Forsyth County Commissioners Commit To Do Their Very Least To Combat Climate Change

The Forsyth County Commissioners, to their credit, approved a resolution stating Forsyth County’s intention of moving toward a complete transition to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050, 5-1. The resolution is non-binding; it has no teeth. A 2030 climate action resolution was discussed before the Commissioners moved the goalposts back to 2050. 

“Winston-Salem’s always been at the forefront,” an activist stated during public comments. Unfortunately, Winston-Salem, through its parent corporation, R.J. Reynolds, has been at the forefront of supporting Republican climate change deniers and climate denial organizations like ALEC. Climate denial itself can be traced back to Big Tobacco.

More Art Over The Highways That Divide Winston-Salem

The local media just announced that the Green Street bridge arches are in the process of going up. I noticed that the arches were about to be installed last week. When the Green Street pedestrian bridge is finished, it will be visually striking. It’s the latest phase of Creative Corridors’ work to adorn Highway 52 and Salem Parkway (Business 40’s new name) with some art and innovation. Creative Corridors, you will remember, completed the Twin Arches over US 52 in November 2016.

700 Words On Crossnore And Climate Change

The City Council debated giving the Piedmont Land Conservancy $200,000 to help them buy an easement to protect Crossnore/Children’s Home’s land from development for weeks. During committee meetings and two meetings of the full City Council, the question was, should the City help fund a land conservation project, or would tax dollars be better spent maintaining parks throughout the city? But none of the eight members of the City Council or Mayor Joines mentioned climate change during the Crossnore land conservation debate. Our local paper hasn’t done any better. The Journal didn’t mention climate change in the plethora of articles it published on the subject.

The Housing Authority Claims That They Must Sell Crystal Towers, But Their Documents Tell A Different Story

In August 2018, the Winston-Salem Housing Authority put Crystal Towers up for sale. Last summer, the Journal reported that the Arden Group (car dealers turned real estate developers) made an offer to purchase Crystal. Yet, Crystal Towers is not a downtown redevelopment story. Selling Crystal Towers, removing 200 poor and elderly (majority POC) residents from downtown to god-knows-where is GENTRIFICATION! If you don’t believe me, ask Councilmember Jeff MacIntosh.

WS/FC School System’s Proposed Location For A New Brunson Is Actually Closer To Ashley Academy

Late Sunday night, I stumbled upon a friend’s Facebook post. She shared that the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System has found a potential site for a new Brunson Elementary. Sometimes a friend reports news that our paper of record fails to deliver. If the proposed location is approved, the former Thomasville Furniture factory at 1245 Ivey Avenue (and adjoining properties) will one day produce kids reading at or above grade level. The Thomasville Furniture site on post-industrial hill will be presented at Tuesday afternoon’s Building and Grounds Committee meeting, then discussed at the full school board meeting later that evening.

Most Of Winston-Salem’s Power Players Are Connected To Wake Forest

Recently the Triad Business Journal released its 2019 Triad Power Players list. These are the women and men who get projects in the Piedmont done-often for their own benefit and the benefit of others like them. Some members of the Business Journal’s Triad Power Players, such as High Point University President, Nido Qubein, hold high profile positions. Other members of the Business Journal’s elite list, such as Ben Sutton Jr., fly below the radar unless he’s writing an eight-figure check to his alma mater. It’s interesting how the majority of the members of the Triad’s business class and their non-profit, academic, and government allies operate exclusively in one city or another, but almost never in all three of the Triad’s cities.

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.

Replacing Dixie Is A Conundrum For Winston-Salem’s City Council

At next Monday’s City Council meeting, the council will finally decide what the new name for the Dixie Classic Fair will be. Tuesday, the General Government Committee failed to reach consensus. They were split. Some council members preferred Carolina Classic Fair while others supported the Piedmont Classic Fair. Both names lack originality.

Ashley Gets Land, But The Neighborhood Gets Blamed For Inaction

Monday afternoon, the City Council’s Finance Committee unanimously approved selling City property in the area of New Hope Lane and East Twenty-First Street to the WS/FC Schools, to be used for a new Ashley Elementary. The full City Council will vote on the matter next Monday. Finally, local officials are moving to acquire land for a school that desperately needs replacing. Eunice Campbell and other activists that spoke before the City Council last month deserve a lot of credit for getting the City and WS/FC Schools to strike a deal. The lots in question were optioned to the Housing Authority in 2005.

Bernie Inspires At Bennett College

Bernie Sanders held a rally at Bennett College yesterday. But he didn’t come alone. Sanders brought “National Campaign Co-Chairs Sen. Nina Turner and Ben Cohen (of Ben & Jerry’s), and national surrogates rapper Killer Mike, activist Phillip Agnew, actor Danny Glover, and professors Dr. Cornel West and Dr. Adolph Reed.” The 800 seat capacity Annie Merner Pfeiffer Chapel was full beyond capacity. I stood with many others in the back of the chapel.

Climate Strike! Young And Old Gather At Five Points To Demand Climate Action

If the future of the planet depends on Richard Burr, we are all in trouble. North Carolina’s senior senator has been in D.C. for 25 years, first as a Congressman, then-Senator. In two and a half decades, Burr has done practically nothing to protect the people of North Carolina from rapacious corporate interests. Despite the long odds of getting Richard Burr to stand-up to the likes of Exxon, over 100 protestors (by the Journal’s count) gathered at Five Points Friday. We were part of a global Climate Strike, inspired by Greta Thunberg.

Wall Street Is Questioning Billy Prim, The People Of Winston Should Do The Same

The Journal recently reported that an activist investment firm is going after Billy Prim, Primo Water’s founder, and current Executive Chairman. Legion Partners LP of Beverly Hills is aggressively targeting the Yadkin County native and his chums on Primo’s board in a just-released, 11-page open letter. The “small-town entrepreneur [who] tackled Wall Street and came away with a $400 million deal” may get tackled by Wall Street this go-round. In the 11-page document, Legion Partners LP argues that Primo has underperformed under Prim. Legion expressed outrage that Prim stacked Primo’s board with his know-nothing friends from his former business, Blue Rhino.

“Think Orange” Month…Winston Applies A Band-aid To A Broken Arm

Thoughts and reports, that’s what the poor get from the City of Winston-Salem. Sure, the City distributes a great deal of money to local non-profits, that do some decent work addressing the immediate needs of the poor. But the City of Winston-Salem is by no means marshaling the resources at its disposal to address poverty in the Twin City. At the start of Monday’s City Council meeting, Mayor Joines proclaimed September,  “Think Orange Month” in Winston-Salem. The Mayor and W-S Alliance president first announced his “Think Orange” campaign in August 2018.

The People’s Business: Week of September 16, 2019

Monday

W-S City Council, 7:00 p.m. City Hall, Room 230, 101 N. Main Street. View/Download Agenda

Tuesday 

WSFCS Board of Education, Curriculum Committee, 4:00 p.m. in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Education Building, Room 223, 4801 Bethania Station Rd. No agenda available

Thursday

Forsyth County Commissioners, 2:00 p.m., Commissioners’ Meeting Room, located on the 5th Floor, Forsyth County Government Center, 201 North Chestnut Street. No agenda available

Breaking Crystal: HAWS Has Assets, Move HAWS And Save Crystal Towers!

“The Housing Authority of Winston-Salem is not your traditional housing authority. It’s the only one in the state that’s also a certified real estate firm. It’s a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers…” -Owen Covington, Triad Business Journal, Feb 18, 2011

Last August the Winston-Salem Housing Authority announced that it was putting Crystal  Towers on the market. Our local housing authority loves the market; HAWS hates public housing, they’re ‘innovative’ like that.