Up & Coming Weekly

February 07, 2023

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 24

4 UCW FEBRUARY 8 - 14, 2023 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM STAFF PUBLISHER Bill Bowman Bill@upandcomingweekly.com OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly.com MANAGING EDITOR April Olsen editor@upandcomingweekly.com ASSISTANT EDITOR Hannah Lee assistanteditor@upandcomingweekly. com ART DIRECTOR Courtney Sapp-Scott art@upandcomingweekly.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Isaiah Jones graphics@upandcomingweekly.com STAFF WRITERS Alyson Hansen Ashley Shirley Kathleen Ramsey Chayenne Burns Katrina Wilson CONTRIBUTING WRITERS John Hood, Pitt Dickey, Leon Goldstein, Mary Baggett, Christopher Thrasher COVER Design by Isaiah Jones MARKETING ASSOCIATE Linda McAlister linda@upandcomingweekly.com DISTRIBUTION MANAGER/SALES ADMINISTRATOR Paulette Naylor 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. 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 Army Airfield, 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. Association of Community Publishers Jackie Warner is an enthusiastic and energetic Carolina girl. And like Jack in the fable "Jack and the Beanstalk," she traded her successful teaching and educa- tion administration career for the seeds to plant that would produce a solid Hope Mills community and quality of life. Like Jack's magic beans, the seeds she planted in the Hope Mills community were allowed to grow and prosper. Jackie Warner's proverbial beanstalk grew and grew, with the sky being the limit. As she climbed her beanstalk using education, knowledge, common sense and love for the community, she took the Town of Hope Mills to new heights of influence, prosperity and respectability. When Jack reached the top of his beanstalk, he was confronted by a mean and ugly giant. When Jackie reached the top of her proverbial beanstalk, she too, was confronted by unethical malcontents. ese nasties have tried to undermine her authority, destroy her reputation and impugn her integrity using the anonym- ity of social media to spread gossip, lies, tasteless photos and cruel parodies of her. For the most part, until now, her de- tractors are primarily nameless, faceless cowards who second guess, criticize and undermine Jackie and the Hope Mills leadership. In the process, they manage to stifle Hope Mills's progress while do- ing a major injustice to the thousands of citizens, businesses and organizations of Hope Mills that deserve better. Jackie Warner's character, goodwill and countless accomplishments have enabled her to defend her reputation without deserting the Town, its citizens, or her beanstalk of success. She has never backed down and has always been confi- dent and professionally content, dealing with and addressing her detractors. Two are former Hope Mills Commissioners and former political candidates — Jessie Bellflowers and Meg Larson. Larson filed a lawsuit against Warner, accusing her of violating public records laws when she used her personal Face- book as her mayoral Facebook page and blocked people from that page. In January, during the Hope Mills Com- missioners meeting, Mayor Warner read a written public apology to Larson and con- stituents for blocking access to her and other social media constituents. Mayor Warner did so with confidence, class and dignity — characteristics not found in her detractors. As a matter of fact, I don't re- member any apologies to the Mayor when social media showcased photos of Jessie Bellflowers and Meg Lawson publicly disrespecting Warner during the elec- tion period. I recall that the images, still available on Facebook, had Meg Larson dressed in a creepy clown outfit posing in front of a Warner for Mayor campaign sign with arms extended, giving her the "finger" with both hands. is, too, is pro- tected by the First Amendment. However, it doesn't show sophistication or class, but it indicates the type of harassment Warner endured. Given Larson's behavior, it is ironic but revealing the hypocrisy when she is quoted saying: "In a small town like Hope Mills, it's almost a bullying tactic to treat your citizens like this," Really? War- ner made a mistake. Of course, ignorance of the law is no excuse. (Recently: Just ask Trump, Biden, and Pence.) Warner understands and knows the law now, and she has apologized. However, the question remains: Will her harass- ment stop? What I find interesting and want to share with our Up & Coming Weekly read- ers is that despite all the harassment, bul- lying, slander, lies, falsehoods, lawsuits, administrative and policy roadblocks, and petty distractions caused by local malcon- tents, Mayor Jackie Warner has contin- ued to climb the beanstalk of success by providing years of honest and dynamic leadership to the Town. Leadership that has translated into notable prosperity for Hope Mills and its citizens. Within the past year, Warner led the Hope Mills Commission in a direction that netted the Town over $4.5 million from the state; the $17 million Hope Mills Public Safety Building is about to be completed; a $750 thousand all-inclusive Playground and Splash pad is on the way; renovations of the omas Oakman Cha- pel have been completed with work about to begin on Heritage Park. All of this, plus residential building permits are at record levels, dozens of new businesses have come to locate in Hope Mills, and music, art and culture are becoming prominent and a permanent part of the Hope Mills quality of life. All of these things result from hard work, dedi- cation and leadership from someone who truly cares about the community. Without a doubt, those few Hope Mills detractors attempting to undermine Warner by causing chaos and divisiveness within her administration are collectively incapable of achieving such successes. So, they can continue to rant, rave and scream "Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum" at Mayor Jackie Warner's beanstalk of success. But the lo- cal Blunderbores and Gogmagogs do not affect her, and like Jack's giant, they will eventually get their just rewards. Ok, you may ask: What's with the beanstalk metaphor? Well, perhaps I let my imagination get the best of me. However, when you think about it, there is a parallel between Jack and Jackie and a solid moral to both stories. Jack made a mistake by selling his family's only cow for beans. But, he planted them and grew a beanstalk which he climbed. At the top, he encountered the mean, nasty giant, but also discovered a magical hen that laid golden eggs. Running for his life he outsmarted the giant and ultimately destroyed him. He returned home a hero, safe and sound and wealthy beyond belief. In other words: Jack took a bad situation and using his wits, intelligence, daring and perseverance turned the situ- ation around that culminated in a happy ending. Like Jack, Jackie also made a terrible decision; however, she planted her Hope Mills beanstalk seeds and it grew to great heights of success due to being cared for and nurtured with respect and love. At the top of her success, the nasties appear to discredit and destroy Jackie so they can take control and get credit for the Town's progress. Unlike Jack's situation, Jackie's plight has lasted for years. However, in the end, Jackie has succeeded in fending off the nasties and simultaneously provided the leadership that has taken Hope Mills to new heights in prosperity and develop- ment, raising the quality of life for all its citizens. Unlike Jack, who returned home a triumphant hero, Jackie Warner, a real-life Hope Mills hero, is already home. anks for reading Up & Coming Weekly. BILL BOWMAN, Publisher. COMMENTS? BILL@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. PUBLISHER'S PEN Jackie and the Beanstalk by BILL BOWMAN Jackie Warner Hope Mills Mayor

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