by Jordan Green

Census Bureau revises Winston-Salem population estimate

The city of Winston- Salem announced the US Census Bureau has revised its 2008 population estimate for the city, putting the new estimate at 227,834 residents — an increase of more than 10,000 people from the agency’s initial estimate of 217,600. Paul Norby, the city-county planning director, said that the new estimate is 528 people less than the state demographer’s estimate of 228,362 in an Oct. 12 press release. The revised estimate is important because it is used in determining federal distributions and grants based on population, Norby said. Winston-Salem now ranks as the 84 th largest city in the nation, ahead of Baton Rouge, La. and just behind

Birmingham, Ala. The Census Bureau’s original 2008 estimate, which calculated the city’s population to be 217,600, was almost 6,000 less than its revised 2007 estimate of 223,532. — KTB

1979 shootings raised as election issue

Conservative operatives and pundits swarmed on Greensboro City Council District 4 candidate Joel Landau last week, taking their cue from opponent Mary Rakestraw, whopublicly noted that Landau’s campaign website had previously “listed atleast one controversial political activist supporter (e.g. a CommunistWorkers Party organizer), but has now removed that one.” The activistis Signe Waller Foxworth, a survivor of the 1979 Klan-Nazishootings, but the Communist Workers Party foundered soon after theattack. Landau said in response to questions about the removal ofWaller Foxworth’s name from his website that another supporterapproached him and cautioned him that the association could bedistracting to his campaign because some people consider her to be acontroversial figure. “I trust that the majority of citizens are moreconcerned with real issues right now than what someone who’s not acandidate did 30 years ago.” Among those who participated in the attackwere Tony Wilkins, executive director of the Guilford CountyRepublican Party. “In my opinion, your attempt to hide the associationsends a message of deception, deceit and hypocrisy.” Blogger Joseph Guarino chimedin, noting that Waller Foxworth was a mover behind the truth andreconciliation process: “If Waller is supporting Landau, it might speakvolumes about his political stance.” Days later, Guarino noted Mayor Yvonne Johnson’s supportof the truth process. Johnson testified before the Greensboro Truth andReconciliation Commission in 2005, and Landau went on record in supportof the truth process in a city council campaign that year. Guarino issupporting Johnson and Landau’s opponents. — JG

City council candidates react to Dell closing

Sevencandidates for Winston-Salem City Council discussed their ideas on howto move forward in the wake of Dell’s recent announcement it will beclosing its Forsyth County operations during a forum sponsored by theWinston-Salem chapter of the National Urban League Young Professionals.James Taylor, the Democratic nominee for the city’s SoutheastWard, said part of the $15.5 million in incentives Dell has promised torepay the city should go toward a workforce-development program to helpDell employees transition back into the workforce. Vivian Burke, a32-year incumbent from the Northeast Ward, said the city has plans torevitalize its workforce development program to assist displaced Dellworkers. Derwin Montgomery, a 21-year-old Winston- Salem Statestudent and Democratic nominee to represent the East Ward, said some ofthe 905 displaced Dell employees might have to leave Forsyth County tofind employment. Claudia Shivers, Burke’s Republican opponent,said the city could attract big and medium-sized businesses withoutresorting to financial incentives. Denise “DD” Adams, theDemocratic nominee running in the North Ward, said the city councilshould have implemented greater oversight to ensure the $15.5 millionthe city invested in the Dell deal was being protected. Peter Sorensen, theRepublican nominee in the Northwest Ward, said until the state fixesthe corporate tax code, the city should focus on recruiting small andmediumsized businesses. — KTB