Market House Repurpose Fair Compromise

Welcome news for this community as the Fayetteville City Council opts to repurpose the controversial downtown Market House rather than move the historical registry landmark structure to another location or demolish the structure. Repurposing means education that will include paying homage to national, state and community African American history, including black leaders, past and present, who have long argued against the Market House as a city symbol, where once black slaves were sold. The 9-1 vote on April 15, let us hope, strikes a compromise for all in this community to embrace.

 

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            “Freddy is a great pick by Gov. Cooper,” George Breece, a Fayetteville resident, who never is out of touch with local and state issues, says about the April 7, 2021, appointment of Freddy Johnson Jr., 49, of Cumberland County as the 28th commander of the N.C. State Highway Patrol. “Freddy embodies the word public servant. A Fayetteville native, graduate of Fayetteville State University and 25 years of exemplary service to the Highway Patrol. Freddy will continue to make us all proud that he is a Cumberland County product.” And you can read all about Col. Johnson’s NCSHP career in our May issue of CityView Magazine.

 

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            “Bill, so glad to see your article standing up for the residents around Cain Road,” Sue Byrd writes about our recent columns about neighborhood residents from Scotty Hills, Cumberland Heights, Greenwood Homes and Cain Road, so many of them fighting a proposed Dismas Charities halfway house for federal prisoners in transition. “I have worked with the men from a similar group on Ramsey Street. Some of the men who volunteered with us at Operation Inasmuch truly wanted a new life, but many others didn’t and some even were sent back to prison. But their rehabilitation is not the question; it’s where it is being done, and Cain Road is not the site. I didn’t realize Johnny Dawkins voted for this. I’ll be ‘reaching out to him. Anyway, thanks for all you’re doing to help this neighborhood.” Sue Byrd, if you don’t know her, has dedicated so much of her life to helping the homeless and those down-and-out as former executive director of Fayetteville Area Operation Inasmuch on Hillsboro Street. Her heart for helping is bigger than Fayetteville and Cumberland County. Sue Byrd is right about the location, and right to reach out to Dawkins, the Fayetteville City councilman who joined with fellow council members Larry Wright, Chris Davis and Mayor Mitch Colvin, all who voted for approval of the halfway house on Cain Road.

 

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            “Thanks for the well-written article, Bill,” George Turner sends an email about our recent columns about the Scotty Hills, Cumberland Heights, Greenwood Homes and Cain Road residents in opposition to the proposed halfway house on Cain Road. “Keeping this situation in the forefront is helping.” George Turner is one of the residents in opposition. I’ll refer you, Mr. Turner, to Sue Byrd’s aforementioned comments. None of us are against “second chances” for transitioning inmates. But this is too close to established neighborhoods, and it has smelled from the beginning, and Scotty Hills, Cumberland Heights, Greenwood Home and Cain Road residents will tell you so.

 

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            “Dear Bill, I just want to tell you that I read every word of your beautiful tribute to your Mama,” Willa Bennett sends an email about our April 6 CityView Newsletter column about my mother, Mary McNeill McMillan Kirby, who would have celebrated her 100th birthday on April 10. “She was a great lady… and you are a great son for honoring her every day of your life. I can only hope to be remembered so well by my only daughter.” And you will be, Mrs. Bennett, because I know your heart and the beautiful woman you are, too. And I hope you enjoyed your recent birthday celebration, because you are special to me. And while Mama would have been 100 on April 10, my daddy would have been 100 on April 19, 2021.

 

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            “Hey Bill, I wanted to tell you what an awesome story about Jill that you wrote,” Sandy Flanary sends an email about our CityView Magazine newsletter column of April 13, 2021, about Jill Spell Koonce. “The title was just perfect! She was truly an angel here on earth, while she was here. We sure miss her. Thanks for remembering a beautiful angel now in heaven. She was so loved by so many people. I know that she knew how much I loved her and will always remember her and her caring ways. She will always have a special place in my heart and your column article just made it more real. Thanks again and take care.”  Jill Spell Koonce, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in 2019, died at age 57 on January 26, 2021.

 

            Bill Kirby Jr. can be reached at bkirby@cityviewnc.com, billkirby49@gmail.com or 910-624-1961.