake Forest Baptist and again after she returned home to Crystal Towers.

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?

Goler Hits The Market

Friday, the Winston-Salem Journal reported that Goler Memorial AME Zion’s property adjacent to the Innovation Quarter was for sale. Goler listed their property at Patterson and Seventh for $3.5 million with Linville Team Partners, the commercial real estate firm that has the Downtown Winston market cornered. $3.5 million is a steep price. Who in Winston besides Wake Forest University could come up with that type of money? Goler Memorial plans to relocate.

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 the Antifa activists that confronted the fascists.

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.

Cheap Rents Are Needed For Artists And Workers To Thrive

Saturday night at the Garage, the Vagabond Saints’ Society played two hours worth of the Velvet Underground’s greatest hits. As usual, the Vagabond Saints’ Society put on a great show, which will surely be memorialized in the Garage’s hallway of posters. The Velvet Underground were a very influential rock band, ahead of their time. They were only fully appreciated years after the band broke up. But the Velvet Underground and other New York bands of the late 1960s and 1970s that followed them might have never existed if it weren’t for cheap rents.

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 demonstrate the value that Winston’s African American communities have historically placed on education.

Fourth Street Neighborhood Development Is Rejected Again-But Threat Of Gentrification Remains

Monday night’s meeting of the City Council wasn’t too contentious. The two issues that drew the most debate were rules and regulations on accessory dwellings and the rezoning of a property on Fourth Street, near Peters Creek Parkway.Winston’s tiny house policies. I personally am more concerned with issues of development and gentrification. Winston’s accessory dwelling/tiny house policies have received the most coverage from local media. I think Councilmember Clark’s comments on accessory dwellings/tiny houses were insightful.

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.

Still No Easy Solutions For New Hope Manor

This month’s meeting of the Winston-Salem City Council’s Finance Committee once again addressed substandard living conditions at the New Hope Manor Apartments. See Jordan Green’s article at Triad City Beat for a good write-up of this issue. The last several months has seen a considerable amount of the city council’s time being spent on two troubled low-income apartment complexes; Rolling Hills and New Hope Manor. Rolling Hills and New Hope Manor were both allowed to deteriorate into disrepair by their absentee owners. A buyer stepped forward to purchase Rolling Hills and invest in the sub-standard complex’s renovation.