Miss America, Nia Franklin’s Homecoming Parade


November isn’t an ideal time to throw a parade. I wonder if the City of Winston-Salem or Miss America Inc. is to blame for Saturday’s spur-of-the-moment parade? A grand parade in the spring planned out over many months that would have been nice.

If Miss America, Nia Franklin came to town a few weeks ago, she could have been part of Pride Winston-Salem’s parade. That would have been amazing!

Saturday afternoon’s parade, though modest, was noteworthy. Winston’s own, Nia Franklin … Read the rest

The Liberty Street Market Is An Unqualified Failure

Four years ago today, October 11, 2014, the Liberty Street Market opened with the typical fanfare. Mayor Joines, Mayor Pro Tempore Burke, Derwin Montgomery, and other officials spoke at the ribbon cutting.

The plan was to build a vendor’s market in the middle of a food desert. First and foremost, the Liberty Street Market was supposed to bring fresh produce to an underserved community, to provide healthy options that the convenience stores across from the Liberty Street Market don’t offer.… Read the rest

From Martin Luther King, To Market-Based Solutions

Martin Luther King Day is a curious holiday in the United States. We give Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a day, yet ignore Dr. King the other 364 days of the year. What if we celebrated Christmas the same way that we celebrate Martin Luther King Day?

Only a fool would unwrap their gifts, enjoy them for one short day, then box them up until next Christmas. But that is how we celebrate Martin Luther King Day.

We need Dr. … 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

Time For The City Of Winston-Salem To Disclose Who It Banks With

During the Winston-Salem City Council’s May Finance Committee meeting a simple but important exchange occurred. It lasted just a couple of minutes and its significance went largely unnoticed by the local media. I should have written about it at the time.

Mayor Pro Tempore, Vivian Burke asked Lisa Saunders, the city’s finance director something that we all deserve to know the answer to. After Saunders finished describing the various details of the city’s General Obligation Bonds, Burke asked her “who … Read the rest

Liberty Street Market: An Investment That Hasn’t Paid Dividends

Liberty Street Market opened in October, 2014. It’s located just a couple of miles from Downtown Winston, yet its worlds away. On one side of Liberty Street Market there’s three convenience stores that specialize in cigarettes and booze. On the other side of the Liberty Street Market is the Cleveland Avenue Homes, Winston’s largest concentration of public housing. Directly beside of the market lies a row of businesses that have been vacant for years.

The Liberty Street Market was supposed … Read the rest

City Relaunches Liberty Street Market, Dramatic Changes Are Needed

Just a few days ago the City of Winston-Salem posted a video on its YouTube channel. On the video Regina Hall announced that the Liberty Street Market is available to rent for just $45 a day.

The Liberty Street Market has been an unqualified disaster since it opened in the Northeast Ward two years ago this month. Planning and construction costs for the project costs city taxpayers over $350,000.

The Liberty Street Market was described as “not just a market-a … Read the rest

City Gives Preliminary Approval to Ujima CDC Development

Last Monday, the Winston-Salem City Council’s finance committee approved $2.5 million in loans to Ujima Community Development Corporation for its development project, Emmanuel Retirement Village. The matter will be brought before the full council tomorrow. Ujima is a CDC composed mostly of Emmanuel Baptist Church members. It formed in 2005. Ujima is one of the core principles of Kwanza. Ujima stresses collective work and responsibility and collective community betterment. Ujima CDC believes that 50 market-rate rental units (with rents ranging … Read the rest

Union Station, Moving East Winston Forward Or Removing Poor People From Downtown Winston?

Recently the city of Winston-Salem finally broke ground on its Union Station property, located at 300 Martin Luther King Drive, right beside of Winston-Salem State University. There are many Union Stations throughout the country. Winston-Salem abandoned it’s Union Station in 1970. Up until 2012 the site was home to Davis Garage. In 2012 the city used eminent domain to acquire the former Union Station building and property from Harvey Davis. For years now there has been speculation, but precious few … Read the rest