Up & Coming Weekly

October 20, 2020

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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4 UCW OCTOBER 21-27, 2020 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM STAFF PUBLISHER Bill Bowman Bill@upandcomingweekly.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Stephanie Crider editor@upandcomingweekly.com OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly.com EDITOR April Olsen april@upandcomingweekly.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Dylan Hooker art@upandcomingweekly.com EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Keyuri Parab REPORTER Jeff Thompson news@upandcomingweekly.com MARKETING ASSOCIATES 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, Crissy Neville ––––––––––– 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 publisher. 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. © 2020 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. PUBLISHER'S PEN e first segment of the 2020 Virtual Candidates Forums has aired, and the second segment featur- ing Cumberland County Commissioner candidates concluded Oct. 20. We can only hope that the second Commissioner's Forum provides more insights and substance than the first. With very few exceptions, the six school board candidates that participated (two did not) for the Cumberland County Board of Education segment were extreme- ly unimpressive, lacking substance and details. e 2020 Virtual Candidate Forum introduces candidates to the community so voters can evalu- ate their talent, intelligence, desire and capabilities to be responsible public servants and successfully move our community forward. Regretfully, if you are a parent or guardian with children in the public school system, once you have viewed the candi- dates' forum, you will probably consider moving out of the county, advocating for school education vouchers, or scrambling to enroll your child in a private, Christian or charter school program. My disappointments with the segment were many. However, there were two that struck me as most conspicuous and egregious. First, the emphasis many candidates placed on the need for more funding and financial resources from the state and county. It was like their sole solution to a more responsive and effective school system was "more money!" More money seemed to be the answer and overall panacea for all the ills, woes and challenges facing the CCS. Crazy! I acknowledge the current school board had to spend a lot of their financial resources dealing with the COVID-19 situation. Yet, with approximately $13 million in reserve remaining, I hardly think anyone believes they can spend their way out of a steadily declining school system. Secondly, and the most disturbing to me personally, Cumberland County Schools Superin- tendent Dr. Marvin Connelly was never mentioned by any of the candidates during their interviews. e word "superintendent" was never spoken or even referenced in any context. How could this be? For decades Cumberland County has prided itself on the talent and leadership qualities of our school system superintendent. With Dr. Marvin Connelly, we have one of the best administrators with over a quarter of a century of proven suc- cess in North Carolina public education. School Board candidates did not even mention his name or indicate their willingness to work with him to support the school system's successful manage- ment. Several years ago, Dr. Connelly came to Cumberland County from Wake County, one of the state's largest school systems. e school board hired Connelly for his experience and expertise in managing large school systems. It is disturbing that no candidate recognized his contributions, ac- complishments, leadership abilities, or indicated their enthusiasm and willingness to work with him and other board members to produce and secure the best possible education for the children of Cumberland County. Extremely disappointing. Yet, many of the candidates spoke openly of the importance and need for working together in harmony by having more productive and effec- tive communications. Again, never mentioning the school superintendent. In my opinion, a very glaring omission for anyone serious about seeking a board position. You be the judge. Go directly to the 2020 Virtual Candidates Forum at https:// vimeo.com/467489706 or log on 24/7 to any one of the websites hosted by the sponsors: Piedmont Natural Gas, e Fayetteville Observer, Longleaf Pine Association of Realtors, the Home Builders Association of Fayetteville, Greater Fayetteville Chamber, and Up & Coming Weekly community newspaper. Do this today. It is vitally important. Open Our School signs are popping up all over the county. ere is a critical message here. Parents and guard- ians want to know who the people are looking out for their children's best interests. ey want com- petent and responsible leaders. ey want people who will reopen the schools to minimize and avoid the risk of raising our next generation of children intellectually deficient and socially ill-prepared to meet real-world challenges. Parents, guardians and teachers alike want intelligent nonpartisan education leaders who understand the consequences of humanity's harsh realities. ese realities crush ignorant, uneducat- ed and culturally disadvantaged children without empathy in they are helpless while trying to sur- vive in a competitive, ruthless environment. With fifty thousand Cumberland County student lives at stake, an unqualified, inept and politically charged board of education will be engaged in a high-risk gamble using our children and future generations' lives as table stakes. It's a sucker's bet we cannot afford to make. We must know beyond a shadow of doubt in whose capable hands we are entrusting our children's' education. e following week's forum will feature North Carolina legislative races, and the last segment will include statewide offices, according to Henry Tyson, chairman of the Greater Fayetteville Cham- ber's governmental affairs committee. Forum segments are currently online. e questions pre- sented to the candidates during the forums were provided by the Government Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Commerce, the Legislative Com- mittees of the Longleaf Pine Association of Real- tors and Homebuilders Association of Fayetteville. Get involved. Vote! Someone said, "…. the threat of losing our democracy and American freedoms is only one generation away." Well, folks, that genera- tion is starting kindergarten in 2020. ank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly. School Board candidates advocate for better commu- nications and more money by BILL BOWMAN BILL BOWMAN, Publisher, UP & COMING WEEKLY. COM- MENTS? BILL@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. THU OCT 22 FRI OCT 23 SAT OCT 24 SUN OCT 25 MON OCT 26 TUE OCT 27 79 61 79 61 77 59 75 56 72 54 71 51 Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Mostly Sunny Mostly Sunny Parents and teachers alike want nonpar- tisan leaders on the School Board.

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