Up & Coming Weekly

October 17, 2017

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 36

4 UCW OCTOBER 18 - 24, 2017 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM PUBLISHER'S PEN 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 REPORTER Jeff Thompson news@upandcomingweekly.com SENIOR SPORTS EDITOR Earl Vaughan Jr. GRAPHIC DESIGNER Elizabeth Long art@upandcomingweekly.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS D.G. Martin, Pitt Dickey, Margaret Dickson, John Hood, Erinn Crider, Jim Jones, Shanessa Fenner, Paul Hall SALES ADMINISTRATOR/ DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Laurel Handforth laurel@upandcomingweekly.com MARKETING/SALES Erica Walls erica@upandcomingweekly.com Linda McAlister Brown linda@upandcomingweekly.com ––––––––––– 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 wel- comes 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. ©2007 by F&B Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or advertisements without permission is strictly prohibited. Cover art designed with various elements from: vecteezy.com and freepik.com. Informed voter: A Fayetteville oxymoron? by BILL BOWMAN Well, with one municipal election candidate forum over, it remains difficult to assess the public's overall interest or participation in Fayetteville's upcoming municipal election. is is not surprising. Candidate forums are valuable – especially if you have a good turnout of residents. However, once you separate out the participating candidates, their family, friends, campaign staff members and the personnel of the sponsoring hosts, it makes you wonder who in the au- dience is really a registered, taxpay- ing resident there to be informed and enlightened. Reaching and communicating with the local masses has always been difficult. This year's can- didate forum hosts, the Greater Fayetteville Chamber and The Fayetteville Observer, are ad- vertising and promoting that they will broadcast the event live on Facebook. Really? Well, obviously the Observer doesn't want to miss this excel- lent opportunity to solicit "likes" on its Facebook page. But effective communi- cation? I think not. Social media is good for sharing information; however, it is not an effective medium for building an audience of loyal, informed and caring constituents. Not only does it lack reach, but it also lacks sincerity and credibility. If Facebook and social media were, in fact, effective and credible media sources, the Oct. 10 primary election would not have had such a dismal and disappointing turnout. Again, in all fair- ness, social media can be a good means of communication once a relationship has been established. at is, of course, if fact-checking is not your thing. People who rely on the internet and social me- dia for their news and information are by far the most uninformed and misin- formed people. What the Fayetteville/Cumberland County community needs more than anything else is a local TV station that practices journalism's basic Fourth Estate standards. A daily newspaper with management and staff entrenched in local matters and committed to these standards would also be a valued asset. For the most part, we live in a commu- nity that is uninformed about what is going on around us. Why? Because we lack access to responsible local news and information on a consistent basis. This breeds skepticism and apathy toward our Fayetteville and Cumberland County leadership. This situation cur- tails citizen participation and commu- nity involvement. Even in the most ideal of circumstances, it takes a focused and dedicated effort to be an informed voter. In Fayetteville, it takes a lot more effort due to limited access to local news and information. It is a sad situation that leaves the resident on his or her own to figure out what the issues are and what the truth is. is task is very difficult, and many people just stop trying. e result? Apathy. Many new families moving into our community don't even start! e perception becomes real- ity. We just make it too hard to get to the truth. is year's candidate forums are a good example. No offense intended, but it looks like we are going backward when it comes to exploring relevant issues and gaining insights into the qualifications and motives of local candidates. Last year, the Greater Fayetteville Chamber was on the right track. It took control and created a candidate's forum that was a multimedia event promoted and marketed throughout the com- munity and involved journalists from WRAL TV, Up & Coming Weekly and The Fayetteville Observer. is forum was a widespread communi- ty and media event supported and hosted by several local businesses and organiza- tions. It was also promoted and televised on FayTV. e results were impressive and complimentary to all involved. This year, it seems we have lost that momentum at a time when Fayetteville is on the cusp of economic growth and becoming a more respected major metropolitan city. Can it happen? Will it happen? We'll see in the next few weeks. I have tracked Fayetteville's progress, accomplishments and development for over 21 years. I have built a successful publishing business by accentuating the good and unique features of our local quality of life. No one is in a better posi- tion to recognize and applaud the good works of the people, businesses, organiza- tions and opportunities that have come before us during the last two decades. However, collectively, these good works and accomplishments pale in light of the hundreds – maybe thousands – of missed opportunities our county and city have endured because divisive sectors in our community refuse to give up their silos and cooperate and com- municate for the betterment of all. Only honest, trustworthy leadership along with a huge dose of integrity will enable our community to seize the right opportunites and continue our forward momentum. And it will all be on the ballot come Election Day in November. So, do your part. Read the newspaper. Listen to the radio. Attend the forums. Ask hard questions. Seek out the truth. Be informed, and vote. Once the last ballot is counted, I cannot promise you will get what you want, but this community will certainly get what it deserves. It always does. ank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly. Go to www.upandcomingweekly. com and subscribe to our Free Early Bird online edition and like our Facebook page. You'll be one step closer to being better informed. BILL BOWMAN, Publisher, UP & COMING WEEKLY. COMMENTS? BILL@upandcomingweekly.com. (910) 391-3859. Even in the most ideal of circumstances, it takes a focused and dedicated effort to be an informed voter. In Fayetteville, it takes a lot more effort due to limited access to local news and information.

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