Up & Coming Weekly

June 18, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 4 of 32

4 UCW JUNE 19-25, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM HIGH 94 LOW 75 HIGH 95 LOW 68 HIGH 92 HIGH 93 HIGH 93 LOW 73 LOW 74 LOW 73 JUNE 24 JUNE 23 JUNE 21 JUNE 22 JUNE 25 PM Thunderstorms Partly Cloudy PM Thunderstorms Mostly Sunny Mostly Sunny Isolated Thunderstorms JUNE 20 HIGH 93 LOW 74 STAFF PUBLISHER Bill Bowman Bill@upandcomingweekly.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/ EDITOR Stephanie Crider editor@upandcomingweekly.com OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly. com ASSISTANT EDITOR Leslie Pyo leslie@upandcomingweekly.com SENIOR SPORTS EDITOR Earl Vaughan Jr. EarlUCWSports@gmail.com REPORTER Jeff Thompson news@upandcomingweekly.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Elizabeth Long art@upandcomingweekly.com MARKETING ASSOCIATE Linda McAlister Brown linda@upandcomingweekly.com DISTRIBUTION MANAGER/ SALES ADMINISTRATOR Laurel Handforth laurel@upandcomingweekly.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS D.G. Martin, Pitt Dickey, Margaret Dickson, Karl Merritt, John Hood, Jim Jones, Shanessa Fenner, Prudence Mainor, Avery Powers, Elizabeth Blevins ––––––––––– Up & Coming Weekly www.upandcomingweekly.com 208 Rowan St. P.O. Box 53461 Fayetteville, NC 28305 PHONE: 910-484-6200 FAX: 910-484-9218 Up & Coming Weekly is a "Quality of Life" publication with local features, news and information on what's happening in and around the Fayetteville/Cumberland County community. Up & Coming Weekly is published weekly on Wednesdays. Up & Coming Weekly welcomes manuscripts, photographs and artwork for publication consideration, but assumes no responsibility for them. We cannot accept responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts or material. Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the pub- lisher. The publisher reserves the right to edit or reject copy submitted for publication. Up & Coming Weekly is free of charge and distributed at indoor and outdoor locations throughout Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, Pope Air Force Base, Hope Mills and Spring Lake. Readers are limited to one copy per person. © 2019 by F&B Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or advertisements without permission is strictly prohibited. Various ads with art graphics designed with elements from: vecteezy.com and freepik.com. e city of Fayetteville continues to grapple with homelessness as downtown grows. Fayetteville's growing pains by BILL BOWMAN PUBLISHER'S PEN For weeks, the news and buzz around town have focused on homelessness and parking — or rather the lack of free parking or the fear of losing free parking. Both situations are real, and both are concerns that warrant merit. But once the emotions have been extracted from these issues, what remains are the symptoms commonly associated with a growing and vibrant city. And, that pretty much describes Fayetteville. We are a city in transition. We have implemented a massive economic development plan to revitalize our downtown, including a $100 million investment that, at its center, includes a $46 million baseball stadium. Ironically, by some, it's referred to as Fayetteville's "Field of Dreams." "Build it, and they will come." Well, sort of. And, that is what seems to be causing all the angst with downtown residents and businesses. Let's break it down. Parking First, Segra Stadium is enjoying a warm and welcoming reception by the com- munity, posting exceptional attendance numbers since its opening in April. e initial reaction of the city and those with resources and entrepreneurial spirit was to get into the paid parking business at $10 a space. However, it wasn't long before the law of unintended consequences had the city's ready-fire-aim parking policy reduced to $5. Baseball patrons, without intent or malice, continued to squeeze the life and vitality out of downtown merchants' businesses. Adding to the perceived insult is the injury under consideration that all downtown parking, including street spaces, will convert to paid from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Ouch! At this writing, a meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 19, at City Hall to discuss the parking situation. e mayor and City Council are eager to hear what the consulting "parking professionals" recommend as feasible downtown parking solutions. Needless to say, this should have downtown merchants rolling their eyes, as the perception seems to be the city will attempt to escape criticism by handing off the parking issue to a private company. is is interesting because city trash collection and grass cutting were deemed inappropriate for outsourcing. Panhandling and homelessness How does the city humanely deal with the panhandling and homeless- ness situation? Local people respected and trained to deal with indigents and the homeless population have gone on record in defining the cause and effect of homelessness in our community. Basi- cally, they say our compassion and gen- erosity attracts and enables the homeless by allowing them squatting rights on public and private property and provid- ing them countless meals and other resources that only allow them to enjoy the lifestyle they subscribe to. is problem has plagued downtown for years. However, the homelessness prob- lem has come to the forefront because of the increased activity downtown. Not only are more people noticing it, but they are noticing our city elected don't seem to have the intestinal fortitude to deal with the problem, thus making it worse. Downtown residents and merchants site examples like the following: A home- less man, for weeks, set up a camp on Hay Street across from City Hall in the alcove of the AIT Building. Another did the same at the public restrooms across from Freedom Memorial Park. For months, a homeless woman set up camp on a public sidewalk on a main thoroughfare into downtown Fayetteville. Another lives in her car with an adult son and two dogs parked outside the main Cumberland County Public Li- brary. is is not a good image for a com- munity that is trying to brand itself. Parking and the homelessness issue downtown are now high priorities. In the short-term, it will be a little rough for the downtown merchants. However, both problems will dissipate with critical mass. Baseball fans, hotels, condominiums, apartments, offices. All of these entities contribute to a people factor. "Build it and they will come." Downtown Fayetteville's economic future will depend on how well we manage our brand. Cur- rently, downtown is emerging as a unique destination point. As it emerges, look for the parking situation and the homeless- ness problem to dissipate. Critical mass. at's the answer. ank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly. BILL BOWMAN, Publisher, UP & COMING WEEKLY. COM- MENTS? BILL@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200.

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