Up & Coming Weekly

January 26, 2021

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 JANUARY 27-FEBRUARY 2, 2021 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM STAFF PUBLISHER Bill Bowman Bill@upandcomingweekly.com OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly.com EDITOR April Olsen editor-@upandcomingweekly.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Dylan Hooker art@upandcomingweekly.com EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Keyuri Parab REPORTER Jeff Thompson news@upandcomingweekly.com MARKETING ASSOCIATE Linda McAlister Brown linda@upandcomingweekly.com DISTRIBUTION MANAGER/SALES ADMINISTRATOR Laurel Handforth laurel@upandcomingweekly.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Margaret Dickson, Pitt Dickey, D.G. Martin, John Hood, Jim Jones, Shanessa Fenner, Prudence Mainor, 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 Local media holds government accountable by BILL BOWMAN BILL BOWMAN, Publisher, UP & COMING WEEKLY. COM- MENTS? BILL@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. 82 64 82 83 79 82 63 64 83 66 64 65 THU JAN 28 FRI JAN 29 SAT JAN 30 SUN JAN 31 MON FEB 01 TUE FEB 02 46 27 47 28 52 40 61 50 60 38 57 37 Partly Cloudy PM Showers AM Showers AM Showers Sunny Mostly Sunny Association of Community Publishers Hey, what's going on? Where? Here in Fayetteville? Raleigh? Washington D.C.? Portland, Seattle? "What's going on?" used to be a friendly, inquisitive and common query? Now, this once innocuous inquiry is met all too often with the flippant response: "How the hell should I know!" at's be- cause they don't know. No one knows. How could they? e news media has gone off course and lost its sense of responsibility along with its journalistic integrity. Hey, what's going on? Who the hell knows, but, you will surely know what this generation of inept news media posers want you to know. If it's news that doesn't suit or endorse the narrative of their political agenda or their employers' or advertisers' political agenda, then generally speaking, "it isn't news!" As you read the next few hundred words, try to read them through the lens of being an American. Not a white, Black, brown, Democratic, Republican, Liberal, Con- servative or vegetarian American, just an American. ink about how great it is. Do we not live in the most fabulous county in the world? And, regardless of race, religion or political affiliation, what do we all have in common? Our freedom. So many freedoms. Why would we want to give them up or put them in jeopardy? We wouldn't. At least, not intentionally. is is why the First Amend- ment of our Constitution is so vital to our existence as a free nation. Without free speech and the free press, we have no idea what our government leadership is doing. And, nothing good has ever come from that. Traditionally, the news media has been the formidable guardian of truth and the ardent enemy of tyranny. Un- fortunately, today the media has acquiesced to political and commercial pressures. Now, the tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Face- book and Google are closing in on Ameri- cans by censoring free speech and picking and choosing what news and information we are entitled to receive. (Sound a little ird Reich?) is is a bold and blatant ex- ample of extinguishing American freedoms. It doesn't make any difference what color, race or political persuasion you are, in the end, if this continues, you are going to lose your rights and liberties along with the rest of America. Let's put all this on a local perspective and be honest with each other. e next time someone says to you, "Hey, what's going on in Fayetteville?" Admit it! You have NO IDEA! How could you? We are a community of over 300,000, and we have no local TV station, an inept failing daily newspaper, and no media outlets willing to report on local issues and news. Local tax- paying citizens have no idea what is taking place at Fayetteville's City Hall, the County Courthouse, the CC school board meet- ings, or any other government meetings. We don't know our law enforcement status, what our crime rate is or how our tax dollars are being spent. We have little knowledge of how well our Mayor and fellow council members are performing, and we very, very seldom hear from our City Manager. In other words, Fayetteville and Cumberland County need local news media to keep residents informed on how our community is functioning. is is the responsibility of the local press and what residents expect. e Fayetteville community has a great deal of growth and economic potential. Citi- zens need to communicate with their local officials and monitor their performance, ensuring they have the community's priori- ties in proper order and are spending their tax dollars prudently. Most people who know me know I'm not a fan of social media. I think it has a few good attributes, but mostly it causes more harm than good by disseminating false and misleading information. Besides, I don't believe in "aiding and abetting" the en- emy. Using or providing support, financial or otherwise, to Google, Amazon, Apple, or Facebook only empowers them with more authority to restrict information and impede our First Amendment rights. So, knowing as a local community newspaper, I cannot affect or influence these mega tech companies' sinister actions, I will con- tinue to focus my media concerns locally on Fayetteville and Cumberland County. e Up & Coming Weekly newspaper will continue to work within the journalism industry's basic guidelines and ethics. And, with the help and support of the commu- nity, we are working hard to prevent the Fayetteville/Cumberland County commu- nity from becoming the next North Carolina "news media desert." We desperately need to know what is go- ing on at City Hall, in the County Commis- sioners' chambers, and at the meetings of the school board and other public gather- ings. More importantly, we need honest and factual information to hold our local gov- ernment officials accountable - information required to celebrate their achievements and congratulate their accomplishments, as well as admonish incompetence and neglect when it exists. It's all about LOCAL. It's all about transparency, and it's all about accountability. It all starts with free speech and the FREE PRESS. ank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.

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