June 02
00:01 2016

Thank you, John Larson, for fighting to make every vote count

To the Editor:

On June 7 there will be a new South Ward primary for the City Council. The new primary was added to the existing ballot by unanimous vote of both the local and state Boards of Elections because of irregularities in the voting process in the March 15 election.  We voters have candidate John Larson to thank for his fight to make every vote count. This stance is the most recent example of John’s willingness to defend the rights of all residents of the South Ward.

As a member of the City Council, he will continue his constant advocacy for the South Ward as he has done for 37 years as Vice President of Old Salem Restoration. His successful work record and keen business aptitude have already served us well, because he understands the South Ward to be the southern gateway to the city.   John is conversant with the policies and procedures of the city government and will be able to champion what is best for the South Ward in terms of zoning, safety, taxes, job growth, and economical development with competence and vision.

John also has an undeniable appreciation for and dedication to the city as a whole and will promote cooperation among all wards for the common good. He wants all citizens of our city to thrive and feel secure. Strong thriving neighborhoods contribute to a better Winston-Salem, and when the city as a whole succeeds, the entire city reaps the benefits. This is a stance John Larson will embody as a member of the City Council. 

I cannot think of a more imaginative, competent, and energetic candidate to represent us. Remember to vote on June 7, and cast your vote for John Larson.

Charles Francis Wilson


Carolyn Highsmith will strengthen South Ward

To the Editor:

Neighborhoods are the lifeblood of a city.  Strong neighborhoods need local leaders that can inspire people to unite over mutual interests and concerns.  This is what I see in candidate Carolyn Highsmith who is running for South Ward City Council. 

Carolyn has successfully led initiatives to improve the South Ward neighborhoods through community coalitions. Although I live in a neighboring ward, the issues affecting one will affect the other.  In fact, that’s how I met Carolyn, through mutual concerns over crime in our neighborhoods. 

Her view that sections of Winston-Salem are moving ahead while others are being left behind is a warning to the entire city.  Our economic recovery is in a delicate balance.  New small businesses, farmer’s markets with local foods, and parks are thriving in the inner city. 

Old Salem, a premier historical tourist destination, has become a tremendous educational tool for all citizens of Winston-Salem.  Developments in nearby neighborhoods, universities, and the Research Park have added greatly to the city.  No one is begrudging this and how it has contributed to the livability of our city.  But if all are not lifted up, then true recovery is uncertain. 

Now is the time to pay attention to neighborhoods that seem to be left behind or overrun by corporate America such as the corridor along Peter’s Creek Parkway. Vote for Carolyn Highsmith and help the South Ward strengthen every neighbor for a better Winston-Salem overall!

Sally Hirsh


Give vote to John Larson for South Ward Council seat

To the Editor:

I would like to urge the residents of the South Ward and fellow readers of The Chronicle to vote for John Larson for Winston Salem City Council on June 7.

John Larson has worked with the city, colleges, businesses, churches, state and federal governments on a wide range of issues such as the redevelopment of Highways 52 and Business 40 and the roads and streets that connect to them, the city’s Southeast Gateway, the restoration of St. Philips Church and the restoration of Lloyds Presbyterian Church, the Creative Corridors project and tourism in Winston Salem.

My first introduction to John Larson was a letter I found that mentioned he had arranged to have large wooden posts placed in the sidewalk outside Ms. Wilkie’s house to protect her home after it had been hit by a car traveling through a fast moving intersection where she lived that was known for car accidents.

My second introduction to John Larson came when we worked to develop a plan to repair sidewalks, streets, signs, and replant trees that had been damaged or were dying from disease in historic Old Salem. After that, John seemed to show up wherever there was work to be done. Whether it was helping an older couple move from one house to another, planning and obtaining permission to establish a community garden for the benefit of Sunnyside Ministries, restoring historic churches, or preserving the Idles Dam facility that led to the electrification of Winston Salem, John Larson seemed to be involved or leading the effort.

John Larson is no stranger to hard work or difficult problems and if elected, will provide a positive and unifying presence on City Council.

John Hauser

Winston Salem

Making a difference by  listening, building consensus

To the Editor:

I live in the South Ward and know John Larson from my years as the city’s videographer.  I first filmed him in the 1980s as he crusaded to protect the urban streams and launched the Big Sweep Waterway cleanup while chairman for Beautification, Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful.  Our paths crossed numerous times with his leadership to preserve the two oldest African-American churches in Winston-Salem, St. Philips in Old Salem and Lloyd Presbyterian Church.  He is well known in City Hall having been involved in everything from zoning cases to highway planning.  I saw his efforts in the early 1990s to unite the city across the highways that divide us.  He was key in development of the Southeast Gateway Plan designed to connect WSSU across US 52 with UNCSA and Salem College.  Twenty-five years later, the continued implementation of that plan can be seen in the new Salem Creek Connector into the city, as well as Creative Corridors’ enhancements to Martin Luther King Boulevard.  Larson understands the big picture and that some things take time to fully implement, but that you need a vision.  I have seen him work with the city to convert South Marshall Street from a deteriorating commercial area into a strong residential neighborhood that tied West Salem Neighborhood to Old Salem.  Larson knows that there is strength in listening and building consensus.  Larson is not about showmanship; he just quietly seeks to make a difference.  It seems like we all could benefit from such a councilman.

 Billy Rich


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