Fries Memorial Moravian Raises Funds To Provide Piedmont Circle New Playground Equipment

Saturday evening, local law enforcement and politicians-Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough chief among them hosted a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at Fries Memorial Moravian Church. Their goal was to raise $15,000 to upgrade Piedmont Circle’s pathetic playground. According to WXII, they exceeded their goal by $3,000. Eighteen thousand dollars for new playground equipment at Piedmont Circle is a wonderful thing. I commend the diverse group of folks who came together to make this happen.

Missing Melissa Harris-Perry On MLK Day

I didn’t make it to this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Noon Hour Commemoration. I appreciate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. I’m happy to celebrate a holiday that isn’t centered around glorifying war and consuming meat. Winston was on the right side of history when it comes to Martin Luther King Day, the city’s signature MLK Day celebration preceded the national holiday by years. But the hypocrisy of Martin Luther King Jr. Day can be difficult to swallow. In Raleigh, NC Attorney General Josh Stein posted on social media that MLK’s example moved him.

The Cloverdale Apartment Redevelopment: A Shameless Example Of Profits Over People

Earlier this month, the remaining tenants at the Cloverdale Apartments were told to be out of their homes by early March. According to the Journal, approximately 45 residents remain at the decades-old apartment campus, which has become a fixture in Ardmore, with its simple brick buildings, Luthern red doors, surrounded by huge, old trees. The Cloverdale Apartments (and Ardmore Terrace Apartments) are in one of the best locations in the city, close to restaurants and retail-just a short walk from Baptist Medical Center. Residents that I spoke to on Thursday were uncertain of where they would go. They told me that application fees were costing them dearly, negating the relocation allowance that the owners of the apartments are giving them.

HAWS Promotes Kevin Cheshire And Looks To Facilitate Sale Of The Skyline Village Apartments

Yesterday, the Winston-Salem Housing Authority named Kevin Cheshire its new executive director. Kevin Cheshire previously served as the Vice President of Real Estate Development and General Counsel at HAWS, where he has been employed since 2013. He replaced Larry Woods, who retired at the end of December. Cheshire told the Journal’s Wesley Young that “the mission of HAWS stays the same: To help individuals move in, up and out of assisted housing.”

Our local housing authority has a shameful history of evicting tenants “out of assisted housing.” Kevin Cheshire is the first white leader of the Winston-Salem Housing Authority in decades.

Marshall Bass’s Autobiography Chronicles Workplace Racism And Housing Racism That Has Led To Winston’s Wealth Gap

Decorated Army veteran, corporate manager, and local philanthropist Marshall Bass died in late November. Services for Bass were held this week at Russell Funeral Home and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Marshall Bass’s life might not be well known to the average person in Winston, Black or white. Sadly, our local media are more interested in a new boutique donut shop than remembering a local trailblazer.  Marshall Bass lived a remarkable life that’s worth remembering.

The People’s Business: December 16, 2019

The Winston-Salem City Council and WS/FC School Board are done with meetings for the year. The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners will hold its final meeting of the year, Thursday 2 pm, at the Forsyth County Government Center. View Agenda

The holiday break will give the people of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County a chance to ponder the City of Winston-Salem’s hydroponic fiasco, the County’s quest for a quarter-cent tax, and how an “equity school board” became a bipartisan school board in the course of a year.

Winston-Salem Makes PBS NewsHour A Week After David Brooks’ Visit

Friday’s edition of the PBS NewsHour featured a piece on Tinariwen’s concert at The Ramkat back in September. It was a nice seven-minute and twenty-second segment that the NewsHour is using as holiday filler. It’s interesting to see our city through the national media’s lense, if only for a brief moment. The NewsHour interviewed a Wake Forest student outside of Camino Bakery on Fourth Street. The Ramkat got some good exposure.

HAWS’ CEO Larry Woods Is Retiring

Larry Woods officially announced his retirement yesterday at the Winston-Salem Housing Authority’s monthly meeting on the third floor of the Loewy Building. Woods fought back tears as he accepted a plaque from HAWS’ Board Chair, Arthur King. Larry Woods has been the Chief Executive Officer of HAWS since December 2006. His retirement has been long rumored. A replacement for Woods is expected to be named soon.

Crystal Towers Residents Want The City To Address The Sixth Street Freeway In Front Of Their Building

There wasn’t a lot on the Public Safety Committee’s agenda last night. After going through a list of routine items, there was time available for the residents of Crystal Towers to speak. Three residents of Crystal Towers took to the people’s microphone last night and asked the City to address unsafe intersections at and around Crystal Towers. Shockingly, there aren’t adequate safety measures in place at Sixth and Polar,  in front of Crystal Towers. The 200-unit, 100 percent disability building, should have one of the safest intersections in the city at its doorstep.

The People’s Business: December 9, 2019

Monday

Finance Committee meeting: 4:30 p.m. 2nd Monday of every month, City Hall
101 N Main Street, Room 239. Finance Committee Agenda-December 9, 2019

Public Safety Committee meeting: 6 p.m. 2nd Monday of every month, City Hall
101 N Main Street, Room 239. Public Safety Agenda-December 9, 2019

Tuesday

Community Development, Housing & General Government Committee
meetings: 4:30 p.m., 2nd Tuesday of every month, City Hall 101 N Main Street,
Room 239. General Government Agenda-December 10, 2019

Public Works Committee meeting: Canceled at the request of the Public Works Chair, Dan Besse

For additional information, visit the City’s website: https://www.cityofws.org/calendar.aspx

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.