Up & Coming Weekly

June 29, 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.

Issue link: https://www.epageflip.net/i/1388330

Contents of this Issue


Page 4 of 24

4 UCW JUNE 30 - JULY 6, 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 STAFF WRITER Audrey Hogue REPORTER Jeff Thompson 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, Crissy Neville COVER Crowd photo by Tori Evans. Foreigner photo courtesy www. foreigneronline.com. The Fifth photo by Raul Rubiera. –––––––––––- 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 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. PUBLISHER'S PEN The media and free press: Watchdogs for democracy by BILL BOWMAN 82 64 82 83 79 82 63 64 83 66 64 65 THU JUL 01 FRI JUL 02 SAT JUL 03 SUN JUL 04 MON JUL 05 TUE JUL 06 93 73 89 73 88 72 89 73 91 72 90 72 Thunderstorms Thunderstorms Thunderstorms Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Cloudy Association of Community Publishers ere are rising local concerns over the lack of media coverage and tradi- tional news reporting in our Fayetteville and Cumberland County communities. We have few journalists in our com- munity dedicated to being purveyors of truth. History has proven without a doubt that any community, city, state or nation that lacks accurate and honest news media coverage cannot maintain freedom or democracy. News journalists and the media are true protectors of democracy. Without media watchdogs and transparency in government, we invite and nurture gross mismanagement and cultivate a culture of corruption that ultimately leads to devastating consequences for citizens. For a recent and unfortunate ex- ample of this, one needs to look no further than the Town of Spring Lake. Last week, Mayor Larry Dobbins and the Spring Lake Board of Aldermen received a notification warning from the Local Government Commission that the town's fiscal management was suspect. It noted that the town was in violation of the General Statutes of North Carolina and ran a risk of being taken over by the state if they cannot come into compliance. For over a decade, several honest and frustrated Spring Lake citizens saw this coming. ey looked on helplessly as they witnessed firsthand the town's management incompetence and ir- responsible behavior of its self-serving elected officials. Spring Lake residents experienced firsthand the consequenc- es of not having a voice in government or news media oversight that could have uncovered and reported on the town's business, policies and proce- dures. Or lack of. Without constant oversight, monitoring and reporting of their actions and policies, local govern- ment officials will always constitute a lack of transparency to local citizens, giving government staff and elected officials free rein to use and abuse their authority. ey are confident their ac- tions will never be divulged, nor will they be held accountable. is creates a frightening "culture of corruption" and a significant threat to democracy and fundamental freedoms. e situation in Spring Lake did not develop overnight. It took years for town officials to get confident and com- fortable knowing that the news media void could keep the general public from knowing what was going on inside the town hall. Spring Lake leadership took advantage of this situation to the town's detriment. e scary thing about it was they were all in concert with the negli- gence. Local media and dedicated and honest leadership at all local govern- ment levels could have prevented this. I love Spring Lake, and I know many good, decent and honest people who live there, have businesses there, and have tried relentlessly to make Spring Lake the proud gateway to Fort Bragg it once was. However, without a news media outlet and local government transparency and accountability, it can- not happen. Perhaps some of our readers are thinking, "why doesn't Up & Coming Weekly create a newspaper in Spring Lake." Well, we did. And, it had a talented editor and was successful. Perhaps too successful. e Spring Lake Beacon was delivered every two weeks in U&CW. It lasted about two years un- til the Town of Spring Lake decided not to support it. is caused the Chamber of Commerce (which was closely affili- ated with the town and located in the Town Hall) to not support it. is lack of endorsement discouraged the local businesses from supporting it. At that time, we tried to make a difference by providing Spring Lake businesses and citizens with local news and views while advocating for open government and transparency. We were rebuffed. We hope the current situation in Spring Lake will be resolved quickly, amicably, and result in honest, caring, and dedicated people stepping up to rebuild Spring Lakes' reputation and take its rightful and respectable place in the leadership of Cumberland County. We also hope that this unfortunate and dire situation in Spring Lake serves as a subtle warning to Fayetteville, Hope Mills and other communities of the consequences when no local newspa- per or reputable media keeps the public informed of what is going on in their government. It should also make all citizens skeptical of any elected county com- missioner, city mayor or councilperson, town commissioner, or local govern- ment staffer who is opposed to the free press, news media, open meetings or the concept of transparency in govern- ment. e media, sometimes referred to as the "Fourth Estate," is America's watchdog of democracy at all levels of government. ank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly. BILL BOWMAN, Publisher, UP & COMING WEEKLY. COM- MENTS? BILL@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Up & Coming Weekly - June 29, 2021