“The City Is A Business, A Big Business.”

“With this vote, the four hard-working members of the Finance Committee just saved the City $11 million. That’s about three million each. That’s pretty good for a day’s work.” Those were Finance Committee chairman Robert Clark’s comments on refinancing water and sewer revenue bonds. Total debt load, water and sewer revenue bonds outstanding are about $400 million.

City Funds New Walkertown Road Project

Last night a two-vehicle accident occurred at the intersection of Cameron Ave and E. 14th St. One vehicle hit the side of Titanic Food Mart but didn’t appear to do much damage. On the other side of that building, there is an impressive mural honoring East Winston’s history. I don’t know what possessed anyone to change the 14th Street Discount Store to Titanic Food Mart. A building that reads Titanic on one side and displays a mural of East Winston’s history on the other side, sends the message that East Winston is a sinking ship.

Black History Expo Reaffirms Happy Hills Historic Importance

“Happy Hill!” “Black history!” The voice of Ben Piggott rang through the Sims Recreation Center Saturday. Ben Piggott, a longtime rec center manager and organizer in Happy Hill, served as MC for the first-annual Happy Hill Black History Expo. The Happy Hill Neighborhood Association hosted the event.

The People’s Business: February 17, 2020

Monday

Winston-Salem City Council meeting, 7:00 p.m. City Hall, Room 230, 101 N. Main Street.  

Thursday

Forsyth County Commissioners meeting, 2:00 p.m., Commissioners’ Meeting Room, located on the 5th Floor, Forsyth County Government Center, 201 North Chestnut Street. The Activist Agenda

Tuesday

Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods’ organizing circle, featuring Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough. 12-2 p.m., at the Jordan/Malloy East Winston Library. https://nbncommunity.org/events

State behavioral health officials town hall.

Three Years After It’s Final Report Was Issued, The Poverty Thought Force’s Recommendations Have Not Been Implemented

Thursday, Mayor and Winston-Salem Alliance President Allen Joines held a press conference announcing a new privately-funded initiative. Educators, business people, and a member of the clergy, all praised Joines’ new workforce development and internship program for high school juniors and seniors who qualify. This new internship program is in addition to the Winston-Salem College Guarantee program that was announced late last year. Thursday was an important day. It was the beginning of early voting in our state.

Nina Turner And Susan Sarandon Cranked Out The Truth At Krankies!

Early Thursday morning, a billionaire former mayor, with presidential ambitions briefly spoke at Footnote Coffee & Cocktails. Two sources told me that mayor “stop and frisk” only spoke for 10 minutes. On the other side of Downtown Winston, Thursday afternoon, Krankies hosted a Community Meeting with Senator Nina Turner and Susan Sarandon. Turner and Sarandon were joined at Krankies by local Democratic activist, Jenny Marshall. All three women gave substantive reasons why we need Bernie Sanders in the White House (affordable housing, the environment, jobs, health care for all, Wall Street accountability, etc.).

What Should Be Done To Aid East Winston?

On February 1, the five candidates running in the East Ward City Council race participated in a debate at the Delta Arts Center. I encourage folks to watch the entire debate at their leisure. The two-hour-long event got me thinking about what should be done to aid East Winston? East Winston has the highest poverty rates in the city and the lowest amount of financial resources. I don’t have any magic answers, and I admit that local solutions will be challenging to implement without support from the state and local government.

The East Winston Library: A Jim Crow-Era Time Capsule

“East Winston, how can I help you?” That’s how a young white woman at the Malloy/ Jordan Library answered the phone when I was there recently. The Malloy/Jordan Library was built in 1954, one year after the Central Library on Fifth Street was constructed. But its history dates back to February 1927 when the first library branch was opened in East Winston. Last year, the East Winston Library celebrated its 65th anniversary. Recent upgrades to the Malloy/Jordan or East Winston Library have brought it into the 21st century, but there simply isn’t enough space for patrons at the East Winston Library.

Winston-Salem City Council Meeting Merry-Go-Round: Redeemer And Ardmore Reach A Compromise, The Mayor Names Board Members

Monday’s night’s meeting of the Winston-Salem City Council was a fairly bland affair, like the Super Bowl halftime show if Franklin Graham had his way. It started out with the City Council honoring Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Mayor Pro Tempore Burke, who was uncharacteristically absent from recent City Council meetings, personally thanked Alpha Kappa Alpha for their contributions to the community. Rezoning the property at the corner of Waughtown and Sprague was up first on the Council’s agenda. The former Rite Aid building property has been vacant for several months.

The Only Papers Warren Buffett Cares About Are Financial Documents

Earlier this week, Warren Buffett bailed on the newspapers that he purchased less than a decade ago. That’s uncharacteristic for Buffett. Berkshire Hathaway, the massive conglomerate that Warren Buffett controls, typically acquires assets for the longterm, even when they lose money. Buffett’s so-called “love affair with newsprint” is over. The truth is Buffett never showed much love to the small to medium-sized newspapers that Berkshire Hathaway amassed.

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.